Frontier: First Encounters Journals

THE THARGOIDS - UNLIKELY RUMOURS FROM [SyL1(I)

S.L.A.M

A series of wild rumours are emerging yet again, this time from the [SyL1(I), regarding the sighting of yet another Thargoid fleet. Two courier pilots travelling from [SyR(2) to [SyR(3) each claim independently to have fought and destroyed a single alien mother ship with a host of attendant Thargons. Both commanders returned without cargo in badly damaged ships and proceeded to create a great deal of local interest. Fleets of entrepreneurial pilots flew directly to the area intent on scavenging alien items from the wreckage but have so far recovered nothing.

Research performed in our offices suggest that the two couriers may well be the same pair who reported a sighting in the region of [SyR(C) a decade ago and who subsequently made a significant fortune from the sale of fake alien technology. Would-be investors are warned to ensure validation of any items they procure prior to sale.

THARGOID WAR VETERAN DIES

S.L.A.M

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2), second-in-command of the elite INRA Snark Squadron from 3128 to 3155, has died on [PlL2(F edge), aged 176. The cause of death is not yet known, but it is believed that Commander [OoL1(LFmL2,[FfL2) had been suffering for some time from Implant rejection problems aggravated by wounds received during the Thargoid War.

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) joined the Federation Navy at the age of 17, and was recruited to INRA after graduating top of [SlL1("his","her") intake. Assigned to the elite Snark Squadron, [SlL1("he","she") quickly rose to the rank of wingleader after the unit sustained heavy losses at Zaonce, one of the first major 'set piece' battles of the war, with more than sixty human and Enemy ships taking part. Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2)'s courage and expertise played no small part in the successes of the squadron, and was powerfully depicted in the popular sensidrama "The Aggressors", in which the part of Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) was realised by [SlL1("his","her") clone great-great-semicousin, the sensi-player [OoL2([FmL2,[FfL2). Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) was credited with eighty-seven confirmed "kills", including four Thargoid motherships. After the cessation of hostilities, [SlL1("he","she") was transferred to the INRA Strategic Science Unit, where [SlL1("he","she") continued to serve until [SlL1("his","her") death.

FLARE, FLARE! WHAT A SCORCHER!

S.L.A.M

Settlers on the planet New Australia (known to its inhabitants as Lenin) orbiting the type M Flare star YZ Canis Minoris, had a nasty shock last month when their star went variable. According to scientists, the stellar output of the orange subgiant increased by more than 15% over a two-week period, raising the planet's 22 degree surface temperature by more than twenty-five degrees globally. Plans for the Mister New Australia 'body beautiful' competition had to be hurriedly cancelled

"Those musclemen were just wilting in the heat", said competition organizer Drax Solus - and sales of sunblock and climate-conditioning units more than doubled. The star has now returned to normal, but scientists say it could flare up again, so if you're visiting Newtown or Chekovville, we suggest you follow the example of local girl Mira Cepheid (photo opposite) and discard all non-essential clothing. Now there's a heavenly body that could really raise your temperature!

NO TRUTH IN ENAYEX FAMINE RUMOURS

S.L.A.M

The Directorate of Public Health yesterday officially denied rumours concerning the alleged food shortages on [SyG1(Impmine). Imperial citizens living on [PlG1(Impmine) have voluntarily agreed to take part in an austerity program which has been devised by the Surgeon General, Doctor Hannibal Crippen-Mengel in the interests of public health.

"Food production in recent years has been so high," explained Doctor Crippen-Mengel, "that citizens have often exceeded their recommended caloric intake. Accordingly, we proposed a dietary programme designed to restore optimal body weight and condition, and this has been unanimously and enthusiastically adopted by the entire population."

The Imperial Herald deplores in the strongest terms the attempts made by enemies of the Empire to present this far-sighted and beneficial public programme in a negative light. The maliciousness and falsehood of these rumours is still more evident when it is considered that [PlG1(Impmine)'s was among the major contributors to the Imperial Charitable Aid programme, which delivers surplus stocks of food and other essentials to less-developed planets which do not yet enjoy the benefits of Imperial rule.

DIRECTOR RESIGNS AS EMPIRE ROBS DELTA TO PAY TAU

S.L.A.M

The director of the Food Services division of the giant [CrL1 Corporation has taken early retirement following allegations that he had received bribes from members of the Imperial Family in exchange for preferment in food supply contracts.

Aides to director V.U. Buffay Delamaird, denied strenuously that his withdrawal had been in any way connected with the allegations, and cited instead health and personal concerns as the reasons for his decision. His replacement has not yet been named. The [CrL1 Corporation has been heavily criticised for its dealings with the Empire, which is alleged to be carrying out a punitive programme against rebellious planets by engineered food shortages.

A report from the human rights organization Amnesty Interstellar claims that [CrL1Co has been buying food originally produced on [SyG1(Impmine), which is currently in the grip of a severe famine. The deal is alleged to have netted several prominent members of the Imperial Household, including Crown Prince Harry, personal profits in excess of a one billion credits. The Imperial press continues to deny rumours of famine, and yesterday described the Amnesty report as "an intricate and malicious tissue of lies". [Zz(1)

ALIENS ATE MY BEWICK'S!

S.L.A.M

Rare animal collector [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) of Bigg's Colony (Altair) was startled on his return home to discover that the pride of his collection, a rare Earth bird called a Bewick's swan, had disappeared. Close investigation of the premises of his 8,000 hectare private zoo revealed nothing but a few feathers and a patch of disturbed grass.

The mystery was only resolved the following day, when local vet [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) was called out to attend Dolbison's two Rigelian vinemonkeys, semi-sentient carnivores from Cooperworld (Aymiay). The vinemonkeys were found to be suffering from protein shock after eating the swan, and had to be put down. [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) is now said to be looking for an even rarer creature, the Quito Herfurari, to console himself.

INRA PATROL FAILS TO CONFIRM 'THARGOID' SIGHTINGS

S.L.A.M

INRA scout ships operating near the Northern Edge returned to base after failing to find any trace of unidentified starships reported by free traders. Reports had reached officials on [SyR(F edge) of sightings of vehicles which did not outwardly conform to known human types, and there is concern in the sector over the number of ships which have gone missing in the area during the past two years.

An INRA spokesman was keen to play down any fears of renewed conflict or the reappearance of the feared Thargoids. "We have no reason to believe that Thargoid forces are operating anywhere in human space. INRA combat vehicles were despatched as a purely precautionary measure and, despite the use of advanced detection equipment, failed to detect anything which could indicate a Thargoid presence. The small number of reports that have reached us speak only of 'unidentified' vehicles, and examination of digital recordings made by witnesses has not revealed any of the emission signatures characteristic of Thargoid craft.

Until we have any evidence to the contrary, we must presume that the human victories of the 3150s were conclusive." The INRA task force will remain in the sector to carry out training and antipiracy operations.

INFERENCE OF THARGOID MENTAL PROCESSES FROM COMBAT RECORDS

S.L.A.M

By cross-indexing variables extracted from combat records of both human and Thargoid space vehicles with brain patterns and personality profiles of human pilots, scientists at the Alien Studies Institute (Alioth) have constructed what they claim to be an accurate model of Thargoid mental processes.

The model, constructed by a multidisciplinary team of human scientists and artificial intelligences, has so far been verified only by using it to regenerate combat maneuver sequences and tactical decisions, but a press release issued by the centre claims that the model reproduces observed behaviour with better than 99% accuracy. Former combat pilots asked to engage the model in simulated dogfights report that it responds convincingly.

"It felt just like bug-busting all over again. That thing flies like a Thargoid and it attacks like a Thargoid." said one veteran.

Critics of the experiment have suggested that the team, led by Professor Stefano Martinengo and Dr Gianna Cerri of the Federal Academy on Lee (Epsilon Indi), have invalidated their experimental results by the way in which they selected the parameters for extraction.

"Simulating Thargoid behaviour is not difficult. Any VR-game manufacturer can do as much," said Dr Joseph Andrews of the Alien Studies Institute (Alioth).

"It will take more than that to convince me that Martinengo's team have any real new insights into what made the Thargoids tick, buzz and whir."

The experimenters remain optimistic, however, and hope that simulations using their model may perhaps reveal something of the reasons behind the Thargoids' dramatic defeat and subsequent disappearance.

ANOTHER BORDER VIOLATION AT [SyG1(disput)

S.L.A.M

Starships of the Imperial Border Patrol at [SyG1(disput) clashed yesterday with Federation ships that had illegally entered Imperial space. No shots were fired, and the intruders quickly turned tail when confronted with the numerically smaller but technologically superior Imperial detachment.

This latest incident conforms to a pattern of provocation on the part of the Federation, which appears to feel itself now free to disregard the agreements concerning [SyG1(disput) signed at [PlL1(2) less than two years ago. The Imperial ambassador at [PlG1(disput) has protested formally to the Federation authorities.

IMPERIAL CRUISERS THREATEN SCIENTIFIC MISSION

S.L.A.M

A three-ship scientific expedition operating in the recognised neutral zone at [SyG1(disput) was yesterday forced to withdraw from the zone by Imperial warships operating beyond the limits of their own agreed zone.

Although the research vessels were clearly within neutral space, they were forced to cut short their mission and retire in response to the aggressive conduct of the Imperial pilots, who repeatedly 'buzzed' the unarmed Federation craft. A protest has been issued on behalf of the Ministry of Science by the Ambassador at [PlG1(disput).

RENEWED IMPERIAL-FEDERATION TENSION AT [SyG1(disput)

S.L.A.M

Tensions continue to run high at [SyG1(disput), with both sides up to their usual tricks. In the latest incident, Federation spy ships clashed with Imperial fighters somewhere inside the orbit of [PlG1(disput), the mineral-rich planet that lies at the centre of the grudgingly-agreed neutral zone.

Independent observers suggest that the encounter took place just outside the 1.2AU radius that marks the limits of Imperial space in the system, although it appears that the Federation vessels may have been leaving the Imperial-controlled zone when challenged.

Exact determination of the treaty boundaries within the system has become increasingly difficult due to unexplained inaccuracies in the data transmitted by navigation beacons in the system. Traders operating in [SyG1(disput) are advised to exercise caution, both with respect to the possibility of being caught up in hostilities, and on account of the increasing unreliability of navigation and positioning aids maintained by both the Federation and the Empire at [SyG1(disput).

BOFFINS CAN'T COUNT, SAY IMPIE STARBUSTERS

S.L.A.M

Hot-shot Imperial pilot [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) (26 standard years, green eyes, black hair, A++ handsome, pansexual) sneered at Fed claims that [SlL1("his","her") Elite starfighter squadron had been out of bounds when they tackled Federation intruders at [SyG1(disput).

"These so-called scientists couldn't find the dance-floor in a slam-funk-rock club." [SlL1("he","she") told us yesterday.

We don't know who's right, but our Post-Editing Department voted [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) the star buster they'd most like to have patrolling their borders. Way to go, Commander!

[SyG1(disput) CONFLICT CONTINUES

S.L.A.M

Worrying spectre of tampering looms in [SyG1(disput) conflict. An independent study of reported innacuracies in data transmitted by navigation beacons in [SyG1(disput) has raised the possibility that the cause may have been deliberate tampering with the beacon units.

Starships generally navigate by reference to distant astronomical objects whose position is known - such as quasars and bright stars - but in populated systems astronomical navigation methods are supplemented by positioning information transmitted by orbital stations and navigation beacons. Deliberate alteration of the signals transmitted by these beacons would clearly endanger civilian traffic, so that even in wartime most combatants have tended to respect the navigation infrastructure maintained by the Independent Astronautical Authority.

An IAA spokesman yesterday described the Implications of the study team's report as "deeply worrying", but declined to point the finger at either the Empire or the Federation, calling attention instead to the report's conclusion that beacons maintained by both sides showed similar inaccuracies. Both the Empire and the Federation have hotly denied suggestions of tampering, and stressed that their own investigations into the cause of the errors are continuing. [Zz(1)

CONGRATULATIONS - IT'S AN ANDROID!

S.L.A.M

For about the past ten centuries or so, expectant parents have seldom needed to wait until the moment of birth to discover the sex of their child. Modern medical science has advanced to the point that even when the child has been conceived naturally, it is possible to determine accurately after as little as eight weeks, not merely the sex of the child but also skin, hair and eye colour, susceptibility to genetic diseases, and even its earned point average during its first year at university, probable career choice and likely starting salary. Nevertheless, scientists at [PlL1(C) yesterday celebrated a first with the successful birth of the first human infant to undergo in utero Implantation of synthetic components. The infant, born to a trio of asteroid miners, was conceived without proper medical supervision, and ran the risk of being born with a rare congenital heart defect.

Doctors at the University Medical Hospital in [CiL1(C) opted to try a novel nanosurgery technique to install replacement synthetic heart valves in the growing fetus. The technique had been practiced on simulacra, but had never been tried with a human patient before.

The birth was uneventful, and mother and child are both doing well.

WHAT'S BUGGING YOU, BIRTHDAY BOY?

S.L.A.M

Workmates of [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) thought that they'd got the perfect birthday surprise for their friend when they ordered a Tharg-o-Gram for [SlL1("him","her") to help him celebrate [SlL1("his","her") hundred and first birthday.

Unfortunately, [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) (52) was new at the job, and - wearing [SlL3("his","her") Thargoid suit - wandered the hallways of the Fourmi de Lierre Arcology on [PlR for over an hour before finding the Vapona residence.

In the meantime, alert neighbours had called the police, so that when [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) burst into the apartment with a shout of "Happy anniversary, alien scum!" [SlL3("he","she") was met with a volley of laser fire.

"Next time I think I'll knock first, and say who I am." said Gregor from [SlL3("his,"her") bed in the Serious Burns Unit at [CiR(C) Hospital.

BACK TO EARTH WITH A LUMP, AS NULL-G FROLICS GO WRONG

S.L.A.M

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) (197 standard years) is suing the Club 180-300 holiday company for injuries sustained during the course of a zero-G recreation period.

Owing to an error, Club 180-300 employees assumed that the darkened zero-G cell in which [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) and [SlL1("his","her") companion of the moment were enjoying the thrills of weightlessness was not in use, and restored gravity, plunging the couple to the floor below. [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2), who sustained severe bruising (see holograph), cut short [SlL1("his","her") holiday and returned to Earth to initiate legal action against the company and its owners.

THORIUM PEACE' IN "REWARD FOR RELATIVES" ROW

S.L.A.M

The Prosecutor-General on [PlL3(A) has opened an investigation into allegations that members of the nuke-rock group 'Thorium Peace' offered money in exchange for members of a local religious sect.

According to reports, lead singer [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) urged fans to "sell us your relatives, anyone you don't need. We'll pay double for anyone wearing a religious symbol." before biting the head off a robot on stage.

Robot rights groups and fundamentalist members of the local Deformed Mesopotamian Church joined in condemning the group and calling for legal action to be taken against the promoters of the current tour.

Nemillah, 87, was unrepentant.

"It was just a bit of fun." [SlL1("he","she")asserted from his suite in the Maximum Security wing of the [CiL3(A) Hilt-Inn. "Anyway, religious groups should be persecuted from time to time, otherwise they forget what they believe in."

SLAVE RIGHTS AGITATOR DIES

S.L.A.M

[OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2), speaker for the banned Emancipation Movement at Bessport on [PlG3(I) died yesterday in hospital, despite the efforts of top Imperial surgeons who fought tirelessly to save [SlG1("him","her").

The cause of death was apparently a rare disease, which manifested itself while [OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2) was meeting with Imperial officials at police headquarters to discuss the status of [SlG1("his","her") organization. A hospital spokesman praised quick-thinking police officials who sealed off the building to avoid any risk of contamination before rushing [OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2) to hospital.

Happily, tests quickly confirmed that the disease was not contagious, and none of the officers who had been talking to the victim when [SlG1("he","she") fell ill had been exposed to any risk of infection.

[OoG4([FmG5,[FfG5), the deceased's life companion yesterday publicly thanked those involved for their efforts to save [SlG4("his","her") partner's life, which was described as "a shining example of the generosity and justice with which the servants of the Empire treat even those whose political misconceptions place them outside the mainstream of Imperial society" adding that [SlG1("his","her") purpose in voluntarily visiting police headquarters had been to clarify some remarks that made earlier which might have been misinterpreted as being critical of Imperial policy.

ANOTHER DEATH IN CAPTIVITY; JOURNALIST IN FLIGHT TO FEDERATION

S.L.A.M

The "Frontier News" journalist [OoG4([FmG5,[FfG5) arrived yesterday at [PlG3(I) with [SlG4("his","her") close family after escaping from the Empire using false identities.

The reporter's nightmare began on Tuesday when an Imperial Security team arrested [SlG4("his","her") friend and colleague, the emancipation activitist [OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2) who later died in police custody, most probably as a result of injuries sustained during interrogation.

This latest death brings to twelve the number of people known to have died in custody on [PlG3(I) in the last six standard months. An Imperial communique claimed that the victim had died of an unspecified illness, which certainly makes an interesting change from [SlG1("his","her") predecessors, who succumbed variously to the notoriously unsafe stairs in police headquarters, mysterious traffic accidents or the inexplicable urge to conduct experiments in man-powered flight from the roofs of tall buildings.

The Imperial claim that those who disagree with Imperial policy are of genetically inferior stock is given some plausibility by the fact that so many dissidents appear to have difficulty remembering to look both ways when crossing the transbelt, but we can't help wondering what disease could have struck down the apparently healthy citizen quite so suddenly and at such an inopportune moment.[Zz(1,2,3)

BULLETIN BOARD ABUSERS SENTENCED TO HARD LABOUR

S.L.A.M

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) and [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4), two Riedquatian lawyers who thought they'd come up with the perfect advertising dodge, were yesterday sentenced to ten years hard labour each, at the [PlL(A) high court.

The scheme invented by [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) and [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) involved infiltrating messages advertising their services into private and public mailboxes on the independent bulletin board trading system.

The message was relayed via the Interstellar subspace communications network to an estimated nine thousand systems, and consumed approximately 4% of the available transmission bandwidth over a period of several weeks. [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) and [OoL3([FmL3,[FfL3) will serve their sentence on [PlL4(5), where temperatures can drop as low as 198 degrees Centigrade at night, and the local parasites have adapted admirably to human hosts.

The editorial staff would like to join with all those subscribers whose copies of "Frontier News" arrived late as a result of [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) and [OoL3([FmL3,[FfL3)'s little pranks in wishing the Arc Suit lawyers a very pleasant stay in their new home.

MATHEMATICAL PROOF CLAIMED FOR 'OCTA-WAVE' THEORY

S.L.A.M

One popular theory proposed to account for the sudden appearance and equally sudden disappearance of the Thargoids received - in the eyes of its supporters at least - a renewed boost recently with the publication of a mathematical model purporting to confirm the predictions made by the theory.

The 'octa-wave' theory, like many others, begins from the observation that no Thargoid home planet has been discovered, and proposes that the Thargoids are a migratory species making their home in deep space. The model claims to support the central idea of the theory, namely that the Thargoid vessels encountered in human space were merely one vertex of a vast octagonal array of migrating ships slowly rotating its way through our galaxy.

According to the theory, it is possible that other parts of the migration may in their turn pass through human space, with, no doubt, dire consequences. Professor Ghesrabeen's analysis seems compelling, but other scientists remain unconvinced.

"If I postulated as many missing data points as he does, and applied half as much computer time, I could give you convincing proof that the Thargoids were writing out the lyrics to Jjagged Bbanner's 'Zirconium Stardrive' in letters six parsecs tall." said one.

COLONY SHIP DETECTED

S.L.A.M

Astronomers using Excessively Long Baseline Interferometry (ELBI) to conduct a survey of distant radio sources believe that they may have detected the "Mayflower 97" slower-than-light colony ship, which was launched from orbit around Luna in 2097.

ELBI remains a somewhat inexact science, because receiving stations are placed so far apart that considerations of simultaneity become an issue in interpreting the results, but the patterns received by the Distant Radio Survey group do indeed appear to show radio emissions characteristic of a Bussard ramjet moving with a relativistic velocity of almost 60% of the speed of light. The "Mayflower 97" carried nearly a thousand passengers and crew, plus domestic animals and extensive gene banks to aid in the colonisation of Earth-like worlds which were presumed to exist around nearby stars.

Archaeological evidence suggests that it did indeed successfully reach its first port of call at Tau Ceti, but the fate of both ship and crew thereafter was unknown until now.

The ship's tremendous speed in real space makes it Impractical to attempt a rendezvous, so the "Mayflower" will presumably be left to continue on its way, bearing with it any descendants of its original complement.

FEVER OUTBREAK UNDER CONTROL

S.L.A.M

Federation medical teams sent to [PlG1(F edge) ([SyG1(F edge)) believe that they have now successfully contained a dangerous outbreak of Sohalian fever, and the number of new cases being reported is declining steadily.

No exact figures are available for the number of people who died before the intervention of the specialists, but it is believed that it may have been in the tens of thousands. [CiG1(F edge) on [PlG1(F edge) is still under quarantine, and visitors to any other city on the planet will be required to undergo medical screening before being allowed to leave.

Starship captains are reminded that the local Federation naval authorities are required to enforce quarantine, and that no person or vessel will be permitted to leave the system without completing full decontamination procedures.

WASTING FEVER LEAVES [CiG1(F edge) A GHOST CITY

S.L.A.M

In contrast to optimistic official reports issued by the Federation, eyewitnesses painted a horrific picture of the devastation caused by an outbreak of Sohalian fever on [PlG1(F edge). The origins of the present outbreak are still unknown, but unofficial estimates suggest that the death toll may be as high as three hundred thousand.

The Federation authorities reacted swiftly to initial reports of the disease, Imposing a complete news blackout and martial law and grounding all starships landed at the time.

Travellers from [CiG1(F edge), where the disease was first reported, were placed under medical confinement or sent back to the local Federal civic headquarters. Credible reports suggest that initially at least the disease was allowed to run its course, and that Federation medical teams did not intervene until forty-eight hours after the first reported cases.

One source commented "The reason that no new cases have been reported is because there's practically no one left to infect in the entire system."

Observers also speak of Federation shock troops being used to enforce quarantine, and of running battles between the elite units and elements of the local militia that attempted to oppose the seizure of transport and communications hubs.

MEDICAL PROCEDURES VIOLATED ON [PlG1(F edge)

S.L.A.M

Officials of the Independent Centre for Disease Control criticised the Federation authorities of [PlG1(F edge) yesterday for failing to observe standard procedures for handling an outbreak of a Severity 9 infectious disease.

Standard practise requires that the ICDC be informed within twelve hours of the first reported case of any disease classified as Severity 7 or above, but reports of the outbreak of Sohalian fever on [PlG1(F edge) did not reach the ICDC for nearly three days, by which time Federation medics had already been sent in.

The ICDC was also investigating allegations that no medical assistance was sent to the site of the first outbreak until forty-eight hours after positive identification of the disease, although quarantine procedures were apparently enforced immediately. Sohalian fever has broken out three times since it was first observed on [Pl(I edge), where it killed more than six million people.

Conditions on [PlG1(F edge) and the rapid response of the Federation authorities appear to have prevented the spread of the disease, but the final death toll is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands. [Zz(1)

AUTOMUTAGENIC EFFECT CITED TO EXPLAIN WASTING FEVER LETHALITY

S.L.A.M

Researchers at the Independent Centre for Disease Control yesterday released details of the process by which parasites causing Sohalian fever are believed to acquire resistance to antibodies in the human immune system. One of the most dangerous features of the disease is that it appears to be caused not by a single parasite, but by a trio of related organisms, whose rapid mutation rate renders effective innoculation strategies difficult.

According to the ICDC, the organisms may in fact mutate in response to toxins generated in the bloodstream by parasites killed by the immune system. This fits well with the observed symptoms of the disease, in which a mild fever - caused by the initial infection - gives way to the more virulent form of the disease as the parasites evolve towards more lethal variants.

"The irony is," says Dr Walter Holland of ICDC, "that a person with no immunity to the disease may be better off than someone who has developed immunity. If the theory is correct, innoculation may practically amount to a death sentence for the person innoculated."

SPACE ME - ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

S.L.A.M

Laserlight'n'neutron-rock'n'vibesvibesvibes and youknowwhereitsat its likehappeningman uh huh uh huh simul-teeny-us rip bop rock'n'stop shake it too utterly cosmic for words pictures sounds media total media did we mention the media media overload with raw sex cerebral stimulation its a gas gas gas the total soman experience canyouhandleit canyouhandleit its the nazz media overload snow white not sensory deprivation but sensory depravation no way slam funk Big Bang rock-sounds know where i'm coming from totaltimespacetrip big cosmic sharkout with koolvibes language abuse totally cruel and left extraposition with deep structure and fricative shift cantstayaway youknowitmakessense awesome transgalactic linkup betterthanlive tickets ONLY fiftyninecredits eightynine with drugsex option guaranteed hipraunch totally space me. (This announcement void where prohibited by law).

"I MARRIED A ROBOT" SAYS MOTHER OF TWO

S.L.A.M

Karelia Capek (46 standard years) had a nasty shock when she came home unexpectedly from her work as a gene sorter at Helix Industries - she found hubby Rossum in bed with a mains adaptor. The cheating mechanoid admitted that he had lied to her. Despite his human appearance, Rossum was actually a robot, built over a hundred years ago by Wollstonecraft Industries of [PlR(C).

"I never suspected a thing." sobbed Karelia afterwards, "although I did think it strange that he seemed to slip into a coma on our honeymoon, and spent the rest of the week huddled up to the shaver socket in the bathroom." "I did it for love." confessed Rossum. "Human females have an attraction for me that my own kind can never have." "I still love him." admitted Karelia. "but I can't live with him now that I know his secret."

A-MAZE-ING!

J.J.

Yoke-like substance was observed to adorn the features of Maldus Achiutti, head of Ecosec Inc, employed to advise on security to the Curators of the Lost Gardens of Antipi-Hymbos, Wicca's World (Alioth). For, while discussions were under way last week, thieves removed the famous Hymbos Maze, renowned throughout the universe as the location for the historic Emerald Treaty.

Law enforcement agencies from Argent's Claim are stymied by the heist which involved decoding an encrypted security wall, evading patrolling cyberguards and removing fifteen kilometres of maze-hedging while leaving the surrounding hedge-shield intact. And all this during the seven hour night.

The investigators are to issue recovery contracts to a private investigation agency accredited by the all of the known galactic powers.

But anyone spotting a rogue maze floating about the galaxy - contact us first. Rewards offered include a plexiglass patio complete with hanging baskets and an Astrocroquet lawn with optional herbaceous borders. (Not stolen).

ANTI-POPE TO VISIT GRAHAMHURST

J.J.

Consternation was expressed by many of the delegates to the Annual Federal Theological Synod at the news that Decius Torquemadoc, the Gnostolic Antipope is due to land at Lomasport, Aymiay, later this week to join their deliberations.

The Synod, held traditionally at Grahamhurst University, has not yet included the Gnostolic Anti-religion in their Inventory of Recognised Faiths and Gnostolicism has for long been black-listed by the clerical orders.

It is thought that major demonstrations are being planned by leading clerics to greet the arrival of the Antipope. However, Admiral Bentley, together with an escort of Naval Cruisers has been dispatched from Alpha to prevent the kind of blood letting seen at last year's Synod when the Enthralled Cenobites of Epsilon clashed with the Moderate Chapter of the Two Day Adventists.

EMPEROR ENDORSES HAGIOGICS

J.J.

His most exalted Excellency, Hengist Duval, Protector of the Peace, Friend of the Victims of Crime, Hard on the Causes of Crime, yesterday attended the plenary session of the High Protectorate and graciously accepted the application by the Hagiogic League of Investigation for patronage and conferred His approval. Hagiogics, a branch of interrogation hitherto forbidden by Imperial edict, has recently seen improvements in its operation and its mind-altering side effects are now reduced to His Excellency's satisfaction. It is understood that the League may now tender for the Aliothan contract to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the Hymbos Maze from Wicca's World (Alioth). Naturally, with His Excellency's endorsement and the proven effectiveness of the Hagiogic method, we conclude that the Maze will be returned to its natural habitat by the League with all possible celerity.

IMPERIAL U-TURN

J.J.

Amongst Federal Law Enforcement agencies today, dismay greeted the announcement that the Empire has unexpectedly endorsed the charter of the Hagiogic League of Investigation. Angry crowds protesting against Hagiogics surrounded a branch of the League's offices on Taylor's Colony (Tau Ceti). Police dispersed them after fires broke out.

Yanni Grudazdse, head of Ecodet, (sister company to Ecosec whose Aliothan operations have recently been interrupted by the theft of the Hymbos ) was quoted as follows: "Hagiogics, even with recent improvements, still pose a major threat to the liberty and sanity of the organic individual. No reputable detective agency dreams of using this method and no responsible client considers employing those who do."

It is confirmed that Ecodet heads the list of licensed private agencies who are tendering for the million -credit contract to recover the Maze for its Curators.

IMPERIAL AIDE EATEN BY OWN LINGLANG

J.J.

Sources in Facece report that Prince Aristide de Lavigny, up to recently a close advisor to the Emperor Hengist Duval, was yesterday eaten by a pet linglang in the gardens of his home on Lake Parisot, Topaz.

The linglang, a giant carnivorous sloth-like creature, is a native of New America, Zeessze, and of generally placid nature except when ravenous. It is suggested that its dietary needs had been neglected by its keeper and the animal attacked and consumed its owner in a fit of hunger. Though imported animals are illegal on Topaz, Prince de Lavigny held licences from the Emperor for a menagerie which included the linglang. The menagerie is now dismembered, the neglectful keeper under interrogation and the linglang has been euthanased.

EMPEROR DECREES DAY OF MOURNING

J.J.

His most exalted Excellency, Hengist Duval has graciously declared an Imperial day of mourning to commemorate the sudden demise of His trusted and esteemed advisor, Prince Aristide de Lavigny. Prince de L., who retired from a most honourable career at the Imperial Diplomatic Court earlier this year met with a mysterious accident at his home on Lake Parisot, Topaz.

Speculation is rife that Federal agents were responsible for subverting members of his staff who subsequently engineered the Prince's death. Captain Grieg of the Imperial Guard has been dispatched from Capitol to investigate the circumstances.

The Prince's empty coffin will lie in state in the Capitoline Memorial as a mark of respect and visitors wishing to view it are advised to apply in triplicate to the Imperial Funerary Department.

WHO DUNNIT ?

J.J.

Diplomatic relations between the Empire and Federation are strained this week as controversy rages over the recent death of Emperor Duval's aide, Aristide de Lavigny at his retreat on Topaz, Facece. While initially thought to have been accidentally eaten by a pet linglang, it now appears, from different allegations, that the guy was either murdered by Federation agents disguised as gardeners or knocked off and then fed to the linglang by Facecian agents sent to assassinate him by the Emperor himself.

Either way, we feel it was hard on the linglang who was shot without trial. Haydon Gobbo, the Lainlan wit was overheard observing that Lavigny's empty coffin now lying in state in the Capitoline Memorial would be better filled with the linglang's body since at least that way, Aristide might get a proper funeral.

MAENADS SCOOP PRIZE

J.J.

Private nosies all over the systems have been whining today over the awarding of the Maze Contract to rank outsiders Maenad Investigation Agency. Edge-dwellers, amongst whom we include ourselves, are privately triumphant that one of our own have landed this lucrative prize.

The MIA, based at Wheelhead (Essfafa) also has links with Enaness and employs a number of ex-naval pilots in their investigative team. Ear-to-the-ground info suggests that Commander Divas Segondli will head the team sent to Wicca's World. She it was, if you can remember that far back, who solved the Softmine Case two years ago on Essowa and brought the pirate Bad John Goldberg back for trial.

Looks like Divas might be eligible for our Croquet lawn offer.

CELEBRATED DANCER TO VISIT YORKVILLE

J.J.

Signora Mia Felicita is to break her Federal Tour with an unscheduled performance at the Gynotol Stadium at Yorkville, Ackwada.

The Signora's fame is based on her superb mastery of the hover-ballet form which has brought her critical accolades from Imperial and Federal balletomanes alike. Over the past weeks, she has been performing to packed stadia across the systems accompanied only by a single century of her Aero-choir, the Technicians of Shaped Light - her company of hologramatic artistes - and the music of Jjagged Bbanner.

Her programme consists of two halves - the first entitled 'Agony', a searing interpretation of the horrors of war - and the second: 'Reconstruction', a depiction of the re-birth of planetary endeavour. Audiences across the Federation have been rendered speechless and overwhelmed after her ten-hour performances.

THE GLOSSUP COLUMN - DIVA DIVAS TO MAZE DIVE

J.J.

So, friends, Divas is the lucky girl for the Maze Run! Though some of you may recall her featuring not so luckily in these pages in past days. For, while her head may be simply egg-shaped, her dress sense has been savaged by yours truly once before after that run-in she had with dishy Bad John G.!

Meanwhile. our researchers have come up with a titbit about Maenads. Did you know they were some kind of wild-woman-cats on Old Earth in our distant-est past?

Sounds good to me. I can't help but say our Diva's hair could do with taming and as for the shapeless one-piece tank-suit the Maenads favour, we deem it wildly third millenial! -

So come on, Maenads, let a little style-guile shape your savvy!

NOTORIOUS CRIMINAL SPOTTED

J.J.

Commander Joe Tillerton whose private navigator's school, Tilstar, is based on Ackcanphi, has reported the theft of his Mark Three Cobra while visiting Trojan, Eta Cassiopoeia.

What causes alarm amongst law officers from Achenar through to the Outer Edge is that the thief's identity has been confirmed as Klavdia Malin, the Empire renegade and pirate whose sensational escape from Grant's Claim Prison Colony was reported several months ago. Tillerton asserts that he spotted Malin and an accomplice hanging around the repair depot at Hector Spaceport and while alerting security to their presence accidentally left his craft inadequately sealed.

A working mechanic then deposes she saw the loiterers enter the cruiser and abduct it.

Members of the local Imperial Guard detachment have been invited to join in the investigation into these events.

SACRED PINNACLE VANISHES

J.J.

Speculation was running rampant throughout the Galaxy today as news filtered through of the sudden disappearance of the Holy Pinnacle of KumByar from its mountain on Peter's Eden, Arexack. Violent and acrimonious attacks have broken out between the two different cult factions of the Church of KumByar - known colloquially as the Hairies and the Hairless - each accusing the other of kidnapping the two kilometre-high pinnacle and concealing it for purposes of secret worship.

Sources report that Commander Divas Segondli, the Maenad detective, is hurrying to Axerack to discover whether terra forming equipment has been used in the Pinnacle's removal as it was in the case of the Hymbos Maze, fuelling suggestions that the two disappearances are the work of one gang.

INFAMY PERPETRATED

J.J.

His Exalted Majesty, the Emperor Hengist Duval has indicated today his extreme displeasure on being informed of the extraordinary disappearance of the Triumphian Road.

As all on Capitol know, this road is one of the earliest constructed on our homeworld and is traditionally the route by which His Excellency enters the capitol at the conclusion of any one of His glorious victories.

Now we grieve to see that only a trench in the ground remains where once the granolite flagstones and illustrious statues of past Emperors graced its twelve kilometre length. Luckily, the thieves omitted to remove the execution podia which are spaced at regular intervals along the way so that His Excellency will not be incommoded by the inconvenience of having others constructed.

Thanks are also given that the statue of our present Supreme Leader which was due to be inaugurated within the year remains safely in the workshop of Kynsama Pan, His Excellency's chosen sculptor.

STAR BOOT SALE

J.J.

The word is out around the Edge that Kape and Jarnessy, those engaging Lainlan entrepreneurs, are intending to hold another of their Star Boot Sales at a date to be yet decided.

Our Scouts report the selected venue as Tombstone (Bevergre) - a world at suitable distance, no doubt, from both Imperial scrutiny and Federal interference alike. Their compatriot, the wit, Haydon Gobbo, is rumoured to have been lured by one of Kape's unrefuseable offers into consenting to appear as mediator and we confidently predict that, if this is the case, Tombstone's in for the party to end all parties!

Finally, for those intending to attend, Jarnessy has issued the usual reminders. Hardware will not be looked at. Warranties for soft goods must not be more than two years out of date. Those caught hocking phony of counterfeit wares are banned permanently. Fights to be settled off world.

And somebody remember to bring the Caledonian whisky this time.

ROAD TAKES A WALK

J.J.

Sources close to the Imperial Court report red faces all round this week after a spate of burglaries has severely embarrassed the Duval Dynasty, rendering the Emperor speechless with rage.

For all their vaunted security measures, neither the Imperial Guard nor their police services have been able to prevent the abduction of a long section of the Triumphian Road leading into the city centre of Capitol. This, together with a large number of Imperial portrait-statues went mysteriously missing early last week, causing heads to roll amongst the Guard echelons and confounding their superiors. Imagine their increased frustration when it was discovered two days later that the portrait-statue of the Emperor had likewise been removed from its studio where it was awaiting its installation and has, presumably, joined the Triumphan Road in its unknown travels.

Our spy now informs us that a night-and-day guard has been set on various of the beauty spots of Capitol which the Emperor thinks might prove attractive to a dedicated landscape-rustler.

FATAL ACCIDENT AT STADIUM

J.J.

Federal ballet lovers bowed their heads in mourning this week after the news filtered through from Yorkville (Ackwada) of the fatal accident sustained by celebrated hover-ballerina, Signora Mia Felicita.

Reports suggest that as a result of gyrophonic failure the air banks used to support the dancer's weight proved too insubstantial and Signora Felicita, only three hours into her first half, plummeted to her death in the audience below. Sadly, it is understood that three members of the audience were also killed in this tragedy since the Signora's costume was of great size and heavily sewn with acubium crystals designed to catch the light.

Amongst the dead, co-incidentally, was included Mr Duke Mastopolos of Mastopolos Mining Inc, Signora Felicita's former patron and the organiser of the performance.

The Times would like to extend its condolences to the dancer's family and to all ballet-lovers throughout the Systems.

EMPEROR WELCOMES VISITORS

J.J.

His exalted Excellency, the Emperor Hengist Duval, today magnanimously conferred an audience on Commander Divas Segondli, captain of the Maenad Investigation Team currently enquiring into the unusual disappearances of various geographical and civic phenomena, including the Triumphian Road, the Emperor's statue and the Three Coin Fountain. It is now decreed by His Excellency that M.I.A. shall be given every assistance in their investigation by his subjects and that Commander Segondli shall be allowed access to the relevant areas of Court.

The Emperor's previous edict with regard to the Hagiogic League has been rescinded after revelations of the extent of the brain damage sustained by two members of His Excellency's valued Administrative Staff. This occurred while the League were interrogating them concerning the circumstances surrounding the removal of the Three Coin Fountain.

Addendum. All previous remarks in this organ calling into question the efficiency and professionalism of the M.I.A. are hereby unequivocally withdrawn. It is understood that misrepresentations upon these were fallacious.

We therefore apologise to Commander Segondli and her organisation for our inadvertent opprobrium.

SWOOP FLUKE POOPS DUKE

J.J.

So - she's fallen off her perch at last!

Those of you who read other organs will by now have noted the sudden demise of that budgerigar of ballerinas - Mia Felicita - last seen swooping to her final pas seule amongst the ballet-gapers of Ackwada. And for those of you who don't savvy the lingo, 'pas seule' is how you say 'last bow' in balletese. Thanks to Georgie in Research for that one!

But before you all reach for your tear-moppers, spare a sigh for Duke Mastopolos, one-time bedfellow of the gorgeous Mia. For Duke, galactic industrialist and playboy, together with his current playgirl, Dee Obishi and her sister joined the jewelled aerobat in her dance of death when the luckless soloiste plunged down on top of them.

Uncharitable types might think it a pretty extreme way of taking revenge on two-timing Duke - BUT we reckon he finally got the bird!!

GRAHAMHURST STILL STANDING

J.J.

Order has finally been restored at Grahamhurst University, Cooperworld (Amiay) after three weeks of intense fighting between factions of the Theological Inventorial Inquisition. The Pan-nuministic Research Establishment is now in process of reconstruction and the incendiary fires which consumed the Senate House, lecture halls and refectories are successfully extinguished.

The Federal Theological Synod has for long been the annual scene of bitter recrimination and in-fighting between antipathetical galactic religions but this year, the uninvited arrival of Decius Torqumadoc the Gnostolic Antipope, sparked off demonstrations of unparalleled ferocity. Moreover the presence of a squadron of the FSS designed to damp down ill-feeling was judged to have exacerbated it. Admiral Bentley is now recovering back at Alpha.

The Synod was declared officially dissolved by its president, His Warmth, Frank Seely-Smythe, the Archmitre of the Church of Love, Extila and the application of the Gnostolic anti-faith to be included in the Synodic Inventory was unanimously accepted.

TINKER'S LUMP A WINNER

J.J.

This year the Interplanetary Gardening Fete is to be held in the huge agri-comples of Village Green, Anderton (Anlave). Competitors and horticulturalists from Liannack to Achenar are already arriving with their exhibits and a distinguishing panel of judges has been convened for this important event.

An entire agridome is set aside for the exhibitors from Quphieth who this year are bringing with them a licenced selection of the planimals for which their system is famous. It is thought this section will attract maximum interest since this is the first time any quantity of Quphiethan florna has been displayed off-world since the regrettable Doleviera incident. Strict quarantine arrangements and plexi-soundproofing have been applied to the enclosure for the benefit of planimal and visitor alike.

For those of us interested in potatoes this season promises a healthy crop of showings. Anlave itself has recently developed six new strains of which the potumpkin is the most exotic. But for the true seedsman look out for Tinker's Lump, a honey of a potatello. Grown in the claylands of Carter's World this little beauty displays colour, texture and bags of bottom. A natural winner in its class - it can be found in the Potatadome from tomorrow onwards. See you there!

SEGONDLI ON THE MOVE

J.J.

Excitement gripped Frontier news agencies today as the latest developments in what is being called the 'Great Landmark Heist' were revealed. These exotic burglaries now number thirteen in total and include suck universally famous items as the Hymbos Maze, the Triumphian Road on Capitol, the Sunshadow Cliffs of Topaz (Ayethi) and the Wreakin Castle of Alpha Centauri.

Reports state that Commander Segondli of M.I.A. deputed to retrieve the Maze has widened her remit to include the rest. She now possesses affidavits which prove that terra forming equipment has been purloined from a number of Terra-engineering companies over a period of two years. This she believes to be in the hands of ruthless gang of landmark rustlers whose intentions may be to hold the stolen sites to ransom.

Though she has not revealed her next move, the intergalactic community wait with baited breath for further developments. Divas was last seen heading for Taylor's Colony. Tau watchers, keep an eye out for Maenads!

INFAMY THWARTED

J.J.

It is with the greatest revulsion and disgust that the Herald is obliged to report the attempted assassination of our beloved Emperor Hengist Duval, 15th Emperor of the Galaxy, Defender of the Truth, Chevalier of Justice, Rod of Might, Fount of Mercy and Upholder of the Forty Two Unbreakable Laws, while he presided over the funeral rites of Prince de Lavigny in the Capitoline Memorial yesterday.

However, with abject gratitude for the prompt action of the Imperial Clone Troupers, we are supremely happy to be able to relate that His Ineffable Excellency escaped this dastardly attempt with nothing more than a trivial scratch.

Prayers are being offered up for this wound to heal quickly so that our Magnificent Emperor may once more turn the light of His unscathed countenance onto the more worthy business of his dominions. The two would-be assassins are now in custody and will be brought before the Imperial High Legislate to answer charges of High Treason at His Refulgent Excellency's convenience.

WHO IS THE ASSASSIN

J.J.

News has broken recently of an assassination attempt made last week on the life of Hengist Duval, Emperor of Achenar. Though efforts seem to have been made to hush up the circumstances surrounding this incident, information has leaked through to Inner Core news agencies which suggest that the assassins were members of Prince de Lavigny's family incensed by his recent death at the hands (or should we say at the teeth) of a rogue linglang.

Readers may remember the Empire's laughable insinuations that Federal operatives instigated this unfortunate occurrence but events are beginning to unfold which reveal a darker side to de Lavigny's death. It is now confirmed that both the Prince's sons, Paul and Thibault de Lavigny are being held for trial charged with High Treason and Attempted Regicide.

Earlier reports of the rupture between the Emperor and de Lavigny, previously one of the closest Imperial advisors, and the subsequent enforced retirement of the latter are now being re-examined.

Diplomatic mouths are sealed but Federalists are beginning to ask this question - why should de Lavigny's own sons attempt to kill their father's benefactor?

Just how clean are Imperial hands?

SEGONDLI'S LANDFALL

J.J.

Speculation that the super-dec Divas Segondli, in pursuit of the Hymbos Maze, was heading for Tau proved wildly inaccurate when the Commander and her team stepped onto the deck at Plymouth Spaceport three days ago. Next afternoon, while she was closeted in private confab with the Mothers at Mayflower, your roving reporter managed to interview Segondli's sidekick, Cat Svevo. Svevo - like most Maenads a pretty tough nut to crack - proved uncommunicative until we produced a bottle of Glen Halyconia. Even after a half-pint she refused to reveal more than that M.I.A. are interested in Landfall night life.

Reading between the lines, we wonder if that was a reference to the Landing Rock, Landfall's' most historic sight? For those of you unfamiliar with this place, the Landing rock is made out of mildly radioactive stone which glows in the dark. The local lepidoptera love it.

Has Divas got word that the rustlers are coming our way and does she aim to forestall them?

KUMBYAR AT IT AGAIN

J.J.

Sources on Peter's Eden (Arexack) disclose that building operations on a scale hitherto undreamed of are well under way across the planet. Following the disappearance of the Holy Pinnacle from Mount Abstinence, the Church of KumByar has chosen to disregard the Maenad supposition that those responsible for the abduction of the Hymbos Maze and the Triumphian Road have also made off with the Pinnacle. The religious schism between the Church's two branches - the Folliculars and the Anti-Flocculants - has deepened immeasurably with each side blaming the other for its absence. Violence has erupted in both the Sacred Cities.

The two church leaders, Their Magnificences the Right Holy Ssords Immacc II and Pilose III have mutually agreed to sanction a wall designed to divide the territories of the rival factions and this is now under manual construction. It is estimated that the twelve thousand kilometre wall will take over sixty years to complete and will be visible from Peter's Eden's moon.

RUSTLERS BRANCH OUT

J.J.

Following our last bulletin from Landfall, Wolf 630 we now reveal further developments in the exciting 'Landmark Heist'. Our on-the-spot correspondent, Phineas Mendosa, reports the sudden disappearance this week not only of the famous 'Mayflower Old Rock Cafe', one of the few night-spots on Landfall, but also of those daring inter-galactic gumshoes, the Maenads themselves.

The Cafe vanished four nights ago while undergoing refurbishment. Its secluded garden site outside Mayflower City limits leant itself to potential abduction and the fact that it was closed meant that there were no witnesses to observe its departure. Once the consternation caused by this theft dissipated it was realised that the visiting members of the M.I.A. were likewise missing.

Nobody at Plymouth Spaceport has any knowledge of the time or reason for their departure nor what their destination is. However, the City Fathers refuse to be interviewed on this subject which indicates that they have inside information. As for those of us on the Edge, we can only start asking some pertinent questions. For example; have the Rustlers abandoned landmarks and gone into the catering business.

And where's Divas? If she's actually inside the 'Old Rock', let's hope she gets stirred, not shaken.

POTARINAS GALORE!

J.J.

It is often recorded that the agriworld Feynman in Eta Cassiopoea is one of the more boring terrestrial colonies but coming back from a most enjoyable visit to Thrower's Ranch, one of the many agricentres on this delightfully fertile planet, I begin to take exception to the general overview. I expect that there are few things which fail to quicken the blood and cause it to rush to the head so much as a really good potato.

And here, on the broad and well-irrigated lawns of Feynman are such potatoes, such potatelloes, such potarinas and such potariscums as must surely make the eye water and the brain dizzy. Take the local potanip, for instance.

Where but on Feynman can one observe such extended tuber growth, such depth of rootage and such colour? Or the genus Brankel's 'Applelike' - usually the least-loved of potarinas? On Feynman, it grows to enormous size and is of a succulence rivalling that of the Aliothan blandroot.

Rarely in this column can I recommend with such whole-heartedness a vacation destination and to the more discerning seeds-being I say - cast aside your prejudices! Feynman's the place!!

ARCHBISHOP IN MARRIAGE COUNCIL

J.J.

His Uxoriousness, the Archbishop of the Polygamous Branch of the Isagogic Theodicy, Ruden Beale-Xebub, has found himself in hot water recently now rumours of his unrevealed celibacy have been leaked to Federal news agencies. Archbishop Ruden, whose luxurious Palace at Consort, Cooperworld (Aymiay) was once featured in our 'Glorious Domiciles' series, is at present under inquisition by the Marriage Guidance Counsellors of the Hymeneal Church.

Reports suggest that the forty nine wives Beale-Xebub was accredited with, have, under questioning, confessed their status as friends, relations and servants to the Archbishop and all deny any form of marital acquaintance with the prelate.

It is thought that if prolonged celibacy on the part of Beale-Xebub is proved, he will be liable to the most sever defrocking afforded by the Preceptual Banns of the Hymeneal religion.

The last Theodicic cleric to be caught shirking his religious duties in this scandalous way is said to have been subjected to the re-educative Rite of Multiple Betrothal, though it is speculated that Archbishop Ruden may issue a plea of Deranged Impotence in mitigation.

THARGOIDS BACK IN THE NEWS

J.J.

Following the success of their Bevergre Star Boot Sale, that entrepreneurial Lainlan duo, Kape and Jarnessy, are planning yet another excursion into the field of zany commercial enterprises.

They plan an exhibition and auction of Thargoid Memorabilia to be held at the New Edge Trade Centre on Birmingham (Diso). Anyone wishing to exhibit or auction accredited Thargoid artefacts or parts should contact 'K & J Scamplans' at the Newsbox, sending holos and certification of the memorabilia offered.

For those of you who left Tombstone before the Star Boot party broke up, news is now coming in that the owner of its venue, Lazar Muir of Widow's Drift, intends to build a sound, fire and substance-proofed leisure dome on the site of the previous (burnt-out) one which will be custom designed for future events. Kape tells us Lazar calmed down after the profits were distributed, so Tombstone is back on the tourist map again.

TRIUMPH RETURNS TO CAPITOL

J.J.

Flags were flying all over Capitol today to celebrate the inauguration of the new section of the Triumphian Road which has been rebuilt in record time after its shameful abduction earlier in the year. His Exalted Excellency, the Emperor, was pleased to cut the porphyrian ribbon signalling its reinstatement and subsequently graciously presided over the official unveiling of his portrait statue which the Imperial Sculptor Kynsama Pan had replaced after the original was ignominously stolen.

All present agreed that the new likeness of our glorious leader very nearly does justice to his lofty countenance and noble bearing and is a not unworthy tribute to the ineffable magnanimity and grace which characterises His benevolent reign.

A hundred and twenty malefactors were executed on the podia which have been refurbished along the road in honour of His Excellency and as a deterrent to criminals contemplating any further raids upon the splendid civic monuments of our civilisation.

SEGONDLI FOUND IN ACKSOEX

J.J.

After much ominous silence the good news is in. M.I.A. agent Divas Segondli has been sighted since our last issue in the region of the Acksoex system - one of our edgier Edge colonies though to be an even more peril-packed location than Phekda.

For those of you with dodgy memories, Divas contracted to locate several missing galactic landmarks, disappeared in her cruiser after a short visit to Landfall, Wolf 630, presumably in pursuit of the famous Mayflower Old Rock Cafe which was lifted prior to her departure.

Reports suggest that she is hot on course since, although she returned the communication signals of our informants, she messaged through a red vapour scan indicating that her mission was too secret to be transmitted or interrupted. Our informants say that they tried to follow her hyper space imprint but lost her on the Edge. There have been no other major geographical burglaries since the Cafe heist and we can only hope that this is a sign of success on her part.

The News' most seasoned war correspondent are now hurrying to the dangerous anarchic settlements of Acksoex to check out the reason for Divas' visit to that system and her possible next destination.

M'BONO REPORTS FROM ACKSOEX

J.J.

Reports returning from our war correspondent based at Hammer's Fist, Home (Acksoex) reveal that reporters from most of the inter-galactic news centres are now converging on Acksoex after information concerning Commander Segondli's visit to the planet was recently disseminated. Our chief correspondent, Lemeul M'Bono, sends us this bulletin:

"Today history was made at the settlement of Hammer's Fist when a number of visitors exceeded the number of local inhabitants for the first time. Hammer's is a little known backwater of Home (Acksoex) populated entirely by retired smugglers, pirates and renegades from the Thargoid Wars. This unsavoury collection of third-hand organics has the reputation of being the meanest set of lawless racketeers in the entire zone so it is perhaps as well that war correspondents have started to out-number them. The Times has set up an HQ in 'Home's Hepplewhite' - Hammer's only hotel and prices are rising daily as more reporters fly in."

Already supplies of 'Sudor Juice' - Home's equivalent of white spirit - are beginning to run out and the News has generously put its transport budget into ferrying in fresh supplies. We will keep our readers updated as and when M'Bono's exciting communications are received.

SEEDWORM FIASCO

J.J.

It's always an honour for me when I'm asked to attend major horticultural shows around the Universe and so I was recently overjoyed to be invited to open the Greystoke Jungle Arboretum on Biggs Colony in the Altair system. Undoubtedly many of you are familiar with the amenities of this fascinating world - its tropical flora and fauna constantly draw biologists and botanists from many corners of the Universe so you'll be unsurprised to hear that I was eager to avail myself of the opportunity for a really good poke around the Arboretum.

Close to the major tourist centre of Sweathley, it stretches for seventy square kilometres, most of which is landscaped and domed to protect visitors from some of the more dangerous insect life that Biggs is plagued with. The tropical trees and creepers are quite interesting and the place has a certain picturesqueness but, of course, my attention was immediately focused on the potato-bearing capacity of the gardens. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered the soil samples that I took were most unpromising with regard to a good yield of any but the most hardy potarellos.

Moreover the Botanical Supervisors assert that the grounds are infested with seedworm - a parasite harmless to tropical vegetation but absolutely inimical to root crops! Ultimately a somewhat fruitless visit.

Dedicated gardeners take note - Carter's World and Feynman can offer you a much more worthwhile vacation.

HILDA'S HANDY HUNCH

J.J.

Well, you would-be gumshoes certainly went zap-happy over last issue's competition - 'How I'd dog dematerialising Diva's dust trail.' Wow, what a lot of you entered! Our Editor here at RIG set up an entire department to deal with your suggestions and what cute ones they were too! Sadly we binned the entries where you volunteered your bloodhounds and pointers - (Editors note: 'dog' meant 'follow', not 'canine' you litterheads) but keep trying anyway -we'll make the next competition a bit easier for you.

WOW! So, here's this issue's prize-winner, chosen from hundreds of other hypermegafantabobulous entries, and it's from Hilda O'Grunenzweig of Conversion (Formalhaut) who says:

"If I wanted to dog Diva's dust trail, I'd invent a kind of tracking vacuum device which sort of hoovered it all up as she went along and showed me where she was going.' CREATIVE, Hilda - babe! Your suggestion is already floating over the ether to Acksoex where RIG'S team of Diva-doggers are waiting to act on it.

If they pin the evaporating private eye down first - there'll be an extra bonus prize winging its way to Conversion, honey!

FEDERAL IMPROPRIETY IMPEDES IMPERIAL MISSION

J.J.

Reports received from the Imperial Observers suggests that the situation on Home (Acksoex) is rapidly worsening. Due to overcrowding, the facilities at Hammer's Fist, scene of the biggest gathering of Galactic journalists since the Thargoid Wars are now stretched to their limits and prices for simple comestibles have become criminally expensive.

Fighting has broken out between the indigenous population and factions of journalists which recently ended in severe injury to several of the Imperial reporters.

His exalted Excellency has, in His unremitting mercy, been moved by the lamentable mistreatment of our employees and agreed in a contingent of the Second (Internal) Protectorate to aid our plight and restore the dignity of the Imperial name.

Most heinously, an alcohol cartel set up and run by members of the Federal Times and abetted by other Federal News Agencies has gained the support of key local officials who are now hampering our endeavours to discover the truth concerning the recent visit to Hammer's Fist of Commander Divas Segondli, Personal Detection Officer to His Exalted Excellency.

MALIN'S MALAISE

J.J.

Sources inform us that Kladvia Malin, the escaped Imperial outlaw and freebooter has been apprehended in the past few days by combined Imperial and Federal Naval forces acting on an anonymous tip-off. Malin, who made a spectacular escape from the so-called impregnable High Security Gaol at Grant's Claim last year was captured after a long running battle with six naval cruisers just outside the Bevegre system. We're told she was still in possession of the Mark Three she swiped off Joe Tillotson of Tilstar and evidence taken from her cruiser suggests that she was in the process of conducting negotiations with another notorious buccaneer to acquire a larger vessel in order to resume her depredations.

Kape and Jarnessy, the Lainlan entrepreneurs, have asked us to issue on their behalves a specific denial that Malin was either present at their Star Boot Sale held recently at Widow's Drift or that they had any inkling of her proximity. However, Haydon Gobbo their compatriot hinted last night that nay sizeable funds entering their banking systems in the near future might be put down to bounty payments.

ANARCHY HITS HAMMER'S FIST

J.J.

From Hammer's Fist, Home, Acksoex, Lemuel M'Bono sends this report:

"Today the 'Home's Hepplewhite, home to a hundred and thirty hard-core journalists, was under siege when hosts of Imperial reporters, backed by recidivists from the local community delivered a barrage of missiles and insults at the hotel. Barricading ourselves inside, we returned fire and the situation might have deteriorated had not a courageous group of Frontier correspondents armed with 'Sudorjuice Cocktails' launched a rear attack on our aggressors from Mrs Doom-Parker's Boarding House."

The assault was eventually quelled by the newly-formed 'Home Police Department' (HPD), an ad hoc organisation composed of members of the Hammer's Fist citizenry who have declared their intention of reimposing order on the settlement. Incensed by reports that the Emperor, Hengist Duval is dispatching a Naval war fleet to 'protect' his literary hacks, we are now petitioning the Federal Government to retaliate appropriately so that our faithful and hard-working employees in Acksoex may enjoy the protection they so richly deserve.

FRONTIER IN DANGER

J.J.

Our roving war correspondent Jamal al Billington reports from Acksoex. Things are certainly getting volatile here on Home. In the past week, relations between Imperial and Federalist correspondents have approached meltdown and the presence of Naval contingents from both powers in the vicinity of this trouble spot are encouraging certain neutral elements to turn for succour elsewhere.

Although we categorically state that the Frontier Newshounds are uninvolved with any negotiations it's increasingly obvious that the loonier hotheads amongst the Indie agencies are forming alliances with some of the Acksoex connection. In other words, the utter unsavouries representing the New Dallas Gazette, Hoaen, the Xym Yang Noseflute, Canlaen, plus both the Scientist's Newsmag and the People's Grauniad of Metastasis, Ayarin, to say nothing of the perfidious pseudo-journalists of RIG, are trying to reel in help from the piratical associates of the local community resident at Hammer's Fist.

Escape from this potentially cataclysmic situation is proving impossible - the various Naval craft have set up a net which prevents unaligned ships from leaving the Home stratosphere and diplomacy appears to be unavailing in the worsening climate of recrimination, violence and alcohol-crazed madness. We implore readers of this article to join with our editors in representing the dangers of our plight to all or any influential galactic governments, regardless of their politics, just as long as they come and get us out of this mud-hole immediately!

INFAMY APPEASED

J.J.

His Exalted Excellency, the Emperor Hengist Duval has graciously indicated His willingness to have His sublime person conveyed from the Capitoline Palace tomorrow for the purpose of inspecting the condition of section of Triumphian Road which was unexpectedly returned to us several nights ago.

As reported previously, original road was stolen by person or persons unknown and its renovation inaugurated by His Ineffable Excellency only recently. Now that the original has been returned discussions are in progress amongst his Excellency's High Legislate as to what to do with the superfluous section and in particular where it might be appropriate to site the original statue of His Supreme Excellency and the Three Coins Fountain (both replaced) which disappeared at roughly the same time and now returned.

His Celestial Excellency is rumoured to be mildly disquieted over the quantity of funds requisitioned by certain of His ministers which were channelled into the hasty and unnecessary rebuilding of our civic monuments.

The only clue as to why these strange events occurred was a brief document left attached to the neck of the Emperor's statue purporting to be from the 'peace And Light Landmark Relocation Army'. An investigation into this hitherto unknown faction is now under way. Moreover the search for Commander Segondli, the Maenad detective, has been abandoned and the Naval contingent from Acksoex has returned to base.

LANDMARKS FLY BACK

J.J.

We are pleased to be able to report that the ugly situation which was threatening Federal relations with Duval's journalistic lackeys over the copyright issue has been fortuitously resolved by the timely return of most of the large geographical landmarks stolen from their sites some time ago. Lemuel M'Bono, the leader of our expeditionary press corps has now returned from Acksoex, reporting only minor injuries to his team.

Rumours that Federal monies were used to buy off invading pirate forces are strongly denied though M'Bono is quoted as stating his conviction that substantial quantities of Imperial funds were employed for this purpose. The sudden reappearance of the missing landmarks has caused a flurry of investigative activity and speculation which is intensified by the revelation that many of the landmarks have seemingly been returned by different groups of abductors.

While the restitution of the Sunshadow Cliffs of Ayethis and the Loudly Humming Groves of Lainla were accredited to a group calling itself 'The Peace And Light Terrarists' Foundation (sic), that of the Wreakin Castle, Alpha and the Violet Pool, Arctarus and several other Federal sites was ascribed to the 'Reconstructed Liberation Front Of Peace And Light Eco-Warriors'.

Sources inform us that the Imperial landmarks were returned by yet a third sectarian group. As yet, no indication of the motives of any of these factions has been disclosed and the prolonged absence of Commander Segondli, dispatched some time ago to retrieve the stolen items, continues to cause concern.

THE HEROES RETURN

J.J.

The normally undemonstrative people of Zeaex yesterday feted Commander Divas Segondli and her crew of Maenad agents when they landed at Newtown Spaceport, Democracy to refit and report their success in retrieving the stolen galactic landmarks.

Their bulletin issued through Zeaex news agencies to the InterG news has been translated from Maenad jargon as follows:

'Having received certain tips from out contacts around and about the Edge and Core, we finally pinned the Peace and Lights down, far into the Uninhabited zone in a new system they have colonised amd named 'Porritt'.

The P and L's are disaffected ecodissidents who had come up with a scam to terraform their new planet using existing geographical locations so as to save money. These guys refer to the landmarks as 'parts' and the whole process as 'Dee-eye-wye'' which we gather is a reference to some an archaic building method. (It is?? Ed)

However, when we got to monitoring distance we found that the group had already split up into factions and were arguing ferociously over how to store the parts (and which were politically kosher and where to put them on the planet and who got to run the Old Rock Cafe etc. etc.) After making contact, diffusing their hostility and engaging in several long, tedious negotiations we wore down the various groups and succeeded in persuading them to return the parts in exchange for immunity to prosecution.

This process now being complete we hereby appeal to our various clients to stump up our fee as per agreement.

Tomorrow celebrations are planned throughout most of the Frontier systems and it is thought that Maenad Central on Wheelhead (Essfafa) are preparing a hero's welcome for their triumphant team.

INFAMOUS ATTEMPT TO CHEAT EMPEROR THWARTED

J.J.

His Exalted Excellency, the Emperor Hengist Duval, today issued a communique stating his displeasure over the means employed by the M.I.A.. Agency in their attempts to retrieve the Triumphian Road and other civic monuments of the Imperial City of Capitol. Firstly he expresses his extreme disapprobation that the agents concerned ignored the clause of their contract which instructed them to apprehend the persons of the malefactors and deliver them up to the due process of Imperial Law.

May we at the Herald endorse this entirely reasonable complaint since crimes of this heinous order should always be dealt with at the highest level by His Supreme Excellency and not left to the arbitrary whims of subordinate menials? Secondly He has let it be known that the condition of the monuments when returned was found to be less than perfect which will necessitate expensive renovations when it has been decided where to site them.

Accordingly the fee originally offered of two million credits has been reduced to three thousand as a corrected estimate of the services provided and as a warning to future foreign entrepreneurs not to take advantage of His Transcendent Excellency's renowned generosity.

OBLIGATIONS FULFILLED

J.J.

After many interworld discussions, the Federal government based on Earth today issued a statement regarding the outcome of the situation now referred to as the 'Landmark Affair'.

This states that while it is acknowledged that Commander Segondli's diplomatic efforts and practical effectiveness are recognised and will be rewarded, it is felt necessary to censure her, firstly for failing to keep in communication with the Federal agencies set up for that purpose and secondly for wilfully misleading Federal journalists so that they were obliged to endanger their lives on the highly dangerous planetary environment of Home (Acksoex) when her only purpose in visiting that colony was the highly irresponsible one of picking up stocks of the local eau de vie.

The expense of sending numerous naval vessels to their rescue has therefore been taken into account in the re-calculation of her fee. Thus, it has been declared (after conferring with the representatives of the Empire) that M.I.A.'s fee should be reduced from three million credits initially offered for the return of the seven landmarks to a more reasonable eight thousand and this sum has been transferred to M.I.A.'s bankers in fulfilment of Federal obligations.

BUSINESS AS USUAL ON PETER'S EDEN

J.J.

Contrary to popular expectation it appears that the sudden reappearance of the Sacred Pinnacle on Mount Abstinence, Peter's Eden (Arexack) has lead to an increase in hostilities between the two warring sects of the Church of KumByar rather than their abandonment.

We hear that though the Pinnacle carried a label crediting one of the factions of the Peace and Light Movement with its abduction and restoration, both the Folliculars and the Anti-Flocculants remain convinced that its temporary absence was the work of their schismatic rival. Accordingly, any payments previously negotiated with M.I.A. are now null and void.

As a result of their convictions, the enormous earth-moving activities which are proving necessary to build a wall which is intended to divide the sects are now being stepped up and both Church leaders Pilose III and Immac II have authorised the excavation of moated ditches to border each side once the wall is finished.

Our financial experts have calculated that at this rate, the Church of KumByar will be bankrupt in just over two years time. Meanwhile, construction engineers from all over the Frontier are reportedly rushing to Peter's Eden to offer their services.

MAZE CRAZE MALAISE

J.J.

Don't you find it sad when the smart -asses fall on their buts? No? We didn't think so.

So Diving Divas has taken a plunge... After all that time in space cracking into the bad guys you'd think she'd know when to zap a gangster or two. Or three. OR maybe three hundred.

Makes the heart bleed, huh?

You will have heard the stuff about the Feds and the Imps going cold on her but have you got the latest from Wicca's World? Timon from RIG tells us that by the time the Hymbos Maze gets back to its hole in the ground, it's dead. All those crazy bushes have been left to water themselves by the morons who lifted them. So Wicca won't pay up either. Another dive for the super-sleuth.

They say that what the Maenads have earned from this gig won't go to pay expenses on half the trip. Devastating. Maybe they'll take to running the Federal research library instead.

PASTURES NEW

J.J.

Many of you will be saddened by the news of Piet Lurkbloem's sudden retirement. This hardy horticultural perennial will be grievously missed wherever root crops are held in high esteem and discussed in reverent terms. Happily, our loss is the planet Fenyman's gain since Piet has chosen to spend his declining years there farming its fertile clays and raising his favourite vegetables.

But now, to turn to happier matters. As many of you will know, water gardens have been hitting the news recently so I thought it might be time to change the subject and examine fronds - a much neglected subspecies of the creeper and liana genus. Not many of you may realise that there are many differing families of fronds and thought most of them might, to the untutored eye, appear identical (or at least somewhat monotonously similar) the jungle worlds where they flourish can offer an exciting variety which richly rewards study.

In the next few weeks, I hope to take you on a walk through some of the little-known but fascinating frond-forests of Zeessze, Faessla and Altair accompanied by some of the most knowledgeable frond experts in the Federation. A treat to tempt any gardener interested inexploring the uncharted realms of the pendulous or trailing elements of horiculture - so stay tuned to this column.

PARSIMONY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

J.J.

Today news is flooding in of strange happenings which have occurred in close succession throughout the Core/Edge parts of the Universe recently affected by the notorious Landmark Heist Affair. Sources resident within Imperial Territories report that the section of the Triumphian Road, recently rebuilt by the Emperor Duval has mysteriously disappeared together with its original length which was being stored in a large warehouse on the outskirts of Capitol. Almost at the same time, a number of important Federal civic monuments have been mysteriously removed, one of which is the ancient Trade Centre Tower from Old NewYork and the Stadtmensch Building of Neuberlin (both from Earth (Sol).

Yet a third bulletin refers to the Hanging Baskets of the Lost Gardens of Antipi-Hymbos on Wicca's World. Thought to be a horticultural marvel second only to the Hymbos Maze which is now being restored, these priceless structures have likewise vanished.

A fourth communication states that the Holy Pinnacle has also gone for a walk leaving the Church of KumByar on Axerack once more speechless with rage at itself. Finally, reports are surfacing of the incomprehensible disappearance of a luxury mansion on New Miami, (Quiness) thought to be the holiday name of a gossip columnist from RIG - the psuedo-rag beloved of the illiterati. Unfortunately, these reports are unconfirmed.

We are careful to refrain from commenting on the implications of these latest dematerialisations by Haydon Gobbo, the Lainlan wit was heard to observe that certain investigation agents appear to have caught the newly identified Dee-eye-wye virus. This, apparently, can only be cured by frequent applications to the affected parts of outstanding medicinal wads by those who are now suffering twice from the side-effects of this nasty (albeit entertaining) disease.

If cured in this generous fashion, the patient becomes significantly less wayward and all is Peace and Light.

RIOTS QUELLED

J.F.

Fifteen prisoners from Dixon's Rock (Miolgre) who were recently involved in an altercation with police on the frontier planet have been allocated for punishment to the Imperial Prison Service. When found guilty they will be sent to the tantalum mine complex on the punishment planet Jenning's Hollow (Enayex). These arch-criminals, some of the worst sweepings of the Empire, have committed a disgusting crime against all humanity. His Imperial Majesty himself has taken an interest in the work being carried out on Dixon's Rock and it is believed that is why the terrorist bandits chose this planet to display their degenerate behaviour.

Details of their offence and the manner in which they were captured are classified.

A MESSAGE FROM HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY

J.F.

I, Emperor of the High Imperial Condominium of All Space, Ultimate and Puissant Lord of Duval, Earl of Earth, Duke of the Coalsack, Carrier of the Sacred Flame, Head of the Space Navy of the Empire, Head of the Marine Services of the Empire, Head of the Submarine Services of the Empire, Head of the Subgeonean Services of the Empire, Secret Head of the Secret Services of the Empire, Head of the Imperial Prison and Attitude Correction Services of the Empire, Founder Member of the Institute of TTT, send to my loyal subjects, greetings.

"Scurrilous press journals of the Federation have begun to decry the work being carried out on directed human genome development in the research laboratories on Peter's Rock (Facece). This is typical of the scare tactics which have been used for generations to try to slow down Imperial scientific development in order to give the inferior scientists of the Federation time to catch up. This will not happen. The Empire is well ahead of any other organisation in its control of human shape and intellect. Our dedicated scientists will continue their work no matter what propaganda is disseminated by the lackeys of Federation science. Fifteen thousand people have died in the Federation after a disgruntled employee of a lick-spittle lackey journal published a lethal computer program as an act of sabotage.

One of the much-vaunted freedoms of the Federation is the freedom of their journals to publish what they like. The tragedy of the Langford Basilisk fractal could not have happened in the Empire."

IMPERIAL SCIENTISTS MAKE BREAKTHROUGH

J.F.

We do things better here. Imperial scientist have led their Federation colleagues to a breakthrough in the Institute of Tricopathy, Tricogeny and Trichology on Atlantis (Canlada). The project, research into the desperately important area of human male-pattern baldness, is an example of the generosity of His Imperial Highness who personally ordered Imperial scientists to share our greater understanding of human genetics with the more backward Federation.

We salute His Imperial Majesty's generosity. Imperial human gene manipulation scientists were needed before an idea about correcting the distressing problem of male pattern baldness could be put into practice. While Federation scientists had identified the problem, their inferior ability to manipulate the genome was preventing them carrying out any corrective action. Using their knowledge of Imperial science, our team was able to show their more backward colleagues how to proceed.

Once again Federation science has had to learn from our scientists working under the wise direction of His Imperial Majesty.

CROWN PRINCE TO VISIT FEDERATION

J.F.

The visit of His Highness Crown Prince Harald to the Federation is an example of how magnanimous our leader can be towards inferior and backward political systems. The Federation will try to impress him with the things that they do best, such as gambling and vice and corruption but we can be sure that His Royal Highness will see through their machinations and detect the hollowness that is at the heart of Federation life. Which one of our readers would prefer the hedonistic and frivolous life of the Federation when given the choice? We are a more austere society, dedicated to the advancement of our culture rather than simply enjoying ourselves.

No-one who has seen the life-style of the average inhabitant of the Federation - rich in products but lacking any dedication to goals other than personal gratification - can doubt that the Imperial Way is the wave of the future.

PLANET EXCHANGE

J.F.

The Planet O'Hanlon's Claim in the system of Essaa has been transferred to Federation ownership with the title deeds now held by The TBW Investment and Retirement Fund Inc. His Imperial majesty's Dictats Committee has released the planet in exchange for unspecified favours from the Federation. It is understood that the exchange has been most advantageous for the Emperor. O'Hanlon's Claim was of little commercial value to the Empire, and it had no strategic merit. Its inhabitants are chiefly of the labouring and servitor classes. Their primary skills, sensory enhancement and ecstasy induction, are better suited to the lifestyles of their new owners.

Details of the exchange are secret.

FEDERATION TO BUILD IMPERIAL DRIVES

J.F.

Federation shipyards have contacted the Imperial Yards on Lloyd's Legacy (Cephiol) with a view to commercial production of Imperial drive units in Federation space. This is obviously because they have suffered major failures with the new units they have been developing over the last fifteen years. Once again we see how superior the directed science and technology of the Empire is compared to the fragmented and inefficient structures of the Federation. His Imperial Majesty is considering the request.

A spokesman has told this journal that the Family Duval has no wish to see the Federation collapse into anarchy because it lacks modern ships, particularly as the turmoil created might spread into innocent frontier planets.

The job of clearing up the mess would, of course, be well within our capabilities, but might prove inconvenient.

IMPERIAL FOOD STOCKS RISE

J.F.

Food production figures released from the Internal Directorate (Agriculture Fisheries and Foods) last week show that the current Imperial Agricultural Plan is meeting and exceeding all targets. Food stock reserves have been raised by edict of His Imperial Highness to seven year's supply in order to combat any possibility of future famine. We applaud this example of Imperial farsightedness. Because the reserves have been increased to such an extent, ration rates in thirty percent of Imperial systems will be further reduced. Details will be published at a later date.

BUBBLE SHIPS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

J.F.

Several Federation planets adjoining Imperial space have been to producing the so-called "Bubble" ships. These space arks are sold to unsuspecting groups who are told that they will be able to avoid contact with other and more powerful neighbours simply by travelling in their arks in the spaces between the stars. Many are thought to have penetrated Imperial borders and there is a possibility that several clandestine yards have been working within the Empire itself.

It is true that the chances of detection by Imperial craft is small when these vessels are far from planetary systems, but they will inevitably be detected when they approach a star in order to pick up reaction mass for their drives. Furthermore, they will take hundreds of years to reach other star-systems. By the time they do, the descendants of the original 'Bubbleteers' will find that Imperial expansion has been so rapid that their destination has already been settled and civilised by our advance parties. The Bubble dream is only a dream, not a realistic way of settling the galaxy.

Any Bubble detected in Imperial space will be boarded and destroyed.

Other agencies please copy.

JOINT VENTURE ON ASTEROID DESTRUCTION

J.F.

After the success of the Institute of TTT on Atlantis (Canlada), it is heartening to see that the Federation has Been persuaded to join the Empire in another joint venture. The Deep Space Detection Group is designing new methods of finding, pursuing and destroying asteroid sized objects in deep space. These objects are normally difficult to track simply because space is so big. Using advanced sensors developed in the Imperial laboratories our scientists can already track objects out to the fringe of the Oort cloud. Unfortunately beyond this point the plethora of targets confuses current techniques, and as many of the so-called Bubble-arks are already within the clouds, it is thought that Federation processing techniques might improve matters.

Our scientists are willing to share the important part of their research in exchange for the minor improvements brought about by Federation involvement because the Bubble are a threat to all mankind. We have had our differences and even wars with the Federation.

This does not mean that we cannot co-operate when a disease like the Bubble-arks needs eradicating.

JUMP TECHNOLOGY IMPROVED

J.F.

Based on a proposal initiated from the Palace itself, new methods of speed matching by ships in near-system space are being developed by the Imperial navy. Current jump technology means that rendezvousing with conventional vessels moving at steady one G acceleration has proved difficult. Progress is being made and before long any vessel in Imperial space can expect to find itself boarded no matter what evasive action is being taken. The Empire cannot afford to allow pirates or Bubbles to operate with impunity within our borders.

COURT NEWS 1.

J.F.

The annual Imperial Ball as held last night in honour of the birthday of our loved and esteemed ruler. The Imperial palace was decked in gold-plated monolayer banners and the parade ground was thronged with soldiers from every part of the Empire. Of particular note were the dwarf-warriors from high-G planets and the almost vacuum-proofed new batch of space soldiers recently released from the Imperial laboratories.

After the parade and a flypast by the aviform men from Valhalla (Aymifa), the Ball proper began. Ambassadors from the Federation were greeted warmly and the scientists from the Institute of TTT were personally led into the festivities by His Imperial Majesty himself, an unprecedented honour. Also there to celebrate was Crown Prince Harald, sporting his new hairstyle generated by the gene-splicing techniques of the Institute founded by his august father. The Prince's companion, a lady high in Federation circles and noted for her acting and decorative qualities, spent several hours with His Imperial Majesty while the Prince acted as host.

It is an honour to report how youthful and vigorous our leader appeared as he accepted the applause from the guests at the end of the evening. May he reign for many decades to come!

We salute His Imperial Highness.

COURT NEWS 2

J.F.

After many years in which women were not welcome within the precincts of the Imperial Palace, His Majesty has decided that he will permit their presence on a day-to-day basis in purely decorative roles. The theatre which once was used solely for performances of the Ais dances of Prono has been converted with shopping malls, sandwich bars and sewing rooms to make the invited females feel at home.

Palace sources tell us that his Majesty often strolls through the theatre incognito in order to listen to the amusing prattle of his unsuspecting guests and their freemartin escorts. Ignorant journals elsewhere have suggested that this is a prelude to the return by our Sovereign Leader to the old-fashioned female-based systems of reproduction. This is not so. We have abandoned the old unhygenic and random ways for ever. His Imperial Majesty is merely demonstrating in his kindly way that he finds all of his subjects equally valuable, regardless of gender.

COURT NEWS 3

J.F.

Once again the Empire has been attacked for its supposedly unnatural use of DNA modification to provide ourselves with specialised human forms to carry out the tasks vital to the functioning of our civilisation. We can easily rebut the arguments against this engineering.

On the one hand there is no indication that we have exceeded the adaptability of the human genome: if we had we would have brought forth monsters, distortions of humanity showing obvious degradation. The great variety of human shapes our Empire holds are all adapted to their own environments.

On the second hand we can see that this is merely an acceleration of natural processes. Armoured skin, prehensile toes and fur covered bodies would have evolved naturally given time; we have simply given nature a helping hand.

On the third hand, modified body shapes are more efficient.

Even in journalism the basic body plan has been improved.

CROWN PRINCE WITHDRAWS

J.F.

It is with sadness that we record the withdrawal of Crown Prince Harald from public life. In a message from the palace released yesterday, we learn that his Highness, who has been suffering from some emotional strain since his return from the Federation, has decided to retire to the silence and contemplation of the Noble's trial (Anlaol) in specially designed palace on the outskirts of the aptly named Duval Starport. There he will spend his time in contemplation and meditation while receiving medical treatment for an unfortunate body-plan deformation brought on by faulty DNA adjustment in the Institute of TTT.

We send our sympathy to the Emperor and assure him that the thoughts of his loyal subjects are with him at this difficult time.

No announcement has yet been made about the new official successor. There are many sons for the Emperor to choose from and we are sure he will make a wise choice which will be greeted with great rejoicing throughout the Empire.

IMPERIAL GUARD PREVENTS ATTACK

J.F.

News of the latest attack on the Imperial family has been greeted with shock throughout the Empire. Crowds have gathered in the streets as the entire population has turned out to show its sympathy. the full story will never be known, but the general details have been released.

A renegade group of scientists decided to attack the successor to the Imperial throne by adjusting his DNA in an unauthorised way while he was being treated for a low-hirsuteness problem on Atlantis (Canlada). The daring attack almost succeeded and, if it had not been for the work of the Imperial Guard it might have altered the bodyform of the Imperial successor in a retrograde manner.

We can applaud the work of the police who caught the criminals when they returned from their Institute and we hope they will receive exemplary punishment.

FURTHER SYSTEM JOINS EMPIRE

J.F.

The frontier planet Home (Beayce) has applied to join the Empire of Man. Captain Hargreef and the Seventh Systems Protectorate were manoeuvring near the Beayce system when a group of citizens from the planet arrived and asked to speak with the Imperial representative. When they were admitted to the presence of the Ambassador they begged his permission to become absorbed into the Empire.

It is not surprising that, having seen the benefits Imperial subject status gives a frontier and backward planet that they would ask to join. It is only surprising that they resisted the common-sense course for so long. This was the third planet inducted in the current cruise of the Seventh Protectorate under Captain Hargreef.

His Imperial majesty, to mark this event, has been pleased to appoint Captain Hargreef to the Imperial Guard. He is therefore recalled for questioning.

COMMANDER RECEIVES NEW POSTING

J.F.

It is always sad when a great tactician and soldier has to be disciplined, but justice must be done when someone as important to the Empire as the Captain of the Seventh Systems Protectorate has demonstrated poor judgement.

When the Imperial court heard from the Federation that Hargreef had been bombarding helpless planets into submission then it is natural that an example had to be made. We wish Admiral Hargreef a happy retirement as Governor of Democracy (Ross 986). We hope that this punishment - retirement from his post at only two thirds pay (plus allowances) - will stop the criticism being published throughout the frontier regions. Small systems have nothing to fear when the Imperial Fleets appear in their skies. All they have to do is co-operate.

All three planets inducted by the Seventh Systems Protectorate have unanimously voted to remain as Imperial Colonies.

IMPERIAL NAVY SAVES POPULATION

J.F.

Federation warships stood by while our Imperial navy evacuated the entire population of the planet Ulrichworld (Enfaay) which has been overwhelmed by a natural disaster. Risking everything in order to save the population, our ships streaked down into the broiling and surging dust clouds, putting the Federal Navy to shame.

In only three days everyone on the planet has been picked up and transferred to a waiting transport fleet for ferrying back to New World (Laolbe), there they will be looked after by a division of the local Imperial Guard until their planet has recovered enough for resettlement. A small settlement of Imperial officers and men has been established on the planet to maintain vital works of art, impose android discipline, carry out animal husbandry and to recover and inter the bodies of the many Imperial pilots lost in the operation. In order to comply with Galactic Law, they have established an interim government.

The head of the Interim Government of Ulrichworld has applied for membership of the Empire.

His Imperial Majesty has been gracious enough to accept the application.

CRIME AND THE YOUNG.

J.F.

One of the perennial problems of government, the containment of the violent and anarchic instincts of the young, is exacerbated when the icons of youth culture behave in a manner not suited to either their age or influence. The powerful Android Alliance, based on Honda's Claim (Zeencaa), today filed suit against the well known comedian Mr Eddy Stellar, for a case of severe assault against a bar android at its place of work, the Artemis bar.

We can understand the difficulty faced by his profession, still trying to become, in the cliched phrase, the "new rock and roll", but surely this is insufficient reason for the sort of behaviour displayed.

If Mr Stellar is found guilty, we hope sentencing will be exemplary.

ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR DEMOCRACY.

J.F.

The winners of the inter-Group Games (little league) baseball final at the Imperial Stadium on Capitol (Achenar) - a team from Earth - deserve the praise of all who hold dear the idea that humanity is too important to be engineered into specialist forms for each function that civilisation requires. There has been debate in the Federation and there have even been those who advocate the extremes of malformation induced by the Empire's bio-engineers.

This victory, the little guys beating the big guys (literally in this case: the Empire team's average age and height, seven standard years and two point eight metres, speaks for itself) lends encouragement to those who believe in unimproved humanity.

Well done the little guys. You affirm our belief in ourselves.

GAMES FURORE.

J.F.

The suggestion in the sporting press of the Empire that the valiant team of baseball players who took on the best of the Empire and won were aided by electronic emplantments is a scurrilous aspersion on a well-trained and motivated team.

By the judicious use of near-light speed time contraction the Federation had managed to assemble the best young players from the last ten years and get them all in the same team with physiological ages less than the stipulated maximum. Admittedly this may stretch the rules, but the rules, drawn up over decades, have already proved of considerable flexibility. Perhaps, when tempers have cooled, it will be time to look at those rules again.

Until that time we can rejoice that Federation technology has once more triumphed.

NEW BASEBALL RULES.

J.F.

On a neutral planet, far from the noise and bustle of Federation life and the austere gaze of the monitoring devices which characterise Imperial existence, the inter-Group Games rules committee (little league) has come to a new agreement. Out goes chemical enhancement, out goes bio-engineering. Next time, at the meet in ten years, the two great philosophies of humanity; dirigism and freedom, will meet on the field of dreams and once more decide which holds sway.

The statistics so far look bad for the Empire. Played six, lost six is not a record calculated to draw bets from a careful gambler.

This reporter is prepared to give odds of two to one (for a limited period) that in ten years time it will not be the Duval anthem playing in Federation City.

IMPERIAL VISIT

J.F.

Our court correspondent writes. The visit, semi-official though it may be, of His Imperial Highness Prince Harald to the Federation will recall memories of the last time his family was admitted to Federation Space. This time more care must be taken to ensure that His Highness is spared the hounding by the gutter press which made the incognito visit of his father such a trial to governments on both sides of the border. It has taken a whole generation for the misunderstandings generated by that visit to be dispelled.

While there are great technical achievements which might be of interest - the hydro-electricity scheme on Storm, the new subway system on Earth - we hope his Highness will also be allowed to view the Federation at play.

SPORTS BUBBLE DEPARTS.

J.F.

In an affirmation of human dignity and dedication which is breathtaking in its audacity, a space ark yesterday set off into deep space accelerating at just over two G. It will return after a thousand years (subjective) time in just over eight years. The descendants of the original crew, many of whom we notice were players in the last three inter-Group (little league) finals, will find ready employment.

Coming as they do from sporting backgrounds we hope that, with a thousand years in which to prepare, they might even be able to assemble a scratch team for the inter-Group baseball series which will begin some three weeks after they return. In accordance with the new rules their home planet will be the planet of departure, in this case, Earth.

RELAXATION FOR IMPERIAL PRINCE.

J.F.

Coming as he does from a culture which has, in the opinion of this journal, uses bio-engineering techniques in a manner which, though no doubt useful in Imperial terms, is to say the least lacking in the light touch so well displayed by our own more flexible and fun loving culture, it was good to see the officials who are organising the visit of His Imperial Highness have had the imagination to take him to Scrillion LightWays Restaurant.

Famed as it is for its self-referential food, its adherence to the driving ethos of our culture, and its prices, we trust His Highness will have learned more of our way of life in three or four hours than he could have learned in a month of visits to other, more worthy locations.

UNWORTHY SCENES ON ATLANTIS.

J.F.

Those who are organising the visit of His Imperial Highness Prince Harald of the Empire have much to be ashamed of today. We applaud the laudable attempt to show his Highness the type of establishment frequented by those of less elevated means than the Scrillion LightWays Restaurant where he first experienced Federation culture, but we can do nothing less than execrate the execution of the entertainment.

His Highness, appearing for the first time in public without his tonsorial enhancement (favoured by his father, His Imperial Majesty, from an equally young age) was at first unrecognised. When youthful high spirits were allowed to overflow the evening turned ugly.

A distressing incident was averted by Federation police.

DISENFRANCHISED REGISTER DISCONTENT.

J.F.

The new Federation law withdrawing the vote from those earning less than fifty percent of the median wage has been introduced throughout the Federation's area of responsibility. This has not gone without some slight resistance.

Sheehanworld (Exbeur) which is now once more responding to Federal communications, was the scene of a more than usually vigorous expression of dissent. Police Captain Erc Blastinteen, who was in charge of the negotiations which brought the difficulties to an end, was modest when he spoke to our reporter.

"It was nothing" he said.

We cannot agree with the Captain. His dedication and application of judiciously deployed armour did much to contain the problem. We trust that some means can be found to express the Federation's gratitude.

RESETTLEMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

J.F.

It is easy to forget in the daily routine that while the placid machinery of State revolves there are still frontiers to be rolled back. Sometimes, however, a terse announcement from the Resettlement Bureau reminds us once more of the romance of colonisation.

As is usual the resettlement of Mitterand's Claim (Quana) is being masterminded by an already established Federation entity, in this case Sheehanworld (Exbeur). We can only admire their dedication. Their new home is a challenge to even the most dedicated terraformers. Temperatures of hover around 200 degrees Centigrade in the shade and full shelters have yet to be built. The Federation police found the inhabitants of Sheehanworld to be a hardy and dedicated people.

Now they can prove their metal in a more socially acceptable form.

INCOGNITO VISIT.

J.F.

Readers will remember the farce of His Royal Highness's visit to Mistlegroop. Then a misguided attempt to show His Highness all aspects of Federation culture almost ended in tragedy when police were forced to draw their weapons on some local rowdies. We are pleased to report no such problems yesterday when our own Capitol, the Planet, not the city (in the system of Gretiwa) hosted our Imperial guest. Sometimes we regret that such places as du Pr

s City still exist in the Federation. We must remember that these natives live in luxury compared with their Imperial counterparts. Their diet is an imperious reminder that poverty is relative. Two inch thick steak (somewhat gamey to our tastes) is the staple diet of the well-set-up and friendly natives who greeted His Highness warmly.

We trust his Highness's gastric problems will not preclude further visits to similar venues.

TRAGIC LOSS.

J.F.

It is with deep sorrow that we record the loss of the colonising arks bound from Sheehanworld (Exbeur) to their settlement on Mitterand's Claim (Quana). They gave of their best - almost fifty per cent of the entire population.

That this dedicated band should meet an unknown fate in hyper space is a reminder, if reminder be needed, that the colonising of the Galaxy is not without its dangers. However, in a show of courage rare even in the Federation, the rest of the population of Sheehanworld has volunteered, every one, to take their place. We are moved and proud to announce that they are already en-route to their new home.

In honour of their sacrifice the Federation Police have placed Sheehanworld under Federation Interdict. Any unauthorised visits will be met with appropriate force.

UGLY REALITY

J.F.

There is an ugly side to life in the Federation which, even during the visit of His Imperial Highness, must be aired. Last night, on Tonga's Planet, police raided a restaurant and took away something they described euphemistically as 'left-overs'.

There is no place in a vibrant and forward-looking free society for those who cut corners in their drive to make a larger profit than their neighbour. The sad disappearance of the food reporter of our sister journal RIG makes us remember the fact that, in a free society, all types of journalism have a place. We can only urge that justice must be done and those affected are given urgent counselling.

Our commiserations go out to those bereaved and to the unsuspecting diners at The Carib Eatery.

NEW MEMBER OF FEDERATION

J.F.

This morning the Federation is bigger by one member. The little planet O'Hanlan's Claim (Esaa) has applied to join our commonwealth of independent but closely tied states. It joins a select few planets in the Federation which are privately owned.

Previously an outpost of the Empire, before that a frontier planet which was inducted into the Empire by main force, O'Hanlan's may prove to be a signpost to the future. There are precedents for this movement up from the pre-civilised state of frontierdom, through the (frankly speaking) quite primitive notions of royalty, onward to the highest form of civilised government. We trust, and quite confidently predict, that others will follow.

O'Hanlan's Claim was previously the private feifdom of His Royal Highness Prince Harald of the Empire.

ANOTHER ALIEN RACE.

J.F.

It must be that the silly news season has started early this year. Reports in journals which will try anything to increase their circulation are normally easy enough to dismiss: when they are tied into hard news stories like the recent loss of the Highliner Antares then the morality of the news hounds (we can call them nothing more opprobrious) who perpetrate these fictions must be called into question by any responsible member of the journalistic profession.

Your reporter watched the departure of Antares on her maiden voyage, the monolayer streamers glinting in the harsh light of Sirius as she moved gently away from the orbital habitat and out to launch range. Spacemen talk of a graveyard of lost ships, a place where all who lose their lives in the colossal drive to colonise the galaxy rest in gentle luxury.

We can be sure that the great Highliner Antares is now of their company.

EXPERIMENTAL ENGINES WITHDRAWN.

J.F.

The shipyards of Sirius L4 have announced that the new experimental hyperdrive engines, the Mk 3b, are being withdrawn from service for an indefinite period. The engines have proved fractious in use, probably because of the extreme temperatures reached by the main reactors in routine use and the reduced shielding introduced to enable greater sub-light acceleration to be achieved. We can easily forget that the design of new engines, as shown in the recent sad loss of the Highliner Antares, is not an exact science.

We can take some little satisfaction, however, in the news that the Imperial war fleet is still testing its latest drives after three years.

Quite simply - we do things better here.

NEW SCIENCE INSTITUTE.

J.F.

The two great ideas of human culture stand head to head in almost all aspects of life and civilisation. However, simply because we disagree does not mean we cannot cooperate in minor matters. The opening on the planet of Atlantis (Canlada) of the Science Institute of Trichology, Trichopathy and Trichogeny is an example of such low-level co-operation. In a minor way, hair has proved a difficulty for genetic engineering and manipulation. It seems that stress levels and perhaps even other factors not known to science come into play where hair growth is concerned. Perhaps only someone truly happy can avoid all problems in this area.

Happiness does as hairy is, one might say!

In a galaxy where we have so many problems it is nice to think of the TTT Institute beavering (!) away on our behalf.

AN APOLOGY

J.F.

It may be that our last issue, in a light hearted piece about the new TTT Institute on Atlantis (Canlada) we gave unintentional offence to some of our readers. It has been pointed out to us (see letter column) that this area of human science is one where intractable problems are being tackled every day by dedicated and selfless staff. Often extremely senior members of rival governments come together informally at the Institute and some extremely tense diplomatic situations have been averted during friendly discussions of trichopathy.

We have no hesitation in supporting this extremely important endeavour.

BRAVERY AWARDS

J.F.

In the honours distributed to mark the tenth anniversary of the settlement which brought the skirmishes in the Red Sector to a satisfactory conclusion, the President's office today announced the awards for bravery and service to the Federation traditionally presented at this time (See elsewhere in this journal).

One name among many deserves mention, Police Captain, now Commander Erc Blastinteen has posthumously received the highest award and honour that our government can bestow, together with promotion. It is sad that this brave policeman could not receive the award personally, having recently lost his life on Sheehan World ((Exbeur) in a humanitarian operation designed to rescue some few remaining inhabitants from a planet that has become untenable.

We are sure that Commander Blastinteen's colleagues and relatives will be proud that his government has not let his dedication and energy go unrecognised.

FLEET MANOEUVRES

J.F.

Seven units of the main Federation Fleet, together with a marine landing unit and the entire household guards division have departed on an unscheduled exercise to manoeuvre off Sheehan World. His Excellency the Ambassador of the Empire of Man was called to the Presidency late last night to inform him of this exercise as the area concerned is near our mutual border in that region. Federal citizens are reminded that the area is currently scheduled as a war zone and that any commanders attempting to trade in the area may find themselves in the centre of a naval fighter manoeuvre. The chances of surviving this are low.

We remind citizens that life insurance is invalidated in such cases and that the Federal Navy does not pay compensation to the dependants of those killed in war zones.

VISIT EXTENDED

J.F.

His Royal Highness Prince Harald of the Empire has extended his visit to Federation space. He is quoted as saying that there is so much to do and see he wishes to remain for another month or perhaps longer and, in an amusing demonstration of his grasp of Federation slang, told our reporter that he was 'only just beginning to know where his trowel is!' He is of course welcome, even though the main battle fleet of the Empire is reported to be deploying close to the border in the Exbeur region.

The situation is not without some danger but we can be sure that, while the Prince remains within our jurisdiction, no hasty actions will be taken.

FRACTAL DEATHS.

J.F.

A total of fifteen people died yesterday as they attempted to reach the body of Frug Elricsdottir of Discovery (Cezephi). A police press release has given details of the incident.

The girl, aged fourteen, was known for her interest in the generation of the three dimensional fractal known in the playgrounds of our schools as the Langford Basilisk. In earlier times children ran out in front of groundcars, shuffled around high buildings without safety rigs or indulged in brain-damaging chemicals. Now their computers have become a lethal toy. Pirate copies of the Basilisk program have been discovered which contain random number generators. When the resultant screen is displayed then there is a small but finite chance that it will be lethal.

The death is not a pleasant one: convulsions and extreme pain lead to heart overload and death. Previous generations have lost their children to games of 'chicken', to drugs, to war. This game shows that there are always new threats. We urge the government to install safety devices on all computers and to ban all work on the Basilisk outside licensed government establishments.

We owe it to our children to monitor this situation carefully: it may be, finally, that the solution is to confiscate all home computers.

After all, the government knows best.

BUBBLES GO MAD

J.F.

The current craze for Bubble colonies is getting out of hand. All current bubble forges are in Federation space, and their productions rates are unregulated. They sell their products to the first bidder who can afford their not inconsiderable prices.

There are dangers in this unregulated expansion. First the sales of conventional colonising ships are threatened. Second, good human stock is being wasted which could be used to settle other Federation planets. Last, the Casimir drives the Bubbles use are a possible threat to all space-time. The government should act now and reduce production rates until these problems are resolved. The government has announced today that production of the so-called Bubble-arks is to be banned in all Federation space until scientific problems have been resolved.

To this end all those engaged in the forges are to be relocated on Eckhard Reward (Exinfa) for a conference which may last some years while their accumulated experience is analysed. It may be that production figures for these arks has been much understated.

Preliminary figures show that some fifteen thousand have been launched with full complements of coloniser crews. A hundred and fifty million people is no great loss to the Federation, particularly as they are all of the outward looking tendency which is so difficult to integrate into a fully civilised society, but they would have been able to settle new planets for the Federation and hence help us oppose the expansion of the Empire of the Duvals. All Bubbles found in Federation space will be fired on without warning. Other agencies please copy.

ULTIMATE HUNT 1.

J.F.

As a project I have contacted a few friends of mine and asked them what they consider the best hunt they have ever had. Over the next few days I'll bring you their thoughts but first I'd like to tell you about mine. We'd hit the sack early the night before and we were in position by two hours before dawn. The tethered goat grazed quietly as the sun came up like thunder over the snow-topped mountains. Long shadows dappled the grass.

Suddenly he was there. Eighteen feet long from nose to tail-tip, not the dull yellow of his earth ancestor but bright orange between the midnight black stripes. I cocked my antique Mauser and took aim. He heard me. That great head swung round and our eyes locked.

Everything froze. I thought I'd blown it. Then he sprang! Not away, not into the safety of the elephant grass but straight at me!

My bullet took him right between the eyes. What a magnificent beast! What courage!

For me the ultimate quarry is the kzin tiger of New Earth.

ULTIMATE HUNT 2.

J.F.

When Ed asked me to write a piece on my best hunt I got out my hunt records and sat looking through them with a pipe and a glass and a couple of friends to yarn and argue. It made a great evening. I know I've told you before how important it is to keep a record of each day in the field because that's how you learn. Years later you can be looking through the record and suddenly you understand why that day was lucky or unlucky, why some days you killed and other days you didn't. I often turn to one particular record, stare at it and try to understand why that day it worked.

My regular by-line says it all. They call me Kurt Monneker the Moonfish Man.

There are three of us in all the Galaxy. It was a bright day and that was against all the rules. They're called moonfish because the theory is you catch them at night. Well it was day and I could see them rising just outside the reef, taking pukoi fly as they drifted in from the mangroves. I had a light rig, a Donne and Bradstreet hyperfine rod with a mengistu centrepin reel and a .1kg line with whale oil dressing. I'd tied the lure that morning, the closest thing to the pukoi I could manage from Arcturan pheasant hackle and silver wire. I cast over those fish until my wrist ached. Sometimes they rose right beside my lure, took a real pukoi and dove back into the darkness. And then I made the perfect cast and it was taken like a tiger. He was less than a kilo but he fought like a demon. It took me an hour on that rig to get him over the reef and into the net. And I looked at that cunning eye and those mirrored silver flanks and I eased out the hook and I let him go.

Three of us have hooked the moonfish. All you have to do is get it right. Not near enough, not 99. Not 99.999. Right.

And when you do there's nothing like it.

ULTIMATE HUNT 3.

J.F.

The best hunt is when you cast away all civilisation and go after your quarry man to man. I was eighteen when I got my first snowbear. We'd trekked out into the New Rockies with backpacks and we bivouacked under the stars each night, living off wild trout and berries.

After a week we got onto his spoor and we tracked those pug marks for two days over the glacier before we got sight of him. He was a huge silverback, pugs as big as plates and big yellow teeth that looked six inches long when he turned and roared.

Then he charged.

I flicked open the Mellor sheath on my hip and the handle of my trusty old knife dropped into my palm. He was on me. I'd spent months training in VR but it's not the same when his hot fetid breath wraps round you and those huge claws reach to tear your heart out.

You get one chance, one strike with the knife. Otherwise when it says game over it means it. His eyes looked into mine as the blade struck home, surprised but understanding... yes, understanding what had happened. He fell like a rockslide. They had to pull him off me and it took three months for my ribs to heal. Man to man.

That's the way of the frontier. Man to beast. Eye to eye.

That's why we're frontiersmen.

ULTIMATE HUNT 4.

J.F.

The thing that makes the best hunt is when you trek, when you pursue. It's not the kill, it's the anticipation and the effort you have to put in before you get to the killing zone. That's why I always choose the big low density planets, places where the atmosphere is deep and the hills go on for ever. It took me years to work out that it's the size of the planet that gives you the winds the High Eagles need, the long reaches of ocean and plain where the gales build and stalk until they break on the mountains in vast eddies and upcurrents where the Eagles can soar and wait.

Trek in with your wings on your back. Find an upslope and strap into your kit and put the loop of your EG-46 around your wrist. Step off into space. The wind grabs you and whirls you up, the monolayer creaking under the G. Move sideways and you wheel and soar with the Eagles. Choose your quarry and stalk him through the long day with the bleak bare mountains below as you pursue and he flees. At last you close, you fly alongside him and he turns to rend you, to send you tumbling down through the empty miles below to smash in red ruin on the great heaving shoulder of his planet home. One shot as he turns those cold golden eyes to you, one shot into the gaping crimson beak. Follow him down, sideslipping through the clouds down to the rock where he lays.

Then, the only trophy of the day a feather from his tail tucked firmly into your belt, you set off back through the long slow twilight.

ULTIMATE HUNT 5.

J.F.

Maybe you'll notice this hasn't got any names in it. Well, there's a reason. The ultimate hunt for me is an illegal prey, illegal except on this one planet where they've outlawed inorganics and any that show are given one day to get out of town or face the consequences. You'd be surprised how often the droids decide to take the risk. They get kitted out and head for the hills with every hunter on the planet baying for their... well, you can't say blood can you? Oil maybe, that golden ichor they use instead of the red stuff.

I got my droid after it had killed ten men, ten experienced hunters with notches on their blasters. I'd holed up in a cave with a seep of smoke drifting downwind. I knew he'd smell me out. Two days it took him and I was nodding over my gun. He was unarmed I knew, damaged by the last man who'd died under his fists. A falling stone alerted me too late.

Desperately I tried to raise my gun but his hand struck like a snake. He tore my gun out of my hand and he turned my own weapon onto me. Without a pause he flicked off the safety and fired.

OK, so it was a sneak trick, but you can't take chances with a 'droid. It's the kill that counts. The bullet exploded out the back of the gun and blew his glass head to shards. Droids. They're fast, they're mean. They know what it's going to be like and they keep coming in.

Me, I think they enjoy the game. Maybe they just can't figure out any other way to die.

They're the ultimate hunt.

ULTIMATE HUNT 6.

J.F.

I know all the arguments about hunting using minimum kit but sometimes the prey is so large you use everything and even that is only just enough. If you go after Leviathan on Liaququ with anything less than a two hundred metre raft, corner rooks twenty metres high with high test hawsers and Hunt Council rated winches you are going to come away a disappointed man if you come away at all.

And for those who don't know what it's like and think that there's no challenge with all that kit, then think again. Every time I've been out we've had to rebait. I know some people hire baitmen but that makes it all too easy. I do my own. When you're down there in the black water and you're trying to connect up that two metre worm and your hands are shaking and you feel him stirring in the deeps below you, feel the ocean surge as his fins like football fields fan the water, you know what it's like to be part of the ultimate hunt.

I've baited three times. I've hooked him once and he smashed two hundred tonne breaking strain filament like cotton candy. I'll get him next time.

Maybe.

ULTIMATE HUNT 7.

J.F.

Last night we were chewing the fat in Harry's Bar. The talk turned to the ultimate kill. Between us we had about a megayear's experience on a k of different planets. This was expert talk.

First we thought about size. Then we decided that size doesn't matter.

Then we thought about armour. Armour slows your quarry down.

Then we thought about speed. Speed is used to run away.

Then we thought about brains. It's brains that makes a good quarry. Just listen when hunters get together. Listen to the words they use when they talk about their favourite hunt item. They use words like sneaky and wily and clever. We couldn't decide even then.

Me, I had more experience than even that bunch of guys: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. So if anyone should be able to work it out it's me. I sat there thinking. Along the back of Harry's bar there's a big mirror. I looked at our reflections, eight men with enough kills to fill a slaughterhouse and stuff it three times over with fur and scales and feathers.

The ultimate quarry looked out at me. I raised my glass and toasted my companions who went on talking of tigers and tarpon. But their eyes were on me.

They knew what I meant.

KIT CHECK 1 - FISHERS DO IT WITH RODS.

J.F.

The best rod on the market or the best for that particular day? That's the question you have to ask yourself when you set off on any trip. Well, it depends on your aims and the depth of your pocket.

If you're fishing to live then, short of explosives, the Hunsucker range of lightweights will give you everything you need. With rolled monolayer construction, vat-grown reel and highstress monoline filament, these economy rods will meet every need. The catching range is huge - less than one kg up to three thousand if you use the optional powerdrive.

If expense is no object then the latest rod system from Donne and Bradstreet is the tops. Hyperfine with continuous build from butt to hook this is no rod for the economy minded. Matched to the individual fish or amphibian with weight ranges in only tens of kgs, the well-equipped angler will need several dozen in his kit before he can consider himself properly set up.

The beauty of the system is that the individual rods are superb value.

Start with the Mk 47 Frog and build from there.

KIT 2. - UNDERWATER HUNTER-KILLERS

J.F.

We road-tested the latest huntsub from the Nemo yard by using it on the annual Frontier News junket which this year was to the oceans of Topaz in the Ayethi System, courtesy Nemo Aquasubs. At twenty metres long, with twin tubes and the latest Mk 27 torpedo-harpoons, this luxury item may be too expensive for the average fisherman, but would make a good group purchase for the richer club. Otherwise it will be on hire next season in all the most prestigious fishing locations.

Our only reservation about its performance was in the overall size. When the quarry is the Topaz Leviathan then something a bit bigger would have provided a greater sense of security. Apart from that it worked perfectly.

We therefore recommend it as our 'Buy Of The Year' as long as the fish you're after is less than about two hundred metres.

KIT 3 - RAPIDFIRE RIFLES.

J.F.

Choosing equipment to settle a new planet is one of the most satisfying parts of pioneering. The catalogue chips are glossy, full of stuff it seems no self-respecting pioneer can be without. Browsing through, the settler can easily get lost.

The tried and tested answer is to make a list and stick to it. And at the top of the list there should be the S&W AR 43-K.

This simple killing machine, the rifle chosen as our best buy nearly two hundred years ago, is still in action. It is rugged, with only two moving parts. The electronics are primitive but over the years they've been refined to give ultimate reliability.

With rapidfire rate at 1200 rpm (1500 rpm with the optional Quickfire attachment on the updated 43-M) this baby gives the stopping power needed when all else fails.

Total weight at .9kg (without ammunition) is heavier than ideal, but its overall ruggedness, reliability and sheer professionalism put this rifle at the top of any list when your life is on the line. Recommended as it has been for the last two hundred years.

KIT 4 - FLYING HIGHER.

J.F.

High Eagle is the most specialised of all the hunting sports. With its demands for ultimate durability, extreme lightness and reliability second to none, it is no surprise that this most expensive of pastimes is catered for by all the top manufacturers of sports equipment in the galaxy.

A beginner's rig of Magister Wings monolayer blades, Hunsucker gliding suit and an EG 46LW lightweight pistol will only do for the first few hunts when the birdman is in a group. Otherwise, when solo pursuit is the object, a top end power pack driving virtual blades matched to individual weight and size are essential.

Purists will not use the inbuilt laser but the penalty of carrying a separate pistol (the EG 46LW weighs 200 grams) is severe.

Without this penalty then the whole set-up should weigh in at only 2.3 kg.

SURVIVAL 1 - RULES AT THE EDGE.

J.F.

On a new planet there are always things that can go wrong. Then the pioneer has to remember the basic rules for survival and stick to them.

One. Protection. It doesn't matter where you are, low or high G, cold or hot, wet or dry. Protection from the elements is the first thing you do when you realise that you're in trouble. Get out of the cold, the heat, the rain. Protect yourself from anything that is less than ideal because later on, when you've been waiting for help for hours or days, that little bit of energy or water or whatever you lose now is going to be vital. So, protection, first and always.

Two. Location, your location that is. If you've filed a flightplan, left your route with your local safety control or even just told someone in your family where you're going then you're already halfway there. Otherwise things are more difficult. Use you wristcomm if your planet is so equipped. If not do something basic like build a smeechfire but don't light it yet. Work out how long it'll be before the satellites or the mobiles will be out searching and light it when you think they're looking near you.

Three. Water. You'll die in just a few days without water. Ration yourself and remember you need no water for the first few hours. Then drink according to the temperature. Work on your water supply.

Four. Food. Food comes last. Don't try to walk out. You'll die.

Stick to these rules and you give yourself the best chance. Break 'em and you'll end up as just another statistic.

No, the rules won't make you live forever. But then, who does?

SURVIVAL 2 - VERSATILE SHEETING A MUST.

J.F.

Anyone venturing out on a new planet should have a survival kit. There is a wide range available, tailored for different planets, but the best solution is to make up your own. We have found over the years that the first item is always a monolayer sheet about ten metres square. From this you can make a shelter, a water still, a reflector... and so on. It's the single most versatile thing our civilisation has produced. Stalex manufacture a cutter which you have to have as well - monolayer can't be torn and even your teeth won't make a dent in it. On almost any planet that one bit of kit will give you the edge you need to survive.

SURVIVAL 3 - GOURMET OR NOT GOURMET?

J.F.

Animals are edible. This odd piece of advice is often forgotten, but when you've really screwed up and you're sitting on some new planet without any help for a couple of light years and with the all too real prospect of settling the place from scratch, then the local fauna is likely to provide you with rations.

Why is this? Well, the proteins that code for life have been checked on each new settlement planet and to the surprise of the scientists they've found that all life is one, all based on the same chemistry. There's one exception, the siliconeys. S

ilicon life (not to be confused with droids), lives where carbon structures are replicated by silicon compounds, but their planets are all airless and close in to the local star so these slow moving lifeforms don't often meet a hungry settler with a problem.

There are some bits of some animals that are poisonous, the diamond pods in the fougu-rabbits on New Dawn, the liver of the polar bear of Earth. On a new planet you'll have to take the risk, but if you're starving then the risk is all one way.

Just don't eat the rocks, OK?

SURVIVAL 4 - THE REAL THING.

J.F.

When the editor asked for stories about survival then we didn't think we'd count. All that happened to us was a tug crash during the settlement of Taylor's Rest. We got out of the ship when she hit and ran like a bunch of emus into the bush. She blew when we'd got about a hundred metres and we ended up flat in our faces in the dirt.

So there we were. Ten men and women and one 'droid. the mothership was uptop and they must have seen us, that's what we thought. What we didn't know was that we were the last drop of the settlement and she'd closed up for the haul back as soon as we'd left. We hadn't got any kit, just the clothes we stood up in. We even forgot that the rest of our settlement wouldn't have the local satellite system set up. We waited a week then realised that we'd have to sort things out ourselves.

By that time we were in a bad way. We used what we had. The droid's internal clock gave us our longitude, we got the latitude from shadow angle.

We checked the droid over, told him the position of the colony and told him to get walking while we got on with surviving.

Someone had the Frontier News article on survival, you know, protection, location, that one. That droid was our location aid. Someone reckoned there was no sea in the way, someone else said there was, but what can you do? You use what you can and hope.

Ten of us and one droid.

We all made it.

SURVIVAL 5 - VEGETARIAN OPTIONS?

J.F.

The article about animals being edible has brought in a lot of mail. We did say almost all animals, not all of them. We've had reports of the poisonous fish from Earth, poisonous snakes, shellfish.

OK, so we overstated the case.

But basically you can eat animals. Not all of them, one in ten thousand will be bad for you, one in a hundred thousand will kill you. So you'd rather starve? No, it's worth the risk when you're starving. And if you really want to take a risk then try eating the local vegetation.

Plants haven't been able to run away for millions of years and they have chemical defences that make the fougu-rabbits look like cordon-bleu cookery.

We'd go for the animals any time.

SURVIVAL 6. - WATER CULTURE

J.F.

Water hasn't proved to be a problem in most of the survival cases we've come across. People tend to be careful about taking supplies with them and only if the local Search and Rescue organisation is severely degraded does it become a problem. It has happened, on planets still being settled, but when you're terraforming a place where you can die of thirst only a few klicks from home then S&R tends to be high up on the colonists' priorities.

There are rules.

Ration sweat. Don't work in the heat, don't walk, get out of the sun. Save every item of waste (yes, every item!), stick it under a monolayer desert still and condense all of its moisture into a central receptacle. On day one it'll be disgusting. By day three it'll be the only thing keeping you alive.

On ice planets there is one simple rule about water and it's this: Don't eat the yellow snow.

EDDY STELLAR BIT MY ANDROID.

J.F.

Tall blonde 180 year old Z'ph Artemis was outraged when she talked to our interviewer last night in the luxurious surrounding of her bar on Honda's Claim (Zeencaa)

"I'd just told this guy that he'd have to drink up when he turned real nasty. My bar android put its hand on his arm and he just went mad, right off his trolley."

The attractive bar owner is going to send her customer the bill for the damage to her android. Its arm was bitten right off! A spokesperson for the Android Alliance told us that its organisation may be looking into the affair.

We can exclusively reveal that the android biter was none other than that well-known comedian: Eddy Stellar.

ANCIENT AIRPLANES FOUND ON JAMESON'S ROCK

J.F.

Back on Earth they used to say how strange the world was. Well, folks, now we can reveal that the galaxy is even stranger than they imagined. Were Fungle, the greatest living explorer, has brought back news of a bunch of twentieth century flying machines in the deserts of Jameson's Rock (Zemien)in the far southern sector.

"These cabs were so old they couldn't even get into orbit and here they were 45 light years away from Sol with not a scratch on them. They must have slipped through a time warp," said the intrepid explorer in an exclusive interview with your reporter who tracked him down to the exclusive Artemis bar on Home (also in Zemien).

We think someone should go and have a good look at this discovery pretty pronto.

MYSTERY OF THE SANDS.

J.F.

Following up our exclusive report yesterday about twentieth century artefacts on Jameson's Rock (Zemien), we have contacted the Government and DEMANDED on behalf of our readers that this discovery is followed up AT ONCE.

We now reveal that there is a possibility that the original pilots may still be alive if the theories of Prof Hinklebaum of Central University are right. Mail us now and tell us what you think the original crews would find has changed most in the galaxy since the time they vanished.

The winner will be transported (with their partner) to The Rock where they will be holo'd actually sitting in the cockpit of a genuine twentieth century warplane.

BUBBLE FORGE 1.

J.F.

The galaxy is just about to change and no-one's noticed yet. Dillon, owner of Dillon's Bubble Forge in the asteroid rich system of Wolf 424, is typical of a new band of entrepreneurs.

He took me through a production run. The first and critical stage is the selection process. The chosen asteroid has to be exactly right if the final product is to meet the required specification, nickel iron without too much carbonaceous material, although a bit of silicate around the outside does no harm.

The mining and backfilling takes Dillon's 'droids about a year. The amount of ice in the central core is calculated to the tonne and the huge alloy plug which fills the entrance tunnel is very carefully engineered. When the asteroid is just a nickel-iron shell filled with ice it is nudged out of orbit and falls towards the sun.

"We chose an M5 because we get good control of temperature. Brighter stars heat the preform up unpredictably. Get your orbit wrong by a few centi-k and it'll come out cooked. The temperature gradient's much better with an 'M'," Dillon told your reporter.

I was fortunate enough to be present when a new Bubble was coming up from the sun. Initially only one K across, the Bubble (now truly a bubble) was five K wide and - a little bonus from the angle the loading shaft was cut - it was already spinning fast enough to simulate 1G for anyone standing inside. All 200 Bubbles made so far have been for Frontier planets. All three forges are owned by men and women who were once from the frontier.

Who can doubt this is the wave of the future and that this wave signals the end of planet-bound civilisation?

EATING OUT.

J.F.

Well, guys and gals, we've seen some funny places to eat but Joe's Place on Eckhard's Reward (Exinfa) is the end and do we mean the end. Main item is, yep, you heard me, hoppy food, and do we mean hop! It's so lively you have to stun it with a hammer before you scoop it up on a flat spoon and plaster it into your mouth.

Problem is, folks, the other diners aren't too good at finding their mouths and the floor pretty soon get a thick coating of the dish of the day, none of it too keen about hanging round.

Yes indeedy, if you want to eat hoppy food you've sure got to know where your trowel is!

See you round!

EATING OUT 2.

J.F.

Who did we see last night at the exclusive and oh so romantic Joe's Place but that big item, His Imperial Highness Harry the Crown Prince of the Empire himself and a gorgeous pouting lovely who sets hearts pumping in everything from an ant to an android.

Miss Eccy G. showed her escort how to eat the hoppy food and even trowelled it in for him! And where did they go for the rest of the evening? After a build up like that you wouldn't expect us to stone wall would you, but the truth is we couldn't find out as your reporter was trapped by a wave of dessert in a corner of the restaurant.

If any of our readers know where they went to cement their relationship then be a brick and let us all in on the secret.

EATING OUT 3.

J.F.

I reckon your reporter has seen it all. Last night, in the oh so cultured surroundings of the We Cook it A Scrillion Ways Restaurant we were offered something that really turned our stomach.

Forget the vintage Eeglefoff wines, the smooth and fiery Aldaberan brandy, it was the main course that made us upchuck. The waiter takes a quick snip of DNA from your head, clones it, grows it to plate size in a accelerated transform vat, cooks it to order and serves you up to you on a plate with a garnish of spring salad.

Yeuuuk!!

Your pair of intrepid reporters made their excuses and left. After all, who's serving spring salad at this time of year?

Scrillion Ways Restaurant? We wouldn't eat there if it was the other end of the Galaxy!

EATING OUT 4.

J.F.

Back to Scrillions last night to check out a rumour and to see if it was as bad as we thought. The brandy was still good (even older than the Emperor's grandpappy) and who should we see but Prince Harry and a certain lovely lady from your super hyperwave RIG. Romantic? They were feeding each other and did they look in love!! Harry boy was ogling our favourite lady as if he'd like to eat her!

The salad was crisp and dry, the main course cooked to perfection so we don't understand why we had trouble with the old insides this morning.

Still, it was worth it to see the lovebirds lapping each other up!

This one's gonna run and run.

EATING OUT 5.

J.F.

Some guys like to eat in the most expensive places, but not your reporters, we eat in the sort of place YOU'll find on YOUR street corner.

Last night we tried Tom's Caff in Darkes Hollow (Altair). You get chicken legs you can really get your teeth into without worrying about greasy fingers. The evening was spoilt for us by a group of snobby youngsters who really let themselves down. They were throwing bread rolls. When your favourite reporters joined in a couple of heavies threw us out, just because we called one of them baldy! It's getting so even a quiet night out is almost impossible to find. These people should go to their own sort of place.

If YOU go, try the grilled Zit on a bun. Fabulous!

EATING OUT 6.

J.F.

To do this job you sometimes have to have a really strong stomach. We ate at Chez Chou last night and it was just too much even for your most experienced reporter.

Dish of the day? It's the waitress. Without a sign of shame she offered herself to your reporter on a plate. We could have had her boiled, fried or roast in coils. Each night this shameless tramp has herself cloned for your delight. It's happened so often she can hardly remember her own name! The worst thing was the way she served the meal, plates all over the place. Your reporter can't stand a restaurant where the waitress throws herself at the customers.

We made our excuses and left (again).

EATING OUT 7.

J.F.

Back to Chez Chou to check it out again and to see if the management had improved matters. We're pleased to say he had! That's what happens when an eatery get slagged off by one of your reporters, they sort things pretty fast! This time there were three pretty waitresses, all triplets.

The service was perfect and we can recommend it to everyone. After the meal we sat with Ron U Filied the chef and discussed the finer points of restaurant management until the suns came up over the best two bottles of Aldaberan brandy your reporter has ever seen.

Highly recommended.

That's what good about your super hyperwave journal! We get things done!

EATING OUT 8.

J.F.

Sometimes you just have to go back to your roots and eat really simple food, the sort of food you'd cook for yourself.

Dontcha just love the sort of stuff momma used to make?

Hardisty's Meat Mine - the one selection menu place on Topaz (Ayethi)- serves the meal your reporter remembers from his youth. OK, so by now the Beast is getting a bit gamey but a steak carved from one wall in the kitchen is served up two inches thick and as big as a blanket. When times were hard Mom wouldn't even bother to cook it and wow! the flavour. Wash it down with a few rounds of Gateway Gin and you've got a meal fit for a king.

Your reporter may never eat anywhere else for the rest of his life!

EATING OUT 9.

J.F.

To the Fitz Ritz on Discovery (Cezephi). OK, so the food was perfect and the service was right on, but at these prices who needs it?

To tell you the truth, your reporter was feeling a bit jaded, hung-over, beaned off with life, the universe and everything. So I just sat there into the night, toying with a little sole bonne femme and crevettes au buerre blanc, sipping champagne and swapping yarns with this really intelligent android.

Sometimes, you know, this life gets to you and you need a sympathetic ear. And the stories he knew, the pathos of his life! No, I can tell you it's not every restaurant that deserves four stars for giving you a shoulder, even a metal shoulder, to cry on.

Highly recommended if you're feeling down.

EATING OUT 10.

J.F.

This is a sort of preview.

I'm filing copy as I wait to be admitted to the kitchen entrance of the Carib Eatery on Gonzales Mine (Zemien). Your reporter has had to bribe his way in and it's been really expensive. But it's all fixed up. I'm going in with the chef, Mr Todd, who promises me a meal to remember. This is the sort of exclusive place that doesn't advertise, you have to know the right people to get in, or you have to read the right journal, your hyperwave wonder, RIG!

Here comes my host now, playfully waving a huge carving knife. This guy, he has me in stitches! It's going to be a real treat!

See you tomorrow!

ROCK ON YOUR HIGHNESS!!

J.F.

They say it's gonna die but let's face it, guys gals and garganoids, they haven't replaced it yet. And why is that? Because he's out there, still rocking, still knocking 'em dead in the stalls, still crooning those blues and knocking out those riffs.

Our readers, YOU, have told us you've seen him from one end of the galaxy to the other, you've seen him in the supermarket, you've seen him in the bath. He was grooving at the 150th Back To the Garden Festival, he rocked the Revival Thrash on Topaz (Ayethi) and he has even been seen queueing up to see the latest holopic of our own adorable Eccy.

You read it in your favourite journal!!

ROCK ON 2.

J.F.

Even before we gave you details of today's competition you've been sending in sightings of the King from all corners of the galaxy. Yes indeedy, he's out there guys gals and garganoids.

Frooooo.....m...... NOW, anyone who rushes us a holo of the King himself in action with a guitar before he vanishes back into Witch Space (remember that??! ) can have a complete reprint of the original disc covers as used on Earth way back in prehistoric times when babes were babes and little green men hadn't been invented. That's right, the original covers! Wow, that'll make the neighbours jealous even if they live half a system away.

See you soon. Byeeee ....

THAT OTHER KING.

J.F.

Regular readers will remember that last week we told you Crown Prince Harry was seen partying with a well endowed pretty who regularly appears in your favourite newsjournal. Maybe he's even seen more than she reveals in the holo in the colour supplement!!

His Imperial Majesty is gonna be beaned off when he hears that Harry boy is getting through the Imperial coffers like a rabid Grafnerbeast in a mooley factory. Watch out your Imperial Majesty, you'll soon be down to your last few palaces - our Eccy can really tuck away that Heffna IV champagne!!! Rumour has it the happy couple are en-route to the Party Planet to really get spending.

Anyone wanna buy a palace?

THE OTHER KING 2.

J.F.

You read it here first! His Imperial Highness Prince Harald has been tracked down to exclusive gambling tables on the Party Planet and a certain RIG lovely's got her hands on his chips! Our Eccy is dolled out in a genuine Riedquatian mousemat cloak and she's wearing gems traded recently at Scrillions of credits per gram! Eccy, (44, 24, 36, D,C,D) looks like the cat that's found the milkbottle. We quizzed Eccy about the champagne as she changed for her show at the Starclub - we can tell you it was a sight for sore eyes! "If you want high performance you use high performance fuel" she laughed attractively.

Vroom vrooooom Eccy!! We'll check out your high performance chassis anyday!!

HEARTBREAK!

J.F.

It was too good to last. The romance is over, the Prince has kissed his lovely goodbye and is getting packed to go home. We interviewed Eccy in the Starclub Lounge. She appealed to her fans all over the galaxy.

"I was a foolish young girl" she sobbed. "He's thrown me over, all because I wanted to go to the Hotblack gig. He wanted to go gambling again to win back the lousy O'Hanlon's Claim. Duval's Claim it should be. He Claimed he wanted me and then he dumped me. I mean a gentleman wouldn't have done that would he?"

Well, what about it Harry? Doesn't it mean anything that you've broken a young girl's hearts?

We think you're a Right Royal cad and we invite our readers to mail us TODAY and tell us what they think of the way you've treated our Eccy.

LOVEBIRDS AGAIN!

J.F.

It was tense. The croupier was sweating. The crowd was fifteen deep. The Prince looked up as he laid all his chips on a single number. The boule rattled. His eyes met hers. Your reporter heard his whisper in the dead quiet hall.

"I put it on the treble zero in memory of our love."

The wheel slowed. Yes!!!! It was treble zero!!

The croupier handed back the title deed to O'Hanlon's Claim. We were silent as the Prince walked across and... he gave it to our Eccy!!!!!!!!!!

Well, your reporter is a pretty hard case but even I had to go to the bar and drink a toast to the happy couple with a slight touch of moisture in my leathery old eye.

HIDEAWAY.

J.F.

Somewhere out there, somewhere where readers of your hyperwave wonder are seeing them everyday there are two love birds who've given the whole galaxy of reporters the slip. Prince Harry and the lovely stunner Eccy G. were last seen heading out from the Party Planet, ducking into hyper space and gate hopping so fast they left behind even the fastest ships hired by our reporters. Where have they gone?

We are offering PRIZES to the first who tells us where they are. You can win a fabulous holiday on the Party Planet with the partner of your choice, all expenses paid AND a visit to the romantic planet O'Hanlan's Claim in the delightful, out of the way system of Essaa, the only planet in the galaxy to change hands three times in one day, from Empire to casino, from casino to Prince and from Prince to showgirl.

HARD TO SWALLOW

J.F.

Here's a story that even the fish find hard to swallow. A load of macho guys went off on a junket last week courtesy of one of the big hunt kit companies with free sub thrown in. The idea was they all had a good time and caught a few tiddlers. They were down at about three hundred fathoms (don't ask us, why they can't use metres we've no idea) when something a bit bigger than they'd expected came up from deep down.

The Leviathan is the biggest fish yet found and this one was the granddaddy of them all. It managed to get three quarters of the sub into its mouth before they used all their torpedoes to tickle its tonsils and it spat them out so hard they came out of the sea like a rocket and ended up fifty metres up the beach.

Big? You think that was big? You should have seen the one that got away!!!!

EGG-HEADS SLANDER THE BEAST

J.F.

Scientists, doncha hate 'em?!! One egghead at a conference last week got an idea into his beanbox and started to spread it around before your reporter pointed out the error of his ways in the straightest way possible, right in the teeth.

This four eyed freak and his tame computer reckons that he knows more than all the people of Topaz. He says, and how he should know when he'd never even been on the planet beats me, he says the Beast is nothing but a mushroom.

We need science. It has done us all a lot of good. We know what we want from science in the future. Better travel. Improved dream-stuff. Cheaper medicine. What we don't need is interfering fools who spout off about things they haven't seen. My old gran told me the story of how Al D Neilarmstrong killed the Beast with a laser when he landed on Topaz a thousand years ago. If it was good enough for granny then it's good enough for your reporter.

Anyway the old fool can't even eat beastmeat, he says it's too bitter. Listen, he should leave real gamey food to those who can take it.

Bitter? Of course it's bitter and getting more bitter every day. That's the way men like their meat.

Get back to your test tubes, four-eyes, and leave the real world to those of us who appreciate REAL food!!

A FISHY TAIL

J.F.

OH YEAH!! We've heard it all now. You know the story about the one that got away? Well, listen to this one. There was this guy on new California (Liaququ), this real rich fat cat who's been chasing the local fish since Noah moved off Earth. He was on his luxury ship with all the gear and a couple of dollies to make it easier and he hooked a monster - two hundred metres of fighting fish. Then it jumped out of the water and vanished!! We've heard some fishy stories, buster, but we won't be HOOKED by this one.

Did it REELY happen?

BALDY BUNCH KIDNAPPED

J.F.

Those hoppy guys from SheehanWorld (Exbeur) really know where their trowel is. They've been holding off the feds for months now even though most of their folks have been shipped out.

We don't approve of kidnapping but when they grab a bunch of baldy researchers from Atlantis then you can't help sniggering, can you?

REWARD FOR RELEASE OF VITAL SCIENTISTS.

J.F.

The proprietor of RIG, Mr Paddington Chitoh, has offered a MILLION CREDITS for the release of the scientists held on the Bubble stolen by the grim-faced terrorists from Sheehan World. This just shows how important their work is to all the men in the galaxy.

We say let's get those dedicated researchers out of there no matter what the cost. And which journal is leading the way? Your rampant runaway RIG!!!!

SCHOOL SICKOS.

J.F.

We got real angry when we saw what happened yesterday to pretty little Frug Elricsdottir. Some sicko had given her a computer program and it fried her brain! Who wants to look at a screen when its got the Basilisk on anyway? These programs are lethal, kids, they kill you as soon as you look at them. Computer progs are bad for you, kids.

We demand that they be banned. We insist that anyone found pushing one is locked up and the key is thrown away. Prison is the right place for these deviants who prey on our kids. All computer games should be thrown out. There's plenty of other things to do with your spare time, kids. You can always read your schizatronic runaway RIG!

POSICLES

J.F.

They've just found a great big space ship out by Tau Ceti and guess what, it's filled with? Corpsicles. These cool guys had this sort of sugar grown in their bodies and then they sat in a hot room until they shrivelled up! Pop 'em in the freezer and they last for ever. Freeze-dried people, just add water like a pot-noodle! Doesn't seem much fun to us. I mean, they've been frozen for thousands of years.

Now what sort of fashion sense are they gonna have when they get out? They'll be a right lot of beanheads!! It'll be kipper ties and thirty inch flares with platform soles!!!

Still, maybe they'll all get jobs running fashion museums.

MY LOVER TURNED INTO A MONKEY!!!

J.F.

Lovely Eccy G. was in tears when she told of her ordeal in the Imperial Palace.

"Harry was so sweet to me, like when we were swanning round the Federation he gave me this planet and everything. But then he went to that Institute place and everything changed." Crown Prince Harry grew HAIR on his head and then everywhere!!! Then his FEET changed until he could hold a banana with his TOES!

"It was kinda fun at first" sobbed Eccy, "but in the end he wanted to do really crazy things, you know, chandeliers and that. I had to flee for my life. I mean, I didn't have the grip he had, what with his four hands."

Never mind Eccy. We still love you. You're the light of our lives and no-one could hold a candle to you!!!!

ROYAL INVITE FOR HOLO-STAR.

J.F.

A little birdman told us last night that a certain holo-star from your favourite journal has been invited to the Imperial Palace for another visit. This time it's the big cheese himself who has pushed out the boat. Last time she was mixed up with the Duval family our Eccy came out of it with a broken heart, bruises and a planet. We asked her if she'd got over Prince Harry, the monkey-man.

"Oh, Harry, well, he was just this guy, you know" she told your reporter.

"His Majesty's a friend, that's all. We have fun together. And he's kinda cute!!"

Cute and the most powerful man in known space.

BUBBLE FORGE 1.

J.F.

The galaxy is just about to change and no-one's noticed yet. Dillon, owner of Dillon's Bubble Forge in the asteroid rich system of Wolf 424, is typical of a new band of entrepreneurs.

He took me through a production run. The first and critical stage is the selection process. The chosen asteroid has to be exactly right if the final product is to meet the required specification, nickel iron without too much carbonaceous material, although a bit of silicate around the outside does no harm. The mining and backfilling takes Dillon's droids about about a year. The amount of ice in the central core is calculated to the tonne and the huge alloy plug which fills the entrance tunnel is very carefully engineered. When the asteroid is just a nickel-iron shell filled with ice it is nudged out of orbit and falls towards the sun.

"We chose an M5 because we get good control of temperature. Brighter stars heat the preform up unpredictably. Get your orbit wrong by a few centi-k and it'll come out cooked. The temperature gradient's much better with an 'M'," Dillon told your reporter.

I was fortunate enough to be present when a new Bubble was coming up from the sun. Initially only one k across, the Bubble (now truly a bubble) was five k wide and - a little bonus from the angle the loading shaft was cut - it was already spinning fast enough to simulate 1G for anyone standing inside. All 200 Bubbles made so far have been for Frontier planets. All three forges are owned by men and women who were once from the frontier.

Who can doubt this is the wave of the future and that this wave signals the end of planet-bound civilisation?

BUBBLE FORGE 2.

J.F.

The history of Bubble production makes fascinating reading. The initial idea is as old as civilisation and may actually predate manned spaceflight. Planets are gravity wells. It seems obvious to those of us trained and brought up on the frontier that there are gross disadvantages about living down a well.

Once you're in, you're well in. The costs of getting out are high. More especially there are dangers about being always in the same predictable and accessible place. If the Feds are after you then they know where to come - unless you're a Bubble dweller.

The first attempts at Bubble manufacture were made by the folk of Stevenson (Phiagre), using nuclear explosives. This produced the desired configuration after the heating orbit system was developed although the asteroid preform had to be semi-molten before nuclear explosives proved powerful enough - but radiation problems meant that the resultant Bubble was uninhabitable for decades.

The new system, using ice inclusion to provide internal pressure when "cooked" by the local star, has been refined so that it is capable of producing any desired structure, up to and including multiple bubble habitats.

BUBBLE FORGE 3.

J.F.

An analysis of the sales of Bubbles over the last two decades shows the way the future is heading. All bar one have gone to colonists anxious to escape the expanding conformity of our modern culture. Once those groups would have fled through hyper space to a new planet beyond the frontiers of settlement.

One by one their new homes would have succumbed as the borders of the Federation and the Empire spread. It's well worth thinking about. If you settle a couple of parsecs out on an untouched planet then in two generations, yes, only two, your new settlement will have been overtaken by the advancing wave of what the two big bullies like to call civilisation. Maybe it's time to stop settling planets.

Maybe it's time for us all to think of taking up the ultimate frontier life as interstellar gypsies, roaming free and unthreatened while we leave the quarrels and pettiness of planet people behind.

BUBBLE FORGE 4.

J.F.

It's a strange experience for those of us used to the quick and easy travel offered by hyper space drives, but these people didn't seem to care that even short journeys to near star systems would take them generations.

"We ain't going anywhere," said one grizzled old-timer, waving his hand to take in the whole of the inside of his Bubble, the fresh soil, the new green crops pushing through the thin grey blanket covering the new-made fields.

"Why go anywhere else? This is home. This is the place we want to be." He was right. These people are simple farmers, living the life that science has proved is the one that suits humankind best. It's in our genes and most of the stresses and diseases of modern society are caused because we try to deny it.

She slipped her tugs and set off under her own Casimirs, spewing thin ice crystals into space.

When your reporter is dust and gone she will be only a quarter of the way to her destination. In all those years the crew will be living their lives, tilling the fields, farming, breeding their horses and cows. They'll call into the system when they get there, mine its Oort cloud for reaction mass and then set off again. True pioneers.

Bon Voyage.

SIZE 1:

J.F.

The Biology and Ecology conference held on Gold (Delta Pavonis) last week was primarily concerned with looking at the entire problem of size alteration in Earth lifeforms transported to alien environments.

The first paper, presented by Dr Dag Halesfrumleeds, addressed the connected cases of parallel evolution in the many introduced buteo species on low density giants. These birds - which are collectively known as High Eagles - are hunted avidly by those who can afford this most expensive of sports, exhibit the problem to a marked degree.

Genetic data from Earth suggest that Earth fauna evolve naturally towards body weights of one kilogram. Aviforms tend to progress and level out at about half that figure. The smallest High Eagle recorded weighs fifty kilos, the largest, Buteo altairensis, weighs as much as a full grown human. Obviously, something has changed.

Dr Halesfrumleeds and his University Connectivity System demonstrated a theory of size using planet density, fractal dimension in 3D of the primary landmasses and ratio of land to sea areas. The theory accurately predicted Eagle size in ten separate populations. It is being extended to see if it can retrospectively predict the size ranges of condor, buteo and eagle populations on Earth.

SIZE 2:

J.F.

The paper presented by Dr Dag Halesfrumleeds on day one of the B&E conference on Gold in the Delta Pavonis system was the subject of altercation in a restaurant that evening.

The sports reporter from Frontier News took exception to the entire hypothesis, claiming that it was merely a 'steal' from his own theory published several weeks ago. University police were called and stun rays were needed to separate the combatants. The fact that there is a great deal of difference between an idea - unsupported by documented facts- and a scientific theory - bolstered by evidence - does not seem to have penetrated the minds of our sport-orientated sister journal.

SIZE 3:

J.F.

The B&E conference has become embroiled in another controversy. A paper presented on the so-called 'Topaz Beast' has led to writs, threats of military action, and picketing of the conference venue. The initial paper entitled 'The Topaz Beast: growth of a modern myth' was given on day one. By day two a delegation from the Topaz Tourist Board had arrived. These brought with them a presentation from their own University of Topaz Biology department which they insisted be heard.

The competing theories - either the Beast is nothing more that a natural bacterial or fungal mat or, the hitherto accepted view, it is in fact the carcass of an enormous hostile animal killed by early settlers- should be easily subjected to scientific analysis, but there was much heat and politics and little science when the protaganists were separated by members of the conference committee.

It seems that this whole affair is turning into a classic example of what happens when politics is allowed to interfere with scientific work.

SIZE 4:

J.F.

Dr Dag Halesfrumleeds added to the excitement at the B&E conference on Gold (Delta Pavonis) when he was interviewed by a representative of the tabloid press just before the closing ceremony. The interview ended with violence. In essence he states that the fabulous Beast of Topaz is not, as myth has it, the remnant of a vast alien creature slain by early colonists, nor is it a fungal mat.

It is, he asserts, merely a particularly large specimen of Lycoperdon giganteum, the giant puffball fungus. Claiming that the Topaz fungus fits in perfectly with his theory of giganticism, he was hurried out of the conference hall by police officers anxious to avoid a confrontation with the Topaz Tourist Board.

The reporter is expected to be charged with assault, insulting behaviour, and affray in a public place.

SIZE 5:

J.F.

Representatives of three major universities were invited earlier this week to an extraordinary 'scientific meal' at Warmbrown University, home campus of Dr Dag Halesfrumleeds whose paper on size inflation in transplanted Earth fauna caused such chaos at the B&E conference last month. The university science department served a selection of fungal foods, the main course being, of course, Lycoperdon giganteum, the fungus Dr Halesfrumleeds claims is identical to the fabled Beast of Topaz.

It was agreed that the taste was similar to Topaz beastmeat, but less bitter. Over-ripe puffballs, in the few days before they sporulate, acquire a progressively more bitter taste. A comparison of beaststeak from Hardisty's Meat Mine on Topaz with over-ripe puffball was inconclusive. Both were bitter, but the steak was much more so.

Sectional DNA analysis is being carried out in several research centres and until the results of this are obtained the jury must remain out.

SIZE 6:

J.F.

The small backwoods planet New Moscow was finally evacuated last week after a fight against the local mutant weed which has gone on heroically for the last century. This little known Federation planet was infested with the giant knotweed, polygonum baldschuanicum, when a contaminated soil sample was delivered to the local botanical research station.

The station, an offshoot of Warmbrown University, was sued fifty years ago and declared itself bankrupt in order to avoid financial ruin. New Moscow becomes the first planet to be completely overrun by a feral Earth plant and, although colonists from Sheehan World are reportedly anxious to attempt a recolonisation, resettlement seems unlikely. A representative of the Federation Botanical Society (Armoured Division) is expected to study the problem some time in the next year or so. In the meantime, the refugees are sheltering on Topaz while they await a new home.

FRACTAL 1.

J.F.

The latest published results from the jointly funded Science Institute of Trichology, Trichopathy and Trichogeny on Atlantis (Canlada) are promising and offer hope for all those who suffer from the cluster of genetic disorders collectively and commonly known as male pattern baldness. These have proved unexpectedly resistant to scientific analysis and it is only now, when the full weight of combined Federation and Empire funding has enabled one of the most highly powered scientific teams ever known to be assembled, that the causes are being identified.

The human genome, as was demonstrated in the late twentieth century, falls naturally into the pools of what has become known as The Man Attractor, a multidimensional fractal construct which recapitulates the putative evolution of that genome when free from major disruption by invading transposons. This fractal ('all the humans who are and ever can be' as its discoverer remarked) exhibited the symptoms of trichopathy in all of its branches explored up to now.

The Institute of TTT has addressed the problem using computer brute power: they have probed deeper into the fractal than ever before and have identified a branch of the 'family of Man' which is immune to this distressing disease. The hope is that having found this trichopathy free area, alterations may now be made to the genome of affected males, shifting them onto this branch of the fractal. The problem should then disappear.

However, scientists have pointed out that minor alterations may lead to great changes in the Attractor and it is too early to expect practical results.

KIDNAP 1.

J.F.

When scientists become involved in politics the result is usually bad science. Sometimes there is even human tragedy. It is too early to predict the outcome of the hostage situation on Atlanta where armed insurgents from SheehanWorld (Exbeur) have taken over the TTT Institute and are threatening to destroy the results of years of research. From top to bottom this Institute is staffed by the cream of galactic science: there are computing teams which until recently carried out Hyper Space research: the new smoother transitions are a result of that work.

Dr Dag Halesfrumleeds is renowned in the biological sciences and the Imperial shape-changers are second to none. We could name fifty top men in each of the related fields of trichopathy. There have been calls for violent action against the bandits from some sections of the press. These scientists are so important for the collective endeavour of galactic science that we urge caution.

Research will be put back generations if the team is lost.

KIDNAP 2.

J.F.

Sometimes it is necessary for governments to negotiate even with their enemies. The deal worked out by Imperial and Federation teams with the terrorists from Exbeur shows that this can sometimes lead to unexpected and dangerous results. When the initial demand was for a ship capable of taking a large crew beyond known space, we argued that this would be a good thing as long as the hostage scientists were released unharmed. Now that the result is the galaxy's first Bubble equipped with a hyperspace drive and crammed with Casimir generators we urge extreme caution.

No-one knows what will be the effects of so many drives working in tandem. No research has been done on the effects of such a huge mass being dropped into witch space. Theoretical studies indicate reality backwash which might render whole systems uninhabitable. Before our governments permit the terrorists to board their new ship, urgent theoretical research must be carried out. Otherwise, when the last few inhabitants of Sheehan World fire their craft up for the first time, they will be carrying out a terrifying full scale experiment which could rend the fabric of space-time itself.

Who knows what bizarre and infinitely improbable events could then occur?

KIDNAP 3.

J.F.

It is too soon for the results of the launch of the 'Leviathan' to be fully evaluated. We warned that such a large ship might present problems. We are pleased that our gloomiest prognostications have proved unfounded.

However, anomalous effects on New California (Liaququ) show that we were right to urge caution. The engines used in the terrorists' Bubble were all from the RollsRoyce drive works on that planet. We know of no scientific reason why there should be a connection between the works and their product but, at the precise second that the drives were engaged and the Leviathan entered hyper space, one of the enormous fish (the so-called Leviathan from which the name was derived) of that planet vanished.

There can be no doubt this event occurred. It was swimming a kilometre offshore from the factory and had just been hooked by the North East Rook on a sportsman's raft. The event was witnessed by several people and is recorded on holo. At the same instant (to within two femtoseconds) a system-wide broadcast in an unknown language blanketed all frequencies. This may be another side-effect of the incident, or may have been a message from the terrorists.

We shall see when translators have worked on the code. Hyper space theory will be enriched, perhaps transformed, if we can understand what has happened. But this is no way to do science.

KIDNAP 4.

J.F.

Translation programs at the Imperial Centre for Language Research and Remote Falsehood Detection have reportedly cracked the message transmitted by the Heart of Darkness when it launched into Hyper Space.

The message was received simultaneously throughout known space and its transmission power seems to have been almost infinite, a fact only to be explained by the extreme conditions generated by the launching of such a massive object into hyper space. The Imperial database contains complete records of all three thousand separate dialects of modern Germanglic and its historical banks hold all known historical references in extinct tongues.

The oldest, Geekanlattin - or possibly Leek o'Gratin - actually predates technological civilisation. Using phoneme analysis together with pattern matching techniques which up to now have remained a closely guarded military secret because of their code-breaking potential, the computers have come up with the following two possibilities:

a. 'Inside the auditory orifice of the gentleman who pays the rent'

b. 'Ah, non, pas encore'

Option 1 is meaningless. Option 2 is being run through once more. The Centre staff believe that it is not yet fully translated from another extinct Earth language.

LETHAL FRACTALS

J.F.

Computer recreations: Something special this week to celebrate the end of my tenure here as I'm moving on to an early retirement. The accompanying fractal program explores areas we have not yet touched. The resultant three dimensional display is best viewed on a real, not virtual, screen in fairly bright lighting conditions from a range of about three metres, with the screen turned towards the nearest window or door. Various parameters are preset, leaving the reader to explore using a joystick and as much imagination as he or she can muster.

A good place to start is in the upper left hand corner of the original display and then to dive abruptly into the area where X is greater than 1.342, Y is not equal to 4 and Z=0.

I'm sure you will find it very interesting.

NEW FRACTAL FOUND

J.F.

Dr Fruckstickborks has now published the fractal of the siliconey cladogram. (Nature, vol 18,937,027,511 No. 3.) The results he claims are unexpected. In the siliconey attractor, all siliconeys look the same. It could be true that the result and apotheosis of siliconeyhood is a small rocky blob about one metre across, coloured grey, and with a maximum crawling speed of three kilometres a day, but if so it is very disappointing.

All other life so far discovered is DNA based: how sad to find that is all there is. Perhaps now the manufacturers of the games and holos our children spend so much time with will abandon the bug-eyed monsters they are so fond of. They can always stick with true and trusted real life favourites such as the Scrarl with its acid squirting properties and the Egregious Smother.

Another touch of romance has gone out of the universe.

FRACTAL 2.

J.F.

It is tragic that another youngster has been dabbling in the Langford Basilisk fractal (see news pages for the death figures). Perhaps it is time to reiterate the information and warning we transmitted last time this sad result of computer tinkering occurred.

A lethal subset of the Basilisk fractal has recently come within calculating range of the average home computer. When displayed at resolutions above visual acuity the fractal has the property of interfering with certain rhythms of the human cortex, disrupting brainwave function and, in all cases so far investigated, producing instant death. Depending as it does so critically on the brain structure of the observer, no experimental animal has been found to try out interference techniques. This means there is no defence: exposure to the fractal is instant death.

Fractal travellers must avoid areas where X is greater than 1.342, Y in not equal to 4 and Z = 0.

Remember, the Langford Basilisk is lethal.

FRACTAL 3.

J.F.

We have received unconfirmed reports that Imperial scientists have been generating DNA direct from the Man Attractor, then melding it with unfertilised ova and bringing the resultant zygote to term. Perhaps this is the logical result of research in this area of knowledge. We know that work is continually going on in this area; many subsets of the basic human bodyplan have been made. The present experiment is different, however, because it is a deliberate attempt to short-circuit the normal processes of evolution.

The effects on human culture of forcing the next stage of human development gives cause for concern. No reputable scientist would dare to push towards the apotheosis of Mankind. The history of Man, the wars, the self-sacrifice, the selfishness and the altruism, indicate that we are less than consistent in our makeup.

The final development of our species will have discarded all our ambiguity. However, we cannot predict (or at least not until our computing power has improved to beyond current theoretical limits) which of the human traits, altruism or evil, will be eliminated by the forces we face in the universe. Imperial scientists may produce the nearest thing we will ever see to the perfect human being.

There is also a risk that they may bring forth demons. That risk is too high.

This area of research should be abandoned.

VIRUS RESEARCH.

J.F.

Plant pathology laboratories throughout known space are fighting to save the plant species group collectively known as pelargoniums(v.i.). All known specimens are suffering from wilt, glanders of the root structure and gleek. A range of fungicidal treatments, together with tissue culture regeneration has been tried but results are, as yet, discouraging. "It is as if the entire universe has become hostile to their growth" said a researcher at the New Californian horticultural Research Station. 'No matter what we do the plants refuse to grow." A similar disease outbreak two thousand years ago - the cause of which was never identified - disappeared spontaneously.

  • Editor's note: These plants are popularly known by gardeners as geraniums, a confusion of nomenclature that dates back into pre-history.

PSYCHOHISTORY - A NEW SCIENCE?

J.F.

A press conference is an unusual way of announcing a scientific breakthrough. The normal method, publication in a scientific journal after extensive peer review, is more normal and has the effect of eliminating ideas which are less than rigorous. Last night's conference at which an unknown young researcher presented his scheme for a new science indicates that the current system, while flawed, has much to commend it.

The theory of psychohistory he propounded looks dubious to say the least. It ignores advances in mathematics (and, incidentally, ignores the chaotic sensitivity to initial conditions exhibited by any cusp-surfing complex system), and simultaneously rides roughshod over state dirigism and the whole concept of collective free-will.

Dr Seldon should publish. Then the worth of his theories can be assessed.

ANUBIS - THE WITHERED LIFE

J.F.

The reported discovery of a pre-hyperspace vessel, the Ark Anubis, has shown once again how effective the primitive methods of stellar settlement could be.

By using the sugar trehalose artificially engendered in all body cells, the settlers could be dried and deep frozen without a great deal of bodily damage. Their expectation that they could be revived proved true and the first human settlements on Mars (Sol) were made using this method. The science is interesting. Trehalose sugar forms a glass as the cells dehydrate, locking the DNA and cell structures into place. Then, when water is re-introduced, the cell revives. The technique is universally used on dry planets to produce drought resistant crops.

On the Anubis the automatic revival machines seem to have failed: it has been orbiting Tau Ceti undetected for 500 years. It will be fascinating to see what the crew of the vessel makes of our modern technological civilisation.

DNA TRANSPOSON

J.F.

All life is one. This bold statement can be found in research papers published posthumously by the Harris Powell Foundation. DNA (see box) has long been known to be of limited mutability, a fact that explains the theory of punctuated evolution which displaced pure Darwinism in the early thirtieth century.

The Powell theory makes use of this limit. In a densely worded paper Powell points out that using the Huffen transposon theory and assuming viral vectors, all later DNA can be created from the most primitive form ever discovered. The process is surprisingly simple, requiring merely extremely large computers and the largest DNA database ever created. Then, using random transposon disruption generated by the controlling program,

Powell is able to generate all known cladograms, animal, vegetable and, surprisingly, mineral. Even the siliconeys are included in Powell's great family of life.

DNA ADDENDUM

J.F.

The Powell Foundation (see our last issue) has published an addendum to their epoch making paper on the origins of life. While not so wide ranging in its claims, it is even more disturbing. It claims that all higher organisms - which in accordance with Powellism means non-vegetable life - are able to cross-transfer DNA. The addendum was still being worked on by Powell himself just before he died, and as such may be incomplete. However, in it he traces a mathematical construct which he calls 'life-space', a multi-dimensional universe involving the higher organisms in a close-knit whole. Then he simulates the whole when animated by viral carriers and demonstrates the speed with which beneficent genes spread via the viruses across the species barrier. There have been indications that this is so.

A few years ago it was shown that the kingfisher fur mutation (a true radiation-induced mutation) had spread from the cat population of Canolol to a large proportion of the planet's human population in only ten generations. We cannot share Powell's quasi-religious conclusion from his data, and his theory goes further than true scientific rigor will strictly allow. But even so we are somehow warmed by the idea of life collectively taking on the blind hostility of the inanimate, all for one and one for all.

We will never look at the office cat in the same way again.

BUBBLE DRIVE THREAT DENIED

J.F.

A prominent Federation scientist has claimed that the recently built Casimir drive is a threat to the entire universe. Using as it does the concept of space-curvature-straightening in order to milk power from the structure of space-time, it inevitably changes its large scale and long-term viability.

Of course the effect is small: the drive is almost useless for jumpship drives where really high power levels are needed and this is why its only use up to now has been as the power source in the Bubble ark ships. Even a million of these Bubbles would have no effect on space-time, but analysis by staff scientists indicate that, if the Bubble concept catches on, numbers might grow exponentially. The sphere of Bubble space would expand almost indefinitely at about .4L radial velocity and intergalactic distances would prove no obstacle to a fully equipped and refuelled Bubble, spreading the Bubbles out into deepest space. The numbers of Bubbles would rapidly become uncountable.

At this stage their power sources would tilt the universe from its current critical balance and induce collapse towards the Big Crunch. The implications must be checked before this trend becomes unstoppable.

CUSTOMS OFFICERS CEASE DREAMWARE

M.T.

Imperial Customs and Excise officials report the apprehension and arrest of famed trader Lucas Byzantium and the detention of his vessel, the High Caldera. Byzantium was detained on the docks of Capitol when, acting on information received, Excise officials found numerous examples of the notorious 'Dream Freedom' DreamWare amounts a legitimate cargo of weapons and similar ordnance. Byzantium will be tried on five charges of smuggling and on conviction faces a life sentence on each charge together with the confiscation of all /assets to finance his imprisonment.

Distinguished lawyer, Aloysius X Bernard, retained by Byzantium, declared 'Of course my client is innocent of all charges against him. I just don't yet know how we're going to convince the judge'.

BYZANTIUM HELD ON FICTITIOUS CHARGES

M.T.

Reports have been received that the Imperials have detained the famous trader and explorer, Lucas Byzantium and his ship, the justly famous 'High Caldera'. Byzantium had docked on Achenar 6 to trade his cargo of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment when a section of over-zealous Imperial officers boarded the 'High Caldera' without the necessary warrant, and ransacked the entire ship. Several DreamWare chips of the type commonly called 'Dream Freedom' were removed from the ship. 'Dream Freedom' DreamWare is, of course, outlawed in the Empire. Byzantium pleaded not guilty to smuggling charges 'Ain't you guys ever heard of 'personal use?'.

DREAM ON LUCAS

M.T.

Everyone knows the Empire is all paranoia and black leather but just in case anyone out there still thinks Duval's troopers are the good guys, chew on this. They arrested Lucas Byzantium. Yes, you read right. THE Lucas Byzantium. Most of the galaxy regards this man as a benefactor of all humankind and natural candidate for sainthood when he hands over his final manifest. But the Empire has arrested him. Want to know what the Imperial flunkeys say he did? Smuggle DreamWare chips onto Capitol, that's what. 'Dream Freedom' chips. Hey, if there's anywhere that ought to be flooded neck deep in 'Dream Freedom; chips, it's the Imperial Court. Rest assured, we'll keep you informed. If Byzantium owes anyone out there, don't go holding your breath now.

SMUGGLER CONVICTED

M.T.

The Imperial High Legislate, meeting in session on Capitol this week has convicted the independent pilot, Lucas Byzantium, on three charges of smuggling the insidious version of DreamWare, 'Dream Freedom'. Byzantium was summarily sentenced to three consecutive life sentences on Zovese, the Imperial prison mine. His counsel Aloysius X Bernard, was quoted as saying 'Hey, two out of five ain't bad. Appeal? Sure, and soon. Life expectancy on Zovese isn't exactly long, you know.'

Imperial Legislator Octavius P Hogan today called for mandatory death sentences for all smugglers and users of 'Dream Freedom', together with their immediate families. The High Legislate will consider the bill at their next plenary session in 5 standard years time.

EMPIRE WARPS JUSTICE - AGAIN

M.T.

The Council of the Federation and Member Systems today lodged a strong objection to what was described as 'the travesty of a trial given Lucas Byzantium'. Byzantium has been sentenced to life imprisonment on the notorious Imperial prison planet Zovese. Council Member Thad Osiek of Fomalhaut called for sanctions against the Empire. 'Byzantium is not an Imperial subject and the handful of 'Dream Freedom' chips had in his baggage were manifestly for his own personal use. The Empire is the only place these harmless DreamWare chips aren't in everyday use.

TO HELL - AND BACK?

M.T.

So Lucas Byzantium has bought the farm on Zovese, or Hell as anyone lucky enough not to be a local calls it. Whoever expected Byzantium to get justice in an Imperial Court has their answer now. Everyone out there knows our dedication to the truth, the whole truth and.... would we feed you scuttlebutt? Have we ever lied to you?

A wise owl has told us that Byzantium's 'few chips for personal use' were, in fact, an entire shipload, enough to bliss out the whole of the Imperial Court, the Imperial Guard, all the Protectorates and His Exemplary Rumbustiousness Himself. So, friend Byzantium has probably been hung for a sheep as a lamb. Me? I'm a vegetarian - of course.

HAPPY ZAPPERS

M.T.

Here's a warning for all you brave little toasters out there. Seems like some of the caps out of those busy labs on Liaanack do a little more than the manufacturers claim. Not that there's any need to panic, it's not hair on the palms of your hands or growing another head (not this time). It's a case of mental problems (although there is a school of thought which says anyone who pops Liaanack caps has serious mental problems to begin with ....) Reports mention feelings of paranoia, delusions of grandeur and a severely reduced grasp of reality (which ever one you happen to be inhabiting at the time).

So - it looks like they've done it at last. They've developed a cap which sends you to sleep and wakes you up imagining you're the Emperor himself.

Remind me to give that one a miss...

NEW CROWN PRINCE DELIVERED ON CAPITOL

M.T.

The Imperial Palace is pleased to announce the birth of the latest Prince of the Empire. He was delivered to the Imperial Palace on Capitol early last week and will be named as follows:

Prince Hesketh, Hephaesteus, Horsa, Horus, Herald, Haemon, Huang-ti Hierophant, Henry, Harrald, Hildegard, Honolulu, Helpme, Hinda, Haardvaark, H'tino, Heng, Han, Hal, Hyped-up, Honorific, Harpy, Hester, Heliphant, Hantioch, Hissele, Homan, Hetsan, Hithere, Holdon, Hafgan, Hinquebuss, Havid, Haggy, Hjon, Hran, Hike, Horo, Hebat, Hannibal, Hrist, Happy, Holographic, Hunab-ku, Hermes Duval the Seventeenth.

LEGAL CASE STAGGERS ON

M.C.S

The [SlL1("lawyers","attorneys") of the [CrG1 Corporation of [SyG3(F) are continuing to press their [SlL2("libel","slander") case against the [SlL3("smaller","rival") company of [CoG2 Inc. in spite of continued legal advice from unconnected legal experts across the Galaxy. The case has dragged on for the past 30 years without resolve and has become little more than a lucrative gravy train for the teams of lawyers involved. Spokes beings for both sides continue to proclaim their right under numerous Pan Galactic laws to defend their [SlL5("good name","right to redress","company rights") while privately admitting that the only reason that the case was not dropped years ago is that to give way would be to admit defeat and that, whereas the case is costing several fortunes to maintain, neither side can afford to lose.

DUEL TO RESOLVE LEGAL BATTLE

M.C.S

Leading Federal Systems [SlL2("attorneys","lawyers") are meeting on [SyG3(F) to discuss the case of [CrG1 Corporation vs. [CoG2 Inc which has become a showpiece of legal farce but shows no sign of drawing to a close. Even the [SlL2("attorneys","lawyers") actively involved in the case admit in private that proceedings should never have been brought and that matters could have been resolved peacefully in the first instance had the two families involved not been engaged in a running feud which demanded that honour be satisfied. As ever in these cases, pride won over sanity and the protagonists on either side have stolidly refused to meet in person. This may change over the next couple of months as lawyers attempt to persuade the respective matriarchs that the honour of their ancestors would better be satisfied by a duel at dawn than by continued legal wrangling.

MARITAL CRISIS

M.C.S

Leading Federal Systems lawyers are meeting on [SyG3(F) to discuss the case of [CrG1 Corporation vs. [CoG2 Inc which has become a showpiece of legal farce but shows no sign of drawing to a close. Even those lawyers on the payrolls of the respective sides have conceded that proceedings have gone beyond all rational boundaries and that the whole thing could have been resolved peacefully years ago if the two families would stop intermarrying and then going through the trauma of divorce once every ten years. The bitterness caused with each catastrophic marital breakdown is enough to fuel the legal case until the next marriage. Lawyers for the unmarried sons and daughters of both sides are considering issuing a system-wide edict forbidding marriage in any of its multiple forms and creating instead a commune within which all decisions will be purely democratic. Legal advisors believe that the deadlock could be broken within weeks if the plan works.

ARMOURED DIVISIONS

M.C.S

A duel is due to take place within the next six months on the plains of [PlG3(F) ([SyG3(F)) between [OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2) of [CrG1 Corporation and [OoG3([FmG4,[FfG4) of [CoG2 Inc. Both protagonists are to be heavily armed and armoured, choosing from an array of weaponry stretching back to the first century on Earth (Sol) up to and including the latest needle-point lasers capable of blinding at 3 miles. The only restriction is that the opponents should use weapons of a similar era, to within at least a century of each other and weapons experts from the Museum of Armour and Ballistics on New California (Epsilon Eridani) will be present to adjudicate. This is not the first time that such a duel has taken place but it is unique in that both the fighters are wholly human and over eighty years old. It is also the first time in the last two and a half thousand years that the outcome of legal debate has been decided by armed combat. We expect to report the outcome in a future issue.

HONOUR SATISFIED

M.C.S

[PlG3(F) of [SyG3(F) was the site last month of a multi- era duel between [OoG1([FmG2,[FfG2) of [CrG1 Corporation and [OoG3([FmG4,[FfG4) of [CoG2 Inc. The fight began with single combat at dawn, both fighters armed with sword, spear and slung shield and progressed in hourly stages (with breaks for electrolyte replenishment) through axe, mace and morning star to longbow, crossbow, musket and arquebuss. After lunch, duelling pistols, rapier and sabre gave way to Colt .45, Thompson machine gun and AK47 assault rifles. There was a brief break to clear the field and the opponents changed to hand-held rocket launchers and then, in a series of rapid changes up through the various assault lasers to the modern single-beam cobalt/argon vapouriser. Medical teams were on hand throughout but the protagonists, who had been in training for decades were sufficiently skilled that few injuries were sustained. Points were awarded by weapons experts from the Museum of Armour and Ballistics on New California (Epsilon Eridani) both for skill in use of the weapon chosen and style of clothing and stance. The outcome was, predictably, a draw and honour has been satisfied on both sides.

FASHIONABLE FABRICATIONS?

M.C.S

Legal council Dragitt, Owt and Dither acting for the [CrG1 Corporation has filed a suit on behalf of their clients claiming indemnity in the case of the mammary triplicates occurring in certain parts of the Galaxy. The Corporation has antecedents going back as far as the late twentieth century when their parent company paid a major fortune for the patent rights to the newly discovered mammary carcinoma gene. The company grew and prospered to the point of being able to acquire the patent rights to the majority of the human body and several offshoots are now an integral part of the Empire; involved in the creation of the Imperial Clone Troops and the design of the Slave Production Line. That sub-corporation involved specifically with the development of fashionable female form has denied any pressure to increase mammary numbers and has suggested that any person or persons finding themselves with an extra-mammary embarrassment should seek recourse with their local recreational surgeon. [Zz(1,2,3,4)

ONGOING TRIAL

M.C.S

The trial continues on [PlL3(A) of [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) of [SyL3(A) on a charge of attempted [SlG1("assassination","espionage","smuggling","blackmail"). Council for the prosecution has produced a series of witnesses testifying to dealings with the accused and one, at least (granted indemnity and a new identity at the end of the trial) who has stated that [SlL1("he","she") was present when one of the alleged offences took place. The witness is prepared to undergo full psychological tests to prove the veracity of the evidence. In response, the council for the defence has produced a series of irrefutable alibis and a number of well-known civic leaders prepared to swear under oath that the accused was in their presence (and hence totally innocent) at the times of the alleged crimes. As ever in these cases, it is likely that the outcome will be undecided and the accused will be allowed to walk free but will be banished from the system in perpetuity.

TRIAL BY COMBAT

M.C.S

The trial continues on [PlL3(A) of [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) on a charge of attempted [OoR("assassination","espionage","smuggling","blackmail"). The victim in this case was one [OoL4([FmL5,[FfL5) of [SyL3(A) who has alleged crimes against person and property in violation of System and Inter-Galactic law. The sentence, were it to be proven, is banishment for all time from [PlSyL3(A), a threat that none of us who love this part of the Galaxy would take lightly. The accused has strenuously denied all charges and has suggested that, since a trial may take several years of everyone's life, the outcome could, instead be decided in the time-honoured method of trial-by-combat. Cobras at dawn, beam lasers, three missiles and an ECM each. It is several decades since such a trial took place but council for the prosecution has suggested in private that her client may well accept.

MARDI GRAS?

M.C.S

All work stopped last month in [SyL1(A) for the decannual [CiL1(A) festival and street carnival which took place over a period of ten days and effectively brought all normal activities to a halt. Men, women, children and androids all join together to make it one of the most flamboyant festivals in this sector of the galaxy and, even as a reporter, I found it impossible not to become totally involved. The theme this decade was [SlL1("alternative civilisations","fantasy lifestyles","cultures") [SlL2("of the past","of the future") with every trader, civic leader and corporate director producing a themed display to highlight their own personal achievements in a suitably subtle manner.

Clothes, food, drink and entertainment were all in character and it was possible to imagine oneself completely transported into a different world. For once, the ten days passed without undue violence; no theft was reported, no more than the usual quota of by-standers died and there was no noticeable violation of System law.

Those of you who missed the festivities would do well to keep your eyes peeled for the next one and make sure you're in the right place at the right time.

IMAGINAL NETWORK HEIST

M.C.S

The recent theft has been reported of two priceless works of art. The 'Imaginal Network' by [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2), a multi-dimensional image made in the 'new conceptual' school of thought was removed from the Gallery of the Locational Arts Trust at [SyL3(A) while, in a second raid on the same night, the K'tion's 'Contemporate Method' was stolen from the Institute of Critical Art at Wicca's World.

Both raids carry the hallmark of a well-organised group and both undoubtedly had inside information - in the [SyL3(A) theft, the multi-layered alarm system had been deactivated while on Wicca's World, a simultaneous raid by supposed eco-terrorists caused every alarm in the Station to activate so the one at the Gallery was ignored until long after the thieves had departed.

Spokes beings for both sides have commented on the value of the pieces and their remarkable similarity in conceptual terms, supporting the theory that the theft of both was commissioned for a private collection.

CRITICS CONVENTION

M.C.S

Art critics Galaxy-wide have been meeting at the Institute of Critical Art at Wicca's World for the fifty first annual art critics convention. [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2), one of the foremost exponents of the well-past-post-modern school of philosophical, contemplative, exploratory art is due to give the key-note speech on the theme 'Implications of Contemplative Art on Modern Society in all its Forms'.

Critics the Galaxy over have waited years to hear [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) speak in person after [SlL1("his","her") forthright exposition of controversial views at the Deadline Seminars on Facece in the earlier part of the millennium. The critic [SlL1("him","her")self has been a recluse since that date but has agreed to emerge from [SlL1("his","her") self-imposed exile on the condition that the audience is allowed only two questions and neither of them should involve either [SlL1("his","her") age or [SlL1("his","her") current romantic engagements. (rumours abound but decency prevents us from repeating any of them).

A full report of the Convention will be presented in a later issue.

RIOT!

M.C.S

Riot-police from the local Federal Security Service stood by and watched while the local militia of [SyG1(F edge) ran rampant through the streets, killing and maiming many who stood in their way. The FSS arrived en masse in the early hours of the morning at the invitation of the exiled civic leader [OoG2([FmG3,[FfG3).

The crowds, who had been living under a round-the-clock curfew and barbaric anti-demonstration laws went wild with the arrival of the Police. Many ran through the streets cheering, waving and chanting the name of their lost leader. The militia arrived in force an hour later armed with riot-control equipment and proceeded to arrest and execute the crowd leaders. Inter-Pol personnel were forced to stand by and watch, hamstrung by orders which forbade them to become involved with local battles.

Several have taken images of the militia involved and sworn to see them brought to full trial before a military tribunal before they leave the system.

RIOT UNDER CONTROL - JUST

M.C.S

[SyG1(F edge) yesterday simmered with tension, threatening to explode as the civilian population finally rose up, armed themselves with household weapons and took on the full might of the [PlG1(F edge) militia.

FSS observers, in place to ensure that the local elections were fair and democratic, stood helplessly by as the two sides clashed in a bloody street battle following the assertion by the local Council that the poll had been rigged. The fact that they are almost certainly in the right does not seem likely to further their cause, the People's Party has been suppressed by sheer force for years and most of their intellectual leaders were arrested, taken off planet and sold into Imperial slavery at the start of the decade.

The release of [OoG2([FmG3,[FfG3) by the Pirate Ricci Hellar following a slave market on [SyR(I) was the trigger for the current round of elections and should [SlG2("he","she") be elected, then a search will no doubt be begun for the rest.

In the meantime, the population is being decimated at the hands of a vengeful and well-armed militia.

EX-PIRATE RE-INSTATED

M.C.S

The civil unrest on [SyG1(F edge) has finally ceased following the destruction by the crowd of the Militia headquarters in [CiG1(F edge) and the reinstatement of the rightful leader [OoG2([FmG3,[FfG3). The exact circumstances of the anti-coup have not been revealed as journalists were prevented from attending the final assault on the compound.

Reliable sources, however, have confirmed the death 'while resisting arrest' of the Militia's leader and second-in-command and the sale into slavery of the other surviving members. A full search of slavery records has also been instigated at the behest of the new leader, in an effort to locate [SlG2("his","her") former colleagues and assistants who were lost to the slave trade during the initial anti-democratic coup. [Zz(1,2,3)

DNA BRINGS DOUBLE VISION

M.C.S

Bio-lawyers representing the [CrL1 Corp and [CoL2 Inc. have issued opposing statements in the case regarding the ownership of the bio-patent dubbed 'I/U Vision' by the press. Both sides claim ownership of a new section of code which, if it were implemented, would allow the human eye to see much further into the infra-red and ultra-violet ranges of the spectrum than is currently the case.

In each case, the corporation involved has successfully grown synthetic eyes for implantation and Chief Executive Officers on both sides can now claim the physical and psychological benefits of the corporeal additions. The case came to court when it was discovered that the companies involved were both growing embryos with the gene already in place.

[CrL1 Corp is suing [CoL2 Inc. for ownership of the DNA patent and is, in turn being counter-sued on the same count. The degree of industrial espionage and pre-fabrication of evidence is such that neither side is likely to prove its case with any certainty.

In the meantime, there are two embryos held in stasis awaiting the outcome.

COMMANDER DECORATED

M.C.S

Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) of the [SyL4(I) Imperial Guard was last month awarded the [SlL3("Bronze","Silver","Platinum","Tantallum") medallion for [SlL1("his","her") part in the arrest and subsequent conviction of two black-market [Sl("gems","drugs","weapons","slave") dealers who have apparently been trading out of [SyL1(I) without acknowledging trade tariffs for the past two years. Both admitted freely to their crimes and conceded that they had been strongly influenced by Federalist propaganda.

The pair accepted their sentence and will gratefully serve the Emperor for life in the slave mines of [PlR(Impmine) Their list of contacts is being studied by the Investigators of the Imperial Guard and a list of ship commanders who have traded with the pair will be forwarded to all stations in order that appropriate measures may be taken.

Citizens are reminded of their duty to maintain the Emperor's laws for the benefit of all who live under his beneficence.

IMPERIAL HONOUR

M.C.S

Traders in [SyL1(I) have raised a [SlL2("plaque","statue","memorial") to his Imperial Majesty Hengist Duval, fifteenth of the line as an expression of their eternal gratitude for the actions of his Imperial Guard Clone Troops in managing the recent outbreak of civil unrest.

[NuR(1,10) months of unwarranted mayhem, bloodshed and terror took place at the hands of a group of fanatical federalists who were attempting to overthrow the legitimate rule of the Imperial Council. Citizens took to their homes for fear of becoming embroiled in the street fighting and many of them took up the offer of hand guns to defend their right to live under Imperial protection.

The riots ended last month when the civil leaders of [CiL1(I) requested the assistance of the Clone Troops. Within forty-eight hours, storm-troopers had surrounded the centres of violence, eliminating the ring leaders and their followers in a series of well-aimed strikes. Very few of the local citizens were injured in the assault and the civil leaders have expressed their undying gratitude to his Imperial Majesty for his assistance in their fight for survival.

FEDERAL SPIES SOUGHT

M.C.S

The Imperial Legislate of [SyL1(I) yesterday issued warrants for the arrest of [OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3) and [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) of [SyL5(F) in connection with charges of espionage and high treason against the person and property of His Most Excellent Imperial Majesty. The pair, both of whom have a rank at least as high as [SlL1("Major","Colonel","Captain") in the Federal Navy, have taken part in meetings with known dissidents and 'slaving rights' activists and are believed to have been responsible for the [SlL1("explosion","tragedy","leak of nuclear debris") at the industrial plant in the city of [CiL1(I).

Those Imperial citizens known to have consorted with the Federalists have been taken into custody and are co-operating with the Imperial Guard in their inquiries. Video images of the two are available at all central dispensaries and citizens are reminded of their duty to inform the Imperial Guard of any person or persons being seen matching this description in their sector.

FUGITIVES SOUGHT

M.C.S

The Imperial Guard of [SyL1(I) yesterday began a house to house search for [OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3) of [SyL4(F) following substantiated allegations of arson.

[OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3), who had been living and working under a false identity had been employed for [NuR(2,10) years as a [SlL4("technician","manual worker","receptionist","researcher","administrator") in the newly built Imperial [SlL5("laboratories","Research Institute","Naval base","agricultural research site").

Supervisors had become suspicious of potential subversive activities and were en route to arrest the accused when the entire site was hit by a circle of incendiary devices and went up in flames. Emergency services battles throughout the day and the worst of the fires are under control with little loss of life except in the slave camps next to the compound where a number of families are reported as missing believed dead. Video images of the fugitive are available at all central dispensaries and citizens are reminded of their duty to inform the Imperial Guard of any person seen matching the description in their sector.

SMUGGLERS CHARGED

M.C.S

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) of [SyR(I) has been arrested on charges of attempting to import neurotoxins to Achenar 6d in absolute contravention of the Imperial edict forbidding trade in all forms of nerve gas.

Lawyers acting for the defendant have stringently denied any attempt at smuggling or black-market dealing but sources close to the council for the prosecution have informed us that several canisters of a gaseous neuro-muscular blocking agent were located in the ship's hold on landing and that a list of known black-marketeers was retrieved from the ship's computer banks in spite of an attempt to erase all information by the accused. The trial will be held in a fortnight's time and the execution has been scheduled for sunrise the following morning. The event will take place at the Central Coliseum and all Free Citizens are invited to attend.

AMBASSADOR DIES IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT

M.C.S

His Most Exalted Majesty, Excellency Hengist Duval, 15th Emperor of the Galaxy, Defender of the Truth, Hawk of Peace and Upholder of the Forty Two Justly Unbreakable Laws, was yesterday resting after a miraculous escape from almost certain death.

A canister of lethal neuro-toxin had been smuggled in to the Imperial Audience room in the Imperial Palace on Capitol and a timing device on the pressure valve had been set to coincide exactly with the visit of the subservient Ambassador from the Corporate State of [SyR(C) The Emperor himself noticed the device and ordered its investigation and immediate destruction by a hand-picked team from the leaders of the Palace Imperial Guard. The Ambassador, sadly, was overcome by the fumes and died before resuscitation could be properly initiated.

Those members of the palace Guard detachment to have survived the decommissioning of the canister left Achenar today to serve in Sheehanworld (Exbeur) and a newly decorated Command will take their place.

EMPEROR PRESENTS AWARDS

M.C.S

His Most Exalted Majesty, Excellency Hengist Duval, Dispenser of Honour, Holder of the Scales of Truth and Creator of the Ultimate Deterrent, yesterday honoured the people of [SyR(I) with His Presence at the Annual Award Ceremony. Seventeen citizens were decorated with ranks ranging from Squire to Prince and with medals ranging from the Silver Star of Honour and Glory to the Tantallum Emblem of Ultimate Patriotism . All were richly deserved by those on whom the honour was conferred and all were gratefully received by tearful citizens, many of them awed into silence by the Shining Presence of their Emperor.

His Excellency made a most enthralling speech on the current economic State of the System and reminded His people of their patriotic duty to help him uphold the Forty Two Laws each and every day of their lives.

WARNING ECO - TERRORISTS AT LARGE

M.C.S

Members of the Imperial Guard in [SyR(Impmine) are on the alert this week after unconfirmed reports of a local collabaoration between off-planet eco-terrorist and those within the System who believe that the rights of slaves are still being infringed in spite of the frequent luxury upgrades to their living quarters carried out on command of the Emperor Himself.

Undercover agents within the terrorist factions have reported an increase in local activity and suggest that there is likely to be an attack on either the foundry or the mine-heads in the near future. The overall intention being to combine loss of production with destruction of the slave colonies and release of the inmates.

As any humane citizen knows, no slave has the capacity to survive outwith the cloistered environment of the slave compounds and many slaves have forcefully expressed their wish not to be moved elsewhere.

NAVY HUNTS PIRATES NEAR [SyL1(Imp riot)

M.C.S

The Seventh (Far Systems) Protectorate is moving two wings of trained attack fighters to [SyG1(Imp riot) after the recent Pirate raids on other neighbouring systems. The [SyG1(Imp riot) fleet is notorious and was been condemned to death in its entirety by the recent plenary session of the Imperial High Legislate on Achenar. Capture of the Fleet leader has been made an A1 priority by no less than His most Excellent Highness himself following the destruction of the Naval research station at [SyG1(Imp riot) in a recent devastating pirate attack. Several Commanding officers of His Excellency's Personal Imperial Guard had been on site to advise in the construction of a new research wing and all died defending the property of their beloved Emperor. His Excellency has sworn revenge and has offered a reward of incalculable value to the first person, human or android, who can return the pirate's leader to Achenar, alive or dead.

PIRATE LEADER ESCAPES

M.C.S

Pirate leader [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) escaped yesterday from the custody of the Transport arm of the Imperial Guard. The ruthless killer, captured while attempting to destroy a terra-forming fleet in the far system of [SyL3(A) was being returned to Achenar to face the full wrath of his Imperial Majesty and the Imperial High Legislate - both waiting with a death warrant issued in the pirate's absence. Instead, [SlL1("his","her") misguided followers staged a desperate escape bid, launching a full scale attack on the space stations at [SyG1(Imp riot), facing the Naval Protection craft with annihilating odds and overwhelming the ground troops to reach the secure cell in which their leader was being held. As a result, the Emperor has ordered the seventh wing of the systems Protectorate to hunt down and destroy all pirate holdings in this sector of the galaxy, thus signalling a full-scale war between Empire and Pirates which will, in the end, result in the demise of the brigands.

POSTHUMOUS AWARD TO NAVAL COMMANDER

M.C.S

Elite Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) of [SyL3(Imp riot) has been posthumously awarded the Tantalum Emblem of Ultimate Patriotism as well as an elevation in title to that of [SlL4("Viscount","Count","Earl","Marquis") following [SlL1("his","her") glorious death in the Battle of [SyL4(Imp riot). The [SlL5("Viscount","Count","Earl","Marquis") was Commander of the attack wing of the seventh squadron, the Far Systems Protectorate and led [SlL1("his","her") pilots into the centre of a vicious dogfight against the fanatical fighters of [OoL7([FmL8,[FfL8)'s bodyguard. The battle had been raging in the space around [SyG1(Imp riot) for several hours when [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) led [SlL1("his","her") wing out of hyper space into the centre of the fray. The increase in numbers allowed the beleaguered Imperial ships to re-group, drive the enemy back, isolate [OoL7([FmL8,[FfL8)'s ship, follow it into hyper space and destroy it as it emerged near the system of [SyL9(A). In all, thirteen of Commander [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2)'s pilots were killed in action and all will be honoured at special memorial service to be held on [DrR(30,60) at the mausoleum on Capitol. [Zz(1)

PC OR NOT PC

M.C.S

Well, the loonies are at it again. Political correctness takes a whole new tack. The vocabulary gurus are telling us that the word 'humane' should be struck from everyday speech. Apparently it contains innate discrimination against those of non-human origin within our society. Naturally, we at RIG disagree and will continue to use 'humanist' vocabulary as we see fit in spite of the strident attacks of those who would emasculate our language. We will continue to refer to 'spokespersons', 'chair-people' 'people-power', 'the human race' and 'humanitarian' as and where we see fit. Those of you who have come across other examples of loony politicos corrupting our rights to free speech tell us and we'll print the best.

OVERTHROW OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

M.C.S

The Popular Council of [SyL1(disput) has fled into exile on [SyL2(F edge) following an attack on the government headquarters by armed rebels believed to be funded by the Imperial high command. The rebels have elected [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) as President and the entire planet is now nominally an Imperial Colony. Colonists known to be loyal to the Federation [SlL5("are being placed under house arrest and are being threatened with forced labour in the colony's mines.","are being placed under house arrest and are being threatened with forced labour in the meat warehouses and killing sheds.") Stocks of [SlL6("tantallum","lode gold","radium") are being shipped off planet by transporters of the Imperial Navy and working hours at the mines are being savagely increased to improve productivity.

This is the third time in the past century that the Empire has reinstated its claim to the territory and to its extensive [SlL5("mining rights","agricultural capacity"). On each previous occasion, the [SlL5("miners","meat workers") have remained stoically loyal to the Federation and have eventually succeeded in halting production. On this occasion, Imperial colonists are alleged to be making use of the psychogenic effects of a locally grown plant oil to reduce aggression on the part of the Federal resistance fighters.

This is in direct contravention of the Sirius Convention on Worker's Rights and is drawing a storm of protest from regional Worker's Rights Activists. The Federal high command has registered a protest with the Unified Inter colonial Treaty Organisation and are awaiting mediation from a neutral party.

A summit meeting is scheduled for the third Wednesday after the next lunar eclipse and will enable the negotiating teams from both sides to take part in [SlL7("off-world sun diving","underwater frolics","heli-ski-ing") for which the system is famous.

In the meantime, the Federal authorities have let it be known that they will be materially grateful to any ship commanders in the region willing to transport Federal loyalists to a nearby safe system.

ARMED INSURRECTION ON FRONTIER WORLD

M.C.S

The regional government of [SyL1(disput) have taken refuge in a local star port and are courageously holding off the savage attacks of the Federal extremists attempting to usurp political control of this otherwise stable outpost of the Empire. Citizens loyal to the Emperor have barricaded themsleves in their living quarters and are continuing to form a resistance to the colonisation efforts of the Federal terrorists.

Duval House, the seat of the regional Imperial government has been raised to the ground and the larger than life-size statue of our beloved Emperor desecrated. This personal insult to the Hierarch of the Empire will not go unpunished.

Workers from the local mines have had their work efforts obstructed and are being forcibly prevented from attending their legal shifts. Their rights to overtime and to work under the direction of their team leaders have been restricted and they will undoubtedly suffer a reduction in wages as a result of the drop in output.

Supplies of the mood enhancing agent supplied to enable workers to more fully enjoy their working time have been curtailed and no provisions have been made to continue supplies. This is a deliberate attempt to undermine morale and to depress the emotional well-being of the workers, thus making them less efficient in their work. A happy worker is a hard worker and hard workers are the building blocks of the Empire.

Complaints have been made to the local branch of the Workers Regional Action Group and a request is pending for mediation on behalf of the true citizens of the Empire. A meeting will take place as soon as the region has had its status as War Zone removed.

VICTORY FOR SANITY ON EDGE OF THE GALAXY

M.C.S

Both the Federal and Imperial Navies were defeated recently in a three way pitched battle between the forces of both Police States and the collected ships of the local People's Naval Co-operative.

The edge system of [SyL1(A) has long been a source of heated disputes and has, at various times in its turbulent history been held in thrall to both the so-called Democratic forces of the Federation and the eugenic Clone troopers of the Empire.

The People's Naval Co-operative has extended its grateful thanks to all commanders who took part in the battle and has offered safe haven from both Imperial and Federal forces for all time to commanders and crew of the surviving ships. A memorial will be built to those who laid down their lives in defence of their principles and their families or registered next of kin will receive the promised monetary settlement in due course.

The local People's Co-operative wishes it to be known that this system is now an Equal Opportunities Employer . Merchants, traders, commanders and potential settlers will be evaluated on individual capabilities. No discrimination will henceforth be made on the grounds of: race, species, hair colour, percentage robotic parts and sexual stereotyping.

No person or persons with any strong political affiliations will henceforth be welcome on [PlL1(A).The People's Co-operative wishes it to be known that it will shortly be a signatory to the Sirius Convention on Worker's Rights and to the Unknown Species Protection Register. In the meantime, all minority species and races are welcome on [PlL1(A).

CELEBRATIONS ON NEWLY LIBERATED WORLD

M.C.S

Following the liberation of [SyL1(A), the People's Co-operative has released the following statement.

"No member of either Police State will be welcome and the strongest possible means within the bounds of the Independent Systems Treaty will be used to dissuade such persons from landing. Potential invaders are reminded that the Independent Systems Treaty allows the use of all biological and chemical weapons provided that these do not exercise discrimination in their kill cycle.

Both Federal and Imperial viriods engineered to kill on the basis of age, gender, android percentage, height, weight and poetic tendencies are therefore illegal and the use of pre-dosed vaccines is negated. An updated list of all banned agents is available from the central committee of the local People's Co-operative.

All trading rights are herewith rescinded until such time as the local economy has been established on a truly co-operative level. The committee of the People's Co-operative wishes to assure all potential traders that the economic viability of the system will be maintained and that those merchants wishing to trade in goods proscribed by the colonising forces of the Federation or Empire will be made most welcome."

ART WORKS COMMISSIONED

M.C.S

The [OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3) Arts Centre will retain its regional prominence but will henceforth be required to take students from all backgrounds regardless of: race, species, hair colour, percentage robotic parts and gender stereotyping. A four-D sculpture of the battle has now been commissioned. A student sculptor from the [OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3) Arts Centre will be chosen to render the sculpture which will include real time sound and motion tracks from the flight recorders of the victorious ships. Comments from local inhabitants are invited in order that the resulting artefact be a genuine community effort. There will be an opening ceremony at the next solstice. The exact location of the exhibit will be revealed at a later date.

FREAK AVALANCHE UPSETS HOLIDAY PLANS

M.C.S

Hundreds were killed and thousands more injured yesterday in a freak avalanche on the frontier holiday world of [PlG1(A). Holiday makers from across the galaxy visit this ice haven to enjoy the multitude of cold weather sports for which the system is famous. Skaters, tobogganists and bobsleighers were amongst those injured as were both the participants and the spectators in the local Federal downhill skiing challenge A glacier spanning the entire fifty kilometre length of the [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) range of mountains became dislodged when a group of twenty adolescent Rawerians stole a small fleet of racing ships and indulged in a particularly vigorous round of Peak Bombing. Several millions tonnes of compacted snow and ice descended at speed killing everyone in its path. Hamlets, towns and three multi-berth sports complexes built on the lower slopes of the range were buried under hundreds of metres of ice.

Rescuers last night were scanning the area from the air using movement monitors to identify small pockets of air in which survivors are believed to be trapped while a local breed of giant spoor-hound has been brought up from the valleys and is being used on the ground to locate any signs of life.

FREAK AVALANCHE - 2

M.C.S

The famous explorer Captain [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) best known for [SlL3("his","her") marathon solo ascent of all twelve peaks over four thousand metres in the pseudo-alpine range of Cygni majoris , was en route to the ravaged avalanche planet of [PlG1(A) last night to take part in the rescue operation and was unavailable for comment. Local officials expressed their unreserved anger at the actions of those responsible and promised a full trial should any survivors from the racing ships be located. In addition, they expressed their sincere condolences to those bereaved in the tragedy and promised a state burial with full honours in due course. They were keen to stress the freak nature of the accident and to remind holiday makers that the remaining four continents of the planet remain open as usual.

Friends of the dead were last night calling for a full enquiry into the events leading up to the tragedy and and were promising legal action.

The Rawerian ambassador to the Federation reminded all those involved that racial stereotyping was illegal under the terms of the Tri-partite Agreement on Race and Species (TARS) and that the behaviour of those responsible was a display of high spirits common to all of that age group and was not in any way linked to racial or cultural behaviour traits. [Zz(1)

SCIENCE MAKES LEGAL HISTORY

M.C.S

Research workers at the [SyR(I) Scientific station have published details of their recent andro-human fertility project. The work, funded by the Giga-Tronics Corporation was established over fifty years ago in an effort to bridge the gap between human and android. The belief that androids are necessarily sterile has been fundamental to the understanding of the differences between human and android and was indeed, the cornerstone of the great legal debate of the last century: Jorvak vs. Trojan Developments Inc.

The final judgement centred on the fact that the andro/human in question: Tomas Jorvak, was capable of reproduction and indeed had fifteen very human children. The two dozen judges involved decided that Jorvak could therefore not be classed as android in nature. This was sufficient to win his case against the Trojan Developments Inc. Customer Services Department for inadequate repair of certain body parts, and he was awarded significant damages, including legal costs. Trojan Developments Inc. went into liquidation as a direct result of the financial drain on resources.

The firm of lawyers acting on Jorvak's behalf set up the Achilles Corporation on the proceeds of the case, hired most of the technicians and robotics engineers from the extinct Trojan Developments Inc. and became known system-wide as the biggest sharks in the business. Jorvak himself set up the Giga-Tronics Corporation and devoted the next four hundred years of his life to proving that human-android reproduction was, in fact, possible. It seems likely from reading his diaries, published posthumously, that he considered himself to be wholly android and that although the legal case made him extraordinarily rich, he was unhappy with the apparent stigma of a human identity.

The recent paper has not set out full details of the project but it is apparent that at least one fully formed andro-human child has been produce. The exact characteristics of either parents or offspring have yet to be published and it is likely to be some time before the full details are known.

The Imperial High Command have expressed an interest in the project and are known to have offered significant sums of money for the full details but have so far not been accepted by the executors of Jorvak's estate. Although he did not live to see his life plan come to fruition, it is certain that Tomas Jorvak, android and human, would be happy with the outcome.

HONEYMOON??

M.C.S

[OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) the Intergalactic Dreamspace Icon has once again denied the allegations that the relationship with [OoL3([FmL4,[FfL4) is, was or ever will be, made formal on the Honey Moon circuiting the planet of Laiobe. Both performers rose to stardom with their re-enactment in the dream space of the archetypal lovers described by the archaic Greeks of the Old Earth and it has been assumed since the release of their first dreamscan that the pair were enacting the reality of their own relationship. Here at RIG,the progress of the romance has been tracked on a minute to minute basis and the details broadcast to the Galaxy.

Billions of fans across the Galaxy on Federal, Imperial and Independent worlds have based their own romantic affairs on the dreams of the performing duo. Followers have gone on to compose poems and lyrics in honour of the pair and will be devastated to learn that the dream romance is not what it seemed.

Fans wishing to make their true feelings known are encouraged to send vapour-ware messages to the Tour Managers on [SyR(F) or to register your wish for the dreamy duo to get back together on our hotline number [NuR(45678999,78900999). Remember -without you, they would be nothing and nowhere...

NOVEL VIRUS DEVELOPED BY IMPERIAL NAVY

M.C.S

Details were leaked yesterday by representatives of the Federal and Independent Treaty Signatories to the effect that the Imperial Naval Research Scientists have finally succeeded in developing a viriod capable of distinguishing on the basis of human-android body percentage.

It has been known for some time that the scientists at the station were attempting to engineer such an agent to use in 'biological cleansing' of frontier worlds.

Full details are not yet known however, sources claim that the agent will erode all body parts with a significant organic content but that there will be some cut-off level to protect androids with self-healing external cutaneous layers. If the viriod were to be brought into regular use, all human and semi-human inhabitants odispututed territories would be in danger of extinction. It is thought that the threat alone would be sufficient to persuade colonists to move off-world on a threatened planet.

The Federal Law Department have lodged a complaint with the Procurators of the Sirius Convention claiming that the viriod contravenes all Inter-galactic Warfare Treaties. They have gone on to assure colonists that work is proceeding on a vaccine and that supplies will be provided to the outer worlds on a priority basis.

The Imperial High Command have issued a statement denying the existence of any such biological agent, have accused the Federal authorities of libel and are threatening legal action.The Universal Amnesty has demanded the right to inspect the Research Station, claiming that the research necessary to develop such an agent would unfailingly have required the exploitation and probable death of any human experimental subjects and that this degree of vivisection is an absolute infringement of human rights.

It has long been believed that the Imperial Research Command has permitted the use of slaves as experimental subjects and that the thriving slave trade on nearby systems is considered proof of this argument. If this were ever to be proved in an Intergalactic Law Court, the Empire would be in breach of multiple Conventions and the Allied Corporations currently affiliated to the Imperial High Legislate would be required by their Oath to Shareholders to sever all relations. Fortunately for all concerned, there is no likelihood whatever of the IRC allowing outsiders of any political colouring into their domain and so the abuse or otherwise of human rights will remain a mystery.

RESURGENCE OF ARCHAIC ART FORMS

M.C.S

In the wake of the Dreamspace, we have .... reality. Those of us living on frontier worlds have, for decades now been increasingly disillusioned by the growing adherence to the development of Dreamspace Media. The dream world is and always has been the province of the individual and its subsumation to the unrealities of popular romantic culture have provided the populist commercialists with access to the hearts and souls of our people.

We of the Artistic Temperament cherish our independence of thought and the creative value of our artists, who excel in the development of ever more exciting modes of creative expression. The latest offering comes from the renowned artistic director Evan Kerrion. His rejection of the use of technology in expression evolved from his days on the Artistic Colony of [OoL1([FmL2,[FfL2) where the tutors and their students practised an aesthetic mode of life, living in ones or twos in small living quarters and eschewing all but the most essential aspects of technological advancement. Out of this came the re-development of two dimensional art and from there Kerrion has moved on to the re-creation of Archaic Theatre.

Sets are built around existing structures and teams of script writers are encouraged to work together with the actors in the evolution of plays which comment accurately on reality as we understand it. Those wishing to experience these slices of contemporary life should contact the box office manager at the Old Mausoleum on mailbox number [NuR(1000000,9999999).

NOVEL VIRUS AFFLICTS SETTLERS

M.C.S

Medical reports from the medical technicians of the Imperial Navy assigned to the Alliance world of Sohalia report a further outbreak of the Sohalian Fever affecting settlers in the region.

Symptoms are specific and are related to slow onset deterioration of the cardiovascular system. Affected individuals show progressive lethargy, pallor of the mucous membranes and chalky skin tones in those of caucasian human descent and reduced exercise tolerance, especially in low oxygen atmospheres.

Affected individuals have been taken on board the fleet hospital ship for exhaustive medical examination with full localised cardiac output measurements and internal cardioscopy via the ship-board conscious scan mechanisms.

All cardiac parameters are showing progressive deterioration and to date there is no obvious cause. This in turn means that no prophylactic treatment is available and there is no method of determining those at highest risk.

Surgical technicians are advocating full cardio-pulmonary transplant as the only viable treatment modality. On-board primate stocks are high and there is a good availability of hearts for transplant although the International Convention on Species Rights is being invoked by local settlers who are unwilling to accept organs from other species.

As an interim, affected individuals are being maintained within a high oxygen environment and are not being required to excercise. Alternative work options are being offerred to minimise risk to those with the most severe clinical signs.

Rumours abound in the region as to the cause of the disease with most credence being given to the release of a genetically engineered virus either by design or accident from the [Sh registered in the name of [Pn thought to have been in the vicinity recently.

The Imperial Naval spokes beings have so far failed to comment on the rumours.

NEW ARCHAIC SETTLEMENT ON [PlL1(A)

M.C.S

Colonists on the remote frontier world of [PlL1(A) have elected to create an early Archaic settlement. The planet has a temperate climate and has been the subject of intense arbo-culture for several decades resulting in total re-forestation of the central zone. Both poles remain ice-capped and glacier induction techniques have been used to install slowly mobile ice masses on the superficial areas of exposed land ridges.

A marine environment exists between the four major land masses and the interface has been sculpted to create inland waterways for the local transport of goods by sea.

The settlers intend to pursue a strictly authentic life style. Living quarters will be constructed in the short term from wood-like hydro-plastics and all sanitary fitments will conform to the Intergalactic Local Health Requirements which are greatly in excess of those pertaining at the exact dateline of the settlement. Nevertheless, the intention is that in two to three generations, it will be possible to construct all facilities from locally grown products and those born there need never know their technologiocal herritage.The forests have been stocked with flora and fauna from the genetic stocks held at the Insitute of Biology (Alioth) with the permission of the AIS Research Protection Unit and every effort has been made to maintain an authentic degree of biodiversity. Species grown as a food source will not be domesticated but will be hunted in accordance with ancient tradition. Some loss of life will naturally ensue, if only because the medical facilities will be seriously substandard, however, the settlers claim that this is essential to the development of genuine authenticity and that all who participate will be fully informed prior to the departure of the last interstellar craft.

Trading will be permitted for a brief period via specific locations on the upper reaches of the mountainous areas but traders are expected to respect the sanctity of local traditions and are requested not to frighten the natives or their wildlife.

Above all, any trader or other ship's commander found making low surface flights will be the subject of extreme displeasure on the part of the planetary council. (Too bad huh?- Ed)

Those wishing to join the settlement should contact the local Project Co-ordinator on [PlL1(A). There will be a two decade (Standard Time) set-up period after which visitors will be strongly discouraged.

HIGH TARGETS MET

M.C.S

The [SyL1(I) Central Agricultural Co-ordinator has announced the attainment on the planet [PlL1(I) of the local five year Comestible Attainment Target. The target was increased by ten per cent following the last successful attainment and the promotion of the previous Co-ordinator to a position off planet.

Observers believed that the current target was impossible to meet without transgressing local Slavery Agreements and thus inciting a severe time penalty.

Ingenious use of local semi-sentient species not covered by the Agreement enabled the local Imperial workforce to double production without incurring specific time penalties. The Central Agricultural Co-ordinator has been invited off-planet for a small award ceremony after which a new Co-ordinator will be selected from those of Intermediate Rank.

POLICE STATE FOMENTS CIVIL WAR

M.C.S

Sources close to the Federal Authorities yesterday denied in the strongest possible terms the allegation that Federation Agents had fermented the civil war on [SyL1(disput).

Nevertheless, there is incontrovertible evidence of Federal activists inciting random violence and racial hatred in the working colonies of both sides.

No-one in their right minds could possibly believe that workers in a grade 1 mining colony which doesn't see the sun from one Standard season to the next could possibly give a two toned trite for the activities of the arboreal leaf cutters in the upper mountainous region or could conceivably care about the colour of their hair, eyes and finger nails.

Equally the chances of the leaf cutters having the technology (or the credit) to purchase hand- held strike rockets or the miners having the psychic vitriol to use laser-blinding technology on the leaf cutters, each without external interference are remote in the extreme.

So, we have yet another example of the Police State, claiming to be a democracy, providing particularly nasty weapons technology to those who, quite frankly, if left to their own devices, would not have tossed anything more lethal than a de-fluffed rabbit's tail at each other. On the contrary, they would probably, in the end, have inter-bred for the fun of it and had a really wild time exploring the possibilities of mining under the tree roots for small nuggets of barley-gold.

There is good reason to believe that the Federal Authorities are, in fact, using [PlL1(disput) as a testing ground for new methods of fermenting inter-racial violence and that the success in the system will only incite them to wilder extremes in the future.

An additional theory is that the so called anti-technical races are being used as a testing ground for new and ever more vicious anti-personnel weaponry following the multiple Pan Galactic Conventions which severely restrict the use of chemical and biological weapons.

We at on the outer edge strongly suggest that you hang up your technology now, put your laser belt where your mouth is and join the growing band of sane human beings who abhor the use of technology in all but its most basic forms.

"WICCAN WARE": RACE IS ON

M.C.S

The spectacular 'Wiccan Ware' race is on again. Anyone close enough to the picturesque city of 'Old Curie' on the planet Hope in the system of Gateway (-1,4) to get there by midnight on 1st January can pick the latest release from the prolific dream-rock group: Jjagged Bbanner and take part in the race to get it to Alioth (0,4) to start the Launch Party. The first Commander to arrive in the starport of Ghandi on Wicca's World will win their millionth share of the first day's profits.

The last Jjagged Bbanner 'Day One Sales' went into the millions of credits making the winner's prize well worth the effort, nevertheless, it is the kudos and the boost to reputation that really make this a race worth winning.

The group now live a semi-recluse existence near the Lost Gardens of Antipi-Hymbos on Wicca's World and could not possibly, even in their wildest Dreams (and they are pretty wild) need more money or more publicity. However the notorious 'Wiccan Ware' race was instigated in their early years as a publicity stunt by their PR company ('Everything You Earn is Ours Inc.') and has grown to the point where to cancel it would be to risk the wrath of a vengeful Galactic lynch mob.

So - the presses are rolling on their latest release (Lost on the Edge) and the race starts in a little under twelve hours time. If you're anywhere near Old Curie, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain...

What are you waiting for?

TIME TO DREAM

M.C.S

The Lost Gardens of Antipi-Hymbos on Wicca's World (Alioth) are host this month to yet another Jjagged Bbanner extravaganza. The galactic hyper-stars are staging their notorious 'Wiccan Ware' competition - the race to transport their latest release from the spectacular Dream Production plant at Old Curie on Hope in the Alliance system of Gateway (-1,4) to the cultural haven of Wicca's World in the Alliance capital of Alioth (0,4).

In the sixty years since the race was first opened, it has become something of a galactic institution and a testing ground for would-be pilots. The profits are not enormous (the original contract allowed for a millionth share of the first day's sales) but it is enough to make a serious difference to the income of the up-and-coming pilot - easily the equivalent of several months of hard trading.

Thus once every ten to fifteen years, the group releases their latest DREAM.

The date is never promoted beforehand but there seems to be a core of die-hard observers who are ready in the Old Curie star port with their fuel tanks full and their engines turning over ready to pick up the new release. Come midnight on the appointed date, the skies and the space around are ablaze with rockets flares as everything from old Eagle Fighters through Mark III Cobras to the latest Merlins and Harriers are all taking off with their hyperdrives set for Wicca's World, 12 light years away in Alioth. A few, naturally, drop by the wayside and the competition has become a touch more vicious than the originators had expected, but nevertheless, the first to arrive gets their by skill not by chance and their reputation is sealed - at least for the rest of the year.

DREAM-WARE FIASCO REPEATED IN ALLIANCE

M.C.S

The galaxy's biggest, most exploitative, greed-inspired Dream-ware fiasco is taking place once again on the planet Hope in the Alliance system of Gateway. Several dozen relatively inexperienced pilots are permitted to land at will on the starport of Old Curie and then to take off simultaneously in their desperate hurry to reach their goal in Alioth.

Needless to say, significant numbers of ships are lost in this insane action alone but the sad fact is that the race which follows see the deaths of literally hundreds of pilots from around the galaxy - all for the sake of a few thousand credits.

The pilots are encouraged to race the 12 light years from Gateway to the Alliance capital of Alioth (0,4) and are rewarded for being the first to arrive on the planet of Wicca's World, the so-called Cultural Centre of the Alliance.

The fact that this is all organised and sponsored by a Dream-Ware group that has long been banned within the Empire is sufficient indication that this has nothing whatsoever to do with genuine culture and is instead, a mean-minded attempt at self-publicity by a group of the galaxy's most degenerate individuals. Representatives of His Excellency, Hengist Duval, the Crown of Culture and the Purveyor of Peace have suggested that He will consider sending a wing of the Imperial Navy to the area to prevent the random acts of wanton violence that otherwise break out as ships fight to be the first to arrive.

DREAM ON!! WE'LL BE THERE WITH YOU....

M.C.S

It's THAT DATE again.... Jjagged Bbanner's latest offering 'Lost on the Edge' is hot off the presses TODAY and the first one to get it to Wicca's World in Alioth (0,4) will make themselves everlasting fame, not to say a small portion of fortune.

Your roving Rig reporter Justine Time has agreed to be our guinea-pig this time and attempt the race on behalf of RIG. Justine will be one of the dozens of young pilots massing around the starport of Old Curie today trying to see her way through her blinding Hogmanay hangover and pushing her way to the head of the queue in the hope of being amongst the first fifty to arrive. Then it's a quick flip into the liquicouch of her trusty Cobra with Jjagged Bbanner's latest offering hot in her hand and off into the vastness of hyperspace heading for Wicca's World, Alioth as fast as she possible can.

We know that all of you have her best interests at heart and, whereas she may not come in first, or ever tenth, we are sure that she WILL come in some time and WON'T have been blown out of the sky by the trigger-happy juveniles who see this race as a chance to test their latest lasers.

WHATEVER you do, DON'T shoot at Justine. She's in a Mk III Cobra with serious rust marks round the outside and the RIG editorial markings (WE O U 1) on the side.

(We tell you this as a warning because we really would like Justine to come back again - the editorial staff of RIG have long arms and deep pockets and anyone even THINKING about shooting at our favourite staff reporter will have a very, very short life span. - Don't say we didn't tell you)

Reports on the race will appear in our next issue.

[MiR(Pn or start NPC) WINS RACE FOR JJAGGED BBANNER

M.C.S

Commander [MiR(Pn or start NPC) flying a [MiR(start ship) with registration [MiR(start id) was the resounding winner, by several minutes, of last month's Wiccan Ware race. The winner is now $[MiR(start cash) better off courtesy of Jjagged Bbanner and is likely to be favourably received by courier agencies and other organisations requiring fast and reliable transport work in the near future. This year's race had fewer fatalities than either of the 3242 or the 3235, both of which saw fifteen ships destroyed in the vicinity of Alioth alone. The degree of secrecy surrounding the current race appears to have kept away the lunatic element and those who's sole intent is to kill anyone in their path.

OTHER news this month surrounds the sudden outbreak of Sohalian fever on all three inhabited planets and their surrounding moons, orbital stations and orbital trading posts in the system of Sohalia (-1,5). The fever was first reported in 3239 after the import of some Imperial grain to the system's second planet: Molotovworld. That outbreak spread within hours to all inhabited areas and proved so exceptionally difficult to control that all landing areas were quarantined. Medical experts on this occasion have created isolation units at all star ports and space stations so that incoming pilots should be completely safe.

There is, however an urgent need for medical aid in the system to replace dwindling stocks.

OUTSIDER WINS RACE

M.C.S

This decade's Wiccan Ware race has been won in record time by the rank outsider [MiR(Pn or start NPC) in a [MiR(start ship). A number of pilots vied for second place while almost fifty others brought up the rear, some taking as long as a week longer than the winning ship. The winner made $[MiR(start cash) - more than enough to pay for the inevitable repairs and still have enough left over for a couple of added extra upgrades.

On a more serious note, the horrifying disease of Sohalian fever has struck once again in the system after which it is named. Hundreds of Alliance citizens have died in the past week and the physicians on the ground are predicting deaths in the thousands, if not tens of thousands if urgent medical supplies are not flown in from the surrounding inhabited worlds. Goods needed extend from simple intra-venous fluids to the full multiple transplant units - all of which are available as part of the 'medical goods' units sold in all trading posts. Federal and all allied commanders in the area are urged to provide such support as is needed as a gesture of goodwill from the citizens of the Federation to the Alliance.

We would remind you that medical supplies will make premium prices on all worlds in the system of Sohalia (-1,5)

DOZENS DIE IN RACE FIASCO

M.C.S

Dozens of innocent citizens from across the Galaxy died last month in that most reprehensible spectacle - the race to take a piece of self- indulgent 'Dream-Ware' to the Alliance 'Cultural Centre' of Wicca's World. Reliable Imperial eye witnesses report that the winner: Commander [MiR(Pn or start NPC) won purely by default on the grounds that the leading ships had all been involved in a savage dog-fight, leading to multiple deaths and the loss of several million credit's worth of inter galactic shipping. This practice cannot possible be condoned within the civilised galaxy and His Excellency, the Hengist Duval, the Righteous Ruler has decreed that any Imperial citizens henceforth taking part shall be subject to court marital and summary execution (should they survive).

We have no doubt that all loyal citizens will avoid such rank profiteering and would instead devote their time and energies to the delivery of medical supplies to the hapless citizens of Sohalia (-1,5). It is well-known that the Alliance is incapable of administering to the needs of its citizens and this month's fever epidemic is a case in point. At no point was adequate isolation or removal of infected subjects performed as is the practice on Imperial worlds in similar dire circumstances.

Instead, the fever was allowed to spread unchecked to the point where the industrial and mining complexes which are the heart of the system have all but ground to a halt. Reports from the region state that the local authorities are desperately short of medical supplies and will receive with utmost gratitude anyone who cares to help them in their plight.

JUSTINE MAKES IT HOME - BBANNER RACE A CLOSE SHAVE FOR THE REST

M.C.S

The Wiccan Ware race was watched by thousands as the first of the fifty or more ships to take part flared through the atmosphere above Wicca's World in Alioth (0, 4) bearing the coveted new Dream release 'Lost on the Edge'. In the event the unknown commander, [MiR(Pn or start NPC) came in first leaving a trail of wrecked ships behind and causing more than the usual amount of gossip. Nevertheless, the Jjagged Bbanner Launch Party went off with the usual mind-bending bang and the sensory effects were such that more than a few of the visitors reported seeing the famous Hymbos Maze tear itself out of the ground and float in the air.

Those of you who have been watching this space with bated breath will be delighted to hear that our Roving Regular Rig Reporter, Justine Time made it through in one piece - not so much as a minor laser burn to show for it. She may not have made it first past the line, but she's always first with us.

WELL DONE JUSTINE!

SAD news this month covers the death of another Rig Regular in the unhealthy system of Sohalia (-1,5). Ropey Thomas, one of our roving gastronomes had swanned off to the aptly named Molotovworld to check out the explosive cuisine in one of the planet's five grenade restaurants when the Plague struck and he was carried out, dead as a doornail. We are all, naturally, in mourning and unable to leave the RIG offices for grief, so further reports on the death and devastation in the plague zone may be less than comprehensive.

PLAGUE HITS SOHALIA AGAIN

M.C.S

The so-called Sohalian fever is running rife again in all three of the inhabited worlds in the system of Sohalia (-1,5). Symptoms range from the starting signs of a mild head cold with tension headache and run rapidly through to pyrexia together with gastro-intestinal pain, hameorrhagic diarrhoea, haematemesis and death within twelve hours of onset. Both pulmonary and neurological variants have been reported with sudden onset pneumonia in the former and progressive paresis, ataxia and collapse in the latter. The disease is highly contagious and the infectious period is twenty four hours before the onset of symptoms making it particularly difficult to isolate infected individuals. There is some evidence to suggest that the plague was engineered at the Imperial research laboratories and that Sohalia was used as a testing ground although this has always been strenuously denied by the Imperial authorities.

ALIEN ARTEFACTS: AUCTION ON ARCTURUS

M.C.S

The largest sale of alien artefacts yet seen in this sector of the Galaxy is taking place in two week's time at the auction houses of Discovery (Arcturus). Prices have been rising steadily over the past decade and a number of institutions and private collectors have been amassing significant numbers. However, the prices dropped precipitously after the Restinian scandal when a significant number of the items in the House of Restin Thargoid Relic collection were found to be replicas based on the originals from the permanent Giomanst Exhibit on Achenar were asked as to the authenticity of a line of relics.

As a result of the scare, prices have crashed and the market value of all the private collections has significantly reduced. The current sale is an attempt to revive the market: all items have been examined by the Giomantic experts at the Discovery Museum and each comes with a certificate of authenticity.

If you have anything in your own collection and want to have it checked out, take it along.

DANASLOVS FUND FURTHER THARGOID EXPLORATION

M.C.S

Kernion and Retchit, a little known pair of inter-planetary explorers are completing preparations for a combined scientific and cultural expedition in an attempt to establish conclusively the existence or otherwise of the rumoured cluster of systems used as home bases by the alien race, the Thargoids in the far northern sector. The expedition is funded by the Achenar-based Danaslov family, owners of the Alien Emporium and acknowledged Galactic leaders in the acquisition and sale of non-human relics, artefacts, body parts and technology.

A number of previous expeditions have ventured to the same area but thus far, none has returned to verify or deny the reality of a Thargoid base. History suggests that such a base must exist and scientists, archaeologists and cultural collectors would all pay significant amounts for legal exploration rights. His Excellency is aware of the planned expedition and has given it the Imperial seal of approval.

The explorers have, in turn guaranteed to return all their findings to the High Legislate on return to Capitol.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE THARGOIDS GONE?

M.C.S

It is a little over 100 years since the last Thargoid mother ship was vapourised by the fighting lasers of Intergalactic Navy's Elite Commanders.

That's a seriously long time. That was before Danielle Tensdottir became the best selling dream-star the Galaxy has ever seen. Before Hens Drintel made the final attempt on the sun dive in Asquieth. It was before most of you were even born.

How many of us remember the Thargoids as they really were?

How many of you crumblies out there treasure the medals you won battling against the Creepy Crawlies in the War to End All Wars?

How many of us now have had the chance to win lifelong fame and glory fighting against the only serious threat this Galaxy has ever known?

We at RIG want to know where they all went. What happened to the Tendroids?

And are they really, as our reporters believe, arming themselves for a return to this part of the Universe?

If any of you have the answers, mail us on our Inter galactic mailbox and we'll publish your responses.

IMPERIAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR DENIES THARGOID SIGHTINGS

M.C.S

His Excellency the Defender of the Truth and Upholder of the Forty Two Laws, after due consideration of the issues concerned, has ordered His Director of Communications to issue a statement signed by the entire Communications Directorate denying in the strongest possible terms the validity of the recent rumours of Thargoid mother ships and Thargons in the region of Essurge.

All Imperial citizens are officially ordered to avoid scare-mongering and to quash any further rumours of the alien's continued existence. Citizens are reminded that the Thargoid menace was removed from the known Galaxy only by the exceptional skill and bravery of our Naval fighter pilots, the best in the Universe.

The Thargoids no longer exist and should any similar threat manifest itself, we are in the best possible position to defeat them. Citizens of all Imperial Systems can rest assured that the Imperial Guard and the Protectorates continue in their unceasing efforts to preserve their homes and their way of life.

THE THARGOIDS - UNLIKELY RUMOURS FROM WESTERN EDGE

M.C.S

A series of wild rumours are emerging yet again, this time from the Western Edge systems, regarding the sighting of a Thargoid fleet. Two courier pilots travelling from Canlada to Exenur each claim independently to have fought and destroyed a single alien mother ship with a host of attendant Thargons.

Both commanders returned without cargo in badly damaged ships and proceeded to create a great deal of local interest. Fleets of entrepreneurial pilots flew directly to the area intent on scavenging alien items from the wreckage but have so far recovered nothing.

Research performed in our offices suggest that the two couriers may well be the same pair who reported a sighting in the region of Regulus a decade ago and who subsequently made a significant fortune from the sale of fake alien technology. Would-be investors are warned to ensure validation of any items they procure prior to sale.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -1

M.C.S

It is now three hundred and fifty years since the first reports of Thargoids from the settlers of Molotov Village on New Africa (Veliaze -2,3) and exactly fifty years since the last mother ship was destroyed by INRA pilots flying out of Facece.

In the three hundred years of their existence, the Thargoids represented the only Universal Enemy that humankind has ever encountered, engendering a unique sense of political cohesion amongst the three political galactic powers as they threatened to destroy the fabric of human space. Since their departure, that cohesion has collapsed and the only obvious beneficiaries are the assorted academics, collectors and dealers who trade in supposition, superstition and putative fragments of technology from a civilisation far superior to our own.

In the series of articles which follow, our Caledonian correspondent presents the known facts and dispels some of the mythology surrounding the Thargoid species.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -2

M.C.S

The Thargoids, c2950 - 3150: a non-human, sentient species of advanced technological development. They had ships capable of out-flying and out-shooting the best technology that either of the two existing galactic powers could produce at the time (and very possibly better than anything they could produce now).

They appeared in our Universe suddenly and with no obvious warning and disappeared in a similar fashion without any apparent reason. Certainly the combat skills of the INRA pilots were unlikely to be the real cause - good as they were, human technology was not ever going to compete with that available to the aliens.

So far, so good. In real terms, that is the limit of the facts known about the Thargoid race. The rest is rumour piled on superstition, piled on basic dishonesty. Next issue, we look at some of the wilder myths and their basis in fact.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -3

M.C.S

Thargoids follow strange religious rituals and sacrifice their neonates to appease war-like gods. Thargoids are psychic and can invade the dream-space making the dreamers mad. Thargoids can teleport between stars without needing ships. All of theses have been seen in print and all of them are, quite plainly, insane.

Some of the myths, however, ring more true than the rest.

The witch-space legend may be based on fact- it is certainly the case that the number of hyper space mis-jumps increased alarmingly during the Thargoid Period and that ships were frequently attacked by overwhelming numbers of Thargons immediately afterwards, supporting the belief that the alien Commanders had the capacity to accurately re-direct a ship during the process of hyper space jumping thus successfully destroying a large number of ships piloted by less experienced commanders.

Next issue, we look at Thargoid morphology.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -4

M.C.S

Thargoids are insectoid. They have a chitinous exo-skeleton, multi-jointed legs and opposing first and second digits (analogous to the humanoid thumbs).

Collections of Thargoid body parts were initiated during the peak of the Thargoid Wars and the morphology of those remaining are divided into two distinct types: those parts scooped from the wreckage of a Thargoid ship and those parts retrieved by explorers from other sources. The former are large, blue-green to grey in colour and suggest a body mass ranging from two to five times that of the average 2 metre humanoid.

The latter, described in detail in the Giomanst Encyclopaedia, are black, have fewer leg joints and are of a human scale. Of the two, only the Giomanst specimens have been reconstructed in full. It seems likely that there are several variants and that the two forms may well represent different stages in the life cycle of the Thargoid from neonate to full adult.

Next issue: Thargoid biology.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -5

M.C.S

Our understanding of Thargoid biology is severely hampered by the failure to establish the location and nature of their home world or worlds. Investigations into the interiors of with relatively few mother ships captured intact reveal an ammonium-based atmosphere held at a slightly higher pressure and lower temperature than is tolerable to most humanoids. The body parts are carbon-based but contain traces of several previously un-named elements.

Metabolism is presumed to be oxidation/reduction based but an equivalent to the Krebs cycle has not been demonstrated. In terms of procreation, there exist adult females termed hive 'mother' capable of spawning a succession of 'drones' - sterile females with no reproductive potential.

Drones are produced as eggs and nursed to adulthood through a series of nymph stages similar to almost all insect species in the known worlds. All reproduction is parthenogenic and there is no evidence for the existence of a second gender.

It is believed that there exists a degree of psychological continuity between members of the same hive and this 'hive consciousness' will be explored in the next issue: Thargoid culture and politics.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -6

M.C.S

Thargoid culture and politics remain a mystery, due largely to the absence of communication between the races. The Inter-Species Translator developed in 3015 CE by the INRA research wing allowed a modicum of intelligible communication and recently, historians and linguists have been re-examined those transcriptions available for indications of thought patterns and cultural paradigms.

Thargoid culture appears similar in basis to the hive cultures found in most insect species across the Galaxy, taken to the logical end point by full intellectual development encompassing an awareness of history, aesthetics and social structure. There is a strong sense of hive identity and absolute loyalty to the hive mother or her successor.

Drones, although self-aware, have little sense of self-preservation and it has been postulated that there is a single 'hive consciousness' residing in the hive mother. If this is the case, then the drones are effectively active arms of the hive rather than individuals in their own rights. This could, in turn, shed new light on the various attempts made by the Thargoids to establish communication links with our own species.

We look at these in our next issue: Thargoid- human interactions.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -7

M.C.S

Thargoid - human interaction were essentially violent and usually terminal for the greater part of the Thargoid Era. There is evidence, however, that the aliens made several attempts at communication on various levels in the early years of the War between our races.

A number of experienced Commanders claim to have been surrounded by Thargoids who failed to fire back even while losing large numbers of Thargons to the human lasers. The ships were held until the lasers over-heated and immediately thereafter, the Thargoid mother ship launched and subsequently destroyed an equally large number of the smaller Thargons. Each Commander then reports being hyper-spaced against their will back to either the Federal or the Imperial Naval bases, depending on their own allegiance, where it was found that their on-board log devices had recorded the entire event in a single repeating loop.

The belief at the time was that the humans were witnessing either a living sacrifice or the Thargoid equivalent to the Court Martial with capital punishment of offenders.

Recent research has suggested that there may be a more reasoned explanation - the topic of our next two issues.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -8

M.C.S

The Thargoids practice a religion based on sacrifice of their neonates to appease a warlike god. This kind of story began to circulate almost as soon as the Thargoids were identified as a potential threat to humankind and certainly long before anyone could possibly have had the evidence to back it up.

It is the single most common slander directed at the enemies of any race since the Greeks first fought the Romans on Earth before the onset of the Technological Era and it demonstrates a certain innate arrogance on the part of the human colonists who invariably assume that all other sentient species, however technically adept, are subject to irrational but abiding religious dictates. However, the practice described in our previous article was well documented with full video evidence and it was difficult to ascribe many other explanations to their behaviour.

Recently, Dr Joreb Innitu of the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute based on Wicca's World (Alioth) has been examining all aspects of Thargoid behaviour and the findings are published in the next issue.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -9

M.C.S

Thargoids are highly intelligent, perhaps more so than the average humanoid. With intelligence and reason comes integrity, a sense of honour and an aversion to war.

The Thargoids had the technological capability to destroy human ships with ease and it did not evolve over-night although their appearance in our Universe was sudden and dramatic. We can rationally assume that they could have destroyed all the early probes and less well-protected ships at an earlier date had they chosen to do so. They did not.

Instead they appear to have gone to extreme lengths, at various points during our War to preserve the lives of Commanders they could otherwise have destroyed and to send a vivid and memorable 'message' in a way that we would be able to see and to understand. The fact that we misinterpreted it is a fault of our arrogance and our cultural assumptions, not theirs.

It is entirely probable that the concept of sacrifice does not exist in the Thargoid culture and so that particular misinterpretation did not occur to them. If we consider instead that they were demonstrating the utter futility of the killing in the most graphic way possible, then we can view the rest of their actions in a new light.

The wholesale destruction of human convoys, naval fleets and single craft did not take place until several of these 'demonstrations' had been performed - and ignored by us.

In our next issue, we look at the failure to negotiate a peace.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -10

M.C.S

If Dr Innitu's suggestion, published in our last issue, is correct, then we must believe that the Thargoid race was not only technologically superior to our own, but also that it was ethically and morally superior as well. If it is true that the Thargoids made dramatic and graphic efforts to explain the futility of killing to our Naval pilots before embarking on full scale war against the human race, then we must ascribe to them a set of values which belittle our own (bearing in mind that no such attempt was made by the any one of our political leaders at any time).

There is a growing belief amongst the academic community that, had we attempted to negotiate with the Thargoid leaders, we could well have averted the war saving millions of lives. It is also possible that there could have been a sharing of technology, to the greater benefit of both races. The theory put forward by Innitu's group is that failure to negotiate was deliberate and had broad, well-considered political motives.

In our next issue, we look at the events leading up to the War and the reasons it was not averted in time.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -11

M.C.S

The Thargoids were first reported in human space by Lens Nikon, supervisor of the 'Planets Unlimited' Terra-formation Project on New Africa (Veliaze -2,3). They appeared in large numbers following the initial stages of planetary alteration. Initially only the Thargons were seen, flying in linear formation at a steady distance from the Planets Unlimited fleet.

It was only after the instigation of oxygenation that a mother ship was observed from a distance and no hostile action was reported until one of the Fleet Commanders ordered his defence wing to "melt them down".

There followed the complete destruction of all Thargoid ships in the area, including the mother ship. Forty eight hours later, the entire Planets Unlimited Fleet experienced a mis-jump and were met by around thirty Thargoid mother ships with an encircling fleet of Thargons.

Only two survivors returned (both unscathed) and neither made coherent reports although it seems likely that the two may be the only humanoids to have seen a living Thargoid and survived. Reports of their debriefing at the Therapy Centre on Eta Cassiopoea, suggest that the Thargoids made several attempts to open negotiations but were fired on at each juncture.

The exact details will never be known but the first shots were undoubtedly fired and the Thargoid Wars started in earnest. Hostilities continued for the next century and a half with neither side making sane communication with the other.

Or did they?

In our next report, we examine the issue of Inter-Species Communication.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -12

M.C.S

Inter-Species Communication - why did it never happen? If the Thargoids were as intelligent as they are made out to be, could they not have created an effective method of communicating with us? Could we not have made good contact with them?

Our belief is that they did and we did - but not publicly. We have new, unpublished research to suggest that the Inter Species Translator was not, in fact, a development of the INRA researchers, but was designed, built and delivered by the Thargoids in an attempt to halt the war. We believe that the authorities of the two existing galactic powers suppressed all communications (and continue to do so), using the 'Thargoid Menace' as a political tool to retain control over the pioneering colonists of the early Thirtieth century.

Who in their right mind is going to found an Independent Colony when only the combined force of INRA is keeping you safe from the big green monsters? It sounds far fetched, but it is the only theory that fits all the facts. Our political masters may not have begun the war, but they certainly perpetuated it long beyond its natural span.

So why, in the end, did the Thargoids leave? Where did they go and will they ever come back?

In our last report, we examine the possible answers to these and other questions.

THE THARGOIDS - TRUTH AND FICTION -13

M.C.S

In our last few articles, we have presented an entirely novel viewpoint: that of an intelligent, sensitive, highly ethical species of supremely advanced technological and moral development.

We have a race that is probably averse to war but is prepared to kill when provoked. They could, almost certainly, have won in the long run had the war continued for another five or six decades. Had they begun 'ammoniating' atmospheres in the same way as we oxygenated the atmosphere on New Africa (Veliaze -2,3) they could have wiped out the human colonies in a couple of decades. Instead, they vanished. In the space of six months the Thargoid terror was reduced to nothing and the INRA pilots were claiming their unlikely victory.

So - did they walk or were they pushed? All our evidence suggests that they may well have left of their own accord but, if so, why did it take them so long to go?

One suggestion, again proposed by Dr Innitu of Alioth suggests that the war was, indeed, won by INRA - not by the pilots but by the military research arm. Dr Innitu is due to deliver a paper at the Alien Races Convention at Fort Grant on New Caledonia, Beta Hydri (0,-2) early next month and this journal will carry full details in the next issue.

In the meantime, we leave you with a sense of wonder and of loss - and a certain bitterness at the short-sighted stupidity of our political leaders.

MYCOIDS - THE KEY TO THE THARGOID'S DEPARTURE

M.C.S

Dr Innitu today gave the keynote address to the Alien Races Convention (held on New Caledonia in the Beta Hydri system) claiming to be in possession of documents that detail the genetic engineering of a mycoid with anti-plastic properties.

Thargoid hyperdrives have long been known to contain heavy plastics containing long-chain polymers entirely unlike anything in human-designed drives and the claim is that INRA deliberately developed a virulent infective agent specifically tailored to infect only the Thargoid technology. The hypothesis suggests that the INRA mycoid was capable of selectively disabling the Thargoid hyperdrives and rendering long-distance travel impossible.

Innitu claims to have proof that the Veliaze system served as a forward base for the Thargoids, equivalent to one of our outer 'Frontier' worlds and that their home system was several thousand light years distant. In this case, absence of hyperdrive capabilities would effectively confine the Thargoids to their home systems.

If Innitu's claim is fact, then the Thargoids did not leave of their own accord and the only thing preventing their return is the continuing virulence of the mycoid. Logic suggests that as soon as the Thargoids develop the technology to engineer an anti-dote or a vaccine, they will be able to return.

Perhaps this time, we should ask questions first and save the shooting for later?

LEADING SCIENTIST DIES IN STARPORT ATTACK

M.C.S

Dr Joreb Innitu of the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) was killed yesterday only hours after delivering the keynote speech to the delegates of the Alien Races Convention on New Caledonia (Beta Hydri).

Dr Innitu put forward the controversial theory of Thargoid Removal to a packed auditorium in the Convention Suite of the Tri-Delta Hostel, Fort Grant and then left for Alioth to chair a meeting of the Racial Definitions Council. The ship in which Dr Innitu was travelling was shot down shortly after take off, killing all 180 passengers and 12 crew members.

The motivation for the attack is, as yet unknown, although there is speculation that the real target was the Android Rights activist, C.Ten Haften, who was due to attend the same meeting of the RDC. Haften failed to board the ship and is still on Beta Hydri, aiding the authorities in their investigations.

Local police have named [MiR(thr Player or NPC) in a [MiR(thr playship) class ship with identification number [MiR(thr play id) as the Commander of the attacking ship. Warnings have been issued to all Commanders with Federal Affiliation in the vicinity to engange and fire on sight. No group or organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks and the FSS are anxious to interview anyone who may have information relevant to the case.

TERRORISTS DESTROY SHIP ON BETA HYDRI

M.C.S

Terrorists of unknown affiliation yesterday destroyed a passenger ship flying the shuttle between Beta Hydri and Alioth killing all 180 passengers and 12 crew members in board. The full list of the dead will not be released until later today but is known to include the musician Tupenny Whistle, several members of the New Caledonian Federal Council and a number of obscure scientists returning from a seminar in Fort Grant.

The motivation for the killings remains unclear and the FSS wish urgently to question [MiR(thr Player or NPC), Commanding a [MiR(thr playship) which was seen in the area shortly before the attack. This is the third attack of its kind on a passenger cruiser flying out of Beta Hydri. Poorly armed passenger cruisers represent a sitting target for assassination attempts and the Conciliation wing of the Trading Pilots Association is requesting improved protection from the local police in known target areas.

FEDERATION FAILS TO PROTECT AIS CITIZENS

M.C.S

The Federal Police yet again failed to protect a visiting AIS citizen earlier this month when a passenger ship flying the standard trade route between Beta Hydri and Arcturus was shot down and destroyed by a single fighter craft. The attack is being presented as a failed assassination attempt on the Android Rights activist, C.Ten Haften.

Imperial observers believe that the genuine target was the Councillor Lyndi Recht, leader of the Hydrian System Council and vocal supporter of the campaign to release various eco-terrorists from 'protective custody'. It seems likely that the killing was, in fact, funded and arranged by the Internal Security branch of the FSS, a group well known for arranging 'permanent contracts' on Federal citizens who attract a degree of unwanted support amongst the rest of the population.

This is the well-vaunted Federal Democracy at work.

LEADING SCIENTIST ASSASSINATED

M.C.S

Dr Joreb Innitu, Professor of Alien Studies at the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) was assassinated earlier this month when a ship in which the Professor was travelling was shot down shortly after take off from New Caledonia (Beta Hydri). The timing and nature of the attack carry all the hallmarks of a politically motivated 'contract'.

The local FSS are said to be searching for a single fighter flown by a Commander [MiR(thr Player or NPC) however, the hunt was not instigated until several hours after the event and it is likelihood of those responsible being brought to trial is not high. Sources at Interpol, the Independent policing group suggest that the contract was being requested by known representatives of both the Federation and the Empire. If this is the case, then it suggests that Innitu was closer than either authority will admit to the truth regarding the disappearance of the Thargoid race.

Next issue examines the theories proposed by Innitu's group.

ANTI-THARGOID FUNGUS?

M.C.S

Professor Joreb Innitu, whose death at the hands of a paid assassin was reported in our last issue, had been addressing the ninth annual meeting of the Alien Races Convention, presenting a paper which represented the culmination of twenty years' research by the entire team at the Ghandi Institute (based on Wicca's World, Alioth).

The team suggests that the research arm of INRA created a Thargoid-specific mycoid agent capable of destroying the Thargoid hyperdrives and thereby prevented the aliens from travelling the distances required to reach our sector of the Universe.

Innitu's group has always held the belief that the entire Thargoid War was a deliberate policy decision by a key group of leaders within the three galactic powers as part of a controlled colonial expansion and that they ended it only when the aliens posed a serious threat to the safety and political stability of the Inner Core. There can be little doubt that Innitu's assassination supports the contention that there are those in authority in the upper reaches of the Federal and Imperial states who will go to any lengths to see to it that the truth does not emerge.

Accusations that the research arm of INRA not only still exists and but attracts substantial 'soft' funding have been strenuously denied by both authorities.

We would remind you of the ancient truism: "Never believe anything until it is officially denied."

ROCK STAR AND LOONY BOFFIN DIE IN SHIP DISASTER

M.C.S

Yet another ship blew into pieces after launching on the notorious trouble black spot of Fort Grant on New Caledonia (Beta Hydri). Rumours of an assassination attempt have been laughed off by the Fort Grant star port authorities who are quoted as saying:

"The security's as tight as a gnat's nostrils. No-one would get a ship near this place without us knowing about it." Sources close to the star port FSS chief are quoting her as saying that the ship was old and had missed several routine service dates and "....it's not too surprising if it falls apart in mid-space, is it?"

The rock star Tupenny Whistle and her band 'The Folkies' were, sadly all killed (and who says it wasn't an assassination attempt? Ed) as was the mad, Thargoid-loving scientist from Alioth, Dr Joreb Innitu.

"Innita Loony", as he was affectionately known was a good friend to those of us writing for the discerning readership. He had long been a figure of fun, providing hours of happy laughter and lengthy reams of copy. - he will be sadly missed.

PIRATE ATTACK ON FEDERAL COLONISTS CONVOY

M.C.S

Reports from Waedphi suggest that several thousand colonists were killed and untold billions of credits-worth of re-settlement goods were lost when a Federation-backed colonial convoy was been attacked en route to the system by fleet of pirate ships. Survivors of the attack claim that it followed the known modus-operandi of Ricci Hellar - a Galleon-Commander with a record on all three police force data-banks.

Two wings of Krait fighters attacked the convoy fore and aft, effectively polarising the protecting fighter force and then two further wings of mixed Saker and Lanner craft attacked from either side, splitting the convoy and destroying the central, cargo carrying ships.

Only those fighters who chose to hyper space to another system rather than to stay and fight were left alive. Several returned with larger defence forces but found only a litter of space debris - the Galleon had long since hyper-spaced to an unknown location. Lists of the dead are available to those able to produce evidence of direct connection - contact Tristal Williams at the Data Dispersal Division on Anderton planet (Anlave).

FEDERATION ATTEMPTS TO PREVENT COLONIAL PROGRESS

M.C.S

Two small groups of colonists bound for New Australia (Waedphi) have been detained under a local legal technicality on the Federal planet of Reagan's Legacy (Delta Pavonis).

The colonists have full legal rights under all categories to form an anti-technocratic settlement on the newly terra-formed planet. Sufficient credit was raised a decade ago and development plans lodged with all the necessary local planning councils several years in advance of the projected settlement date.

The Federal Authority appeared to be amenable to the settlement in spite of the relative proximity to several of their outer mining planets. The colonists were within days of departure when questions were raised as to the adequacy of the proposed sanitary facilities and the Colony-Freighter has been held in dock until the details can be clarified. Experience suggests that, at the average rate of legal consideration, the ship's launch could be delayed by several years.

Colony leaders are planning to sue the Federal Authority for full damages.

FEDERAL COLONY FAILS

M.C.S

An attempt by the Federal Colonial Council to pre-emptively colonise the newly terra-formed planet of New Australia (Waedphi) failed dramatically last month after a spectacular raid by Ricci Hellar's pirate fleet.

New Australia was the site of a projected Independent settlement by a group of neo-pagan settlers intending to turn the planet into an ecologist's haven. The Federal Authorities delayed the departure of the Colony Freighter and sent a Colonial Fleet of their own while the lawyers argued over the spelling of the injunction notice.

The Federal colonists within days of landing when the Pirate Fleet descended and destroyed every ship that stayed within range. Ricci Hellar, the owner and Galleon Commander of the pirates is well known to have fanatical eco-terrorist tendencies and there is a very plausible suggestion that he destroyed the Feds as a gesture of support for the Independent colonists.

INDEPENDENT COLONY FINALLY SUCCEEDS

M.C.S

The Independent Colonists of New Australia finally succeeded in their attempts to create an eco-pagan colony on the newly terra-formed planet. The Federal attempt at pre-emptive settlement failed when their Colonial Fleet was completely destroyed by Ricci Hellar's pirates.

The Independents arrived on the planet less than a month ago; three hundred and fifty adults of mixed race and gender were landed, together with residential and agricultural construction kits and a variety of pre-technical hunting equipment. The sanitary and domestic facilities will adhere to the Intergalactic Health Directorate but all other facilities beyond the space station are designed to emulate various aboriginal cultures on Earth.

We will be monitoring the progress of the various settlements with interest and will bring you reports as they progress.

Those wishing to travel to any settlement beyond the space station will require a written invitation from at least two members of any tribe.

(If you can find one who can still write.... Ed.)

FREEDOM FIGHTER ARRESTED

M.C.S

Katia Rast, of Valhalla (Tiliala, -4,-1), leader of the banned opposition party, the Valhallan Liberation Front has been arrested by the ruling Militia under a series of swingeing new police powers passed by the Augustus Chenick, the leader of the ruling Dictatorship.

A statement has been released to the effect that Rast is "helping the police in the due process of their enquiries" and will be released as soon as the current investigation has reached a satisfactory conclusion.

Nevertheless, Rast has not been permitted access to a lawyer and attempts to gain access by representatives of Dentara Rast (the leader-in-hiding of the Valhallan Liberation Army) have been denied. Rast had been gaining a reputation within the civil rights movement for a series of well-argued articles published in the underground Tilialan Freedom Journal which exposed details of the ruling regime's abuses of human and android rights.

It was as a direct result of the last of these articles that the recent pan-galactic trade embargo was imposed and representatives of all three powers were forced to call for the restoration of democratic rule in the region.

As we go to press, the VLA has threatened to renew the civil war if Rast is not released within the next two days.

CIVIL WAR THREATENED IN TILIALA

M.C.S

The Independent Dictatorship of Tiliala (-4,-1) remains under the threat of civil war. A combined Federal, Imperial and Independent initiative to encourage peace included the imposition of a trade embargo, and it has appeared in recent months as if a certain stability may have been achieved.

The embargo was a direct result of diplomatic interventions by the Federal Colonial Council in the area which had been monitoring allegations of civil rights abuses by the ruling 'Valhallan Democratic Peace Party'. Serious abuses were not proven, however, the loss of civilian life in the war zones was considered to be unacceptable and the embargo was initiated as a means to bring both parties to the negotiating table.

Now, rebel leaders are once again threatening the fragile peace. They appear to have found a way through the embargo and are re-arming with the intention of renewing the civil war on Valhalla, the larger of the two inhabited worlds, if their demands are not met. So far, the ruling Dictatorship (which, oddly enough, is NOT based on the other inhabited world in the system, Democracy) has refused to accede to the rebel's demands although they claim to be open to negotiation and have offered to meet rebel leaders if the latter will agree to give up their arms and surrender to the due process of law.

EMPEROR CONCERNED OVER POSSIBLE CIVIL WAR

M.C.S

His Imperial Majesty, the Protector of the Poor and Defender of Peace, has ordered his Luminary Aides and the Commanders of the Far Systems protectorate to investigate the situation in the strife-stricken system of Tiliala (-4,-1).

It is His Excellency's belief that the area is under serious threat of civil war and that the arms embargo, ordered some time ago by the High Legislate, while effective in reducing hostilities, has not yet succeeded in completely halting the aggression. It is apparent that the terrorist faction based on the inner world, Valhalla has succeeded in smuggling small arms and explosives into the area.

Repeated calls for calm by the ruling Valhallan Democratic Peace Party have been ignored and the rulers have been forced, against their natural instincts, to order a temporary curfew and to arrest a number of terrorist leaders as a preventative measure.

Imperial Aides believe that war can still be avoided but have nevertheless advised that the ships of the Seventh (Far Systems) Protectorate should be moved to the area so that they can be on hand to enforce peace if required.

TANTALUM AT TILIALA

M.C.S

Call yourself a mercenary??! Fancy your hand at the arms trade? Then get your butt into gear and get yourself off to Valhalla. There's about to be one humdinger of a war there folks and the good news is, you don't have to die to be in on the action.

The world's Valhalla, the system's Tiliala , the co-ordinates are -4,-1 and the fireworks are about to begin.

For your information, the bad guys are the Democratic Peace Party and their leader, one Augustus Chenick has bumped off the heroic leader of the freedom fighters, Katia Rast. It wasn't one of the brightest moves for a well-sussed Dictator - Rast's partner is the leader of the opposition army and is, not surprisingly, quite seriously unhappy with the turn of events.

Revenge has been sworn and nothing short of Chenick's head is likely to be good enough to keep our vengeful rebel warrior happy. There is the minor inconvenience of an arms embargo, but when did that ever stop the hardy mercenary?

If you get there now with a load of hand guns, they'll be your friends for life.

There's one small snag. The place is crawling with 'diplomats', from all three Powers who are heading towards the sector with the aim of restoring, imposing or enforcing their own versions of democracy (delete according to affiliation).

The odd thing is, the civil war's been ticking on in Tiliala for years and no-body gave a two-toned tuppeny bit until a wandering geologist stuck a probe where she shouldn't and found that the place is loaded to the core with tantalum - and tantalum just happens to be one of the rarest elements in the galaxy.

Rare equals expensive, people. That place is an orbiting gold mine.

Go for it.

TILIALA - FREEDOM FIGHTER DIES IN DETENTION - WAR RESUMES

M.C.S

War has resumed on the strife-torn world of Valhalla (Tiliala) after the death in detention of leader of the banned Valhallan Liberation Front, Katia Rast. A series of letters written by Rast while in solitary confinement and smuggled out of the Militia headquarters on Valhalla are being used as evidence of murder by the freedom fighters of the Valhallan Liberation Army.

The rebels have mounted a series of raids on government departments across the planet. Members of the ruling dictatorship have gone into hiding and are directing the defence of their regime through their military commanders on the ground. The ad-hoc leadership council of the Valhallan Liberation Front (inaugurated after the death of its leader) has announced its own 'state of emergency' and given guarantees that those members of the civil population who co-operate with the process of Liberation will be not be in danger.

The arms embargo imposed after Rast's impassioned plea for aid to the Independent Systems and their allies appears to have been conclusively breached and both sides have, at the minimum, land-based armoured vehicles, small arms and explosives. The freedom fighters are said to have access to both biological and chemical weapons but have given guarantees via the VLF that they will not be used except as a last resort in defence of VLA personnel.

The overthrow of the dictatorship is inevitable. The only question is whether the Liberation Front will have time to establish a rational system of government without unnecessary outside interference. Dentara Rast, leader of the VLA, is to fly to Democracy in the next few days to take part in a series of meetings with a group of AIS diplomats who are experienced in the process of planetary negotiation.

We hope to report a truce in our next issue.

TILIALAN POLITICAL LEADER DIES IN MILITIA HEADQUARTERS

M.C.S

In spite of a pan galactic arms embargo on the system of Tiliala (-4,-1), the ruling dictatorship (operating under the facile misnomer of the 'Valhallan Democratic Peace Party') finds itself under renewed attack by the military wing of the freedom party, the Valhallan Liberation Army.

The warring factions on Valhalla have clashed once again following the death in detention of Katia Rast, the leader of the banned opposition party, the Valhallan Liberation Front. Sympathisers smuggled a series of letters - the 'Rast Papers' out of the militia headquarters and there is ample evidence that the Dictator Augustus Checkin was personally involved in the death. Whether or not this is the case, the rebels have used it as a reason to break the fragile cease-fire that was negotiated in recent months by the neutral observers from the Federal Colonial Council. The two main cities, Lowing and Donaldson Village are under siege and the civilian population of both have accepted a voluntary curfew.

The militia headquarters at Lowing have been razed to the ground following a night's solid artillery bombardment and the rebels have re-targeted their guns on to the administrative block in the centre of Donaldson Village.

The leader of the freedom fighters, Dentara Rast, is said to be personally heading an attack on Checkin's domestic residence and reports state that the war will not end until one of the two, at least, is dead.

VALHALLAN WAR - EMPIRE TO INTERVENE

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Dove of War and the Hawk of Peace has ordered the pilots of the Seventh (Far Systems) protectorate to converge on the system of Tiliala (-4,-1) and has given them full permission to use whatever force the Commanders deem necessary to stop the civil war currently raging on the planet of Valhalla in that system.

His Excellency is most disturbed by the news that terrorist insurgents are destabilising a previously secure government. However, having heard full representation from the terrorist leaders and a number of civilian diplomats sympathetic to the rebel cause, he has decided that there is no reason for Imperial Clone Troops to reverse the progress of the war.

The terrorists have given assurance that there will be no unnecessary bombardment of civilians and that, if Imperial assistance is forthcoming, they will gratefully accept his Majesty's offer to join the Empire as an Imperial colony.

With this in mind, Luminary Aides from the Colonial Legislate are in flight at this moment towards Tiliala to join the Protectorate Commanders and assess the situation. An Imperial diplomatic posting has been set up on the neighbouring planet of Democracy and terrorist leaders are being flown there to take part in talks.

We feel confident that, within a short period of time, another war-torn system will enjoy the multitudinous benefits of Imperial Peace.

EMPIRE AND FEDERATION IN RACE FOR VALHALLA

M.C.S

Well, those of you who took our advice and took ship for the fascinating system of Tiliala (-4,-1) will have reaped your due reward. The bad guys are on their way out, the good guys are moving in with all guns blazing (as good guys always do at times like these) and there will be tantalum all round for those who helped to make it all possible.

The one swamp beetle in the ointment is the presence of a large number of ships from the Imperial Seventh Protectorate and the Federal Colonial Fleet who just happen to be hanging about waiting to see which side's going to win.

At the moment, it seems just about even.

The mighty leader, Checkin has taken to the hills with one Dentara Rast hard on his heels wanting his head (or any other convenient parts of his anatomy) on a plate as revenge for the dearly departed Katia.

The politicos of the 'Valhallan Liberation Front' meanwhile are offering a truce in return for the keys to the seat of government (in Lowing). They want the security forces in chains as well, which may be more difficult to achieve. One of the things about running a planet is that you tend to have friends in high places who will protect your neck when the chips are down.

Rumour has it that Dentara is being called back from the wild hunt and will fly over to the neighbouring world of Democracy to meet the diplomats in the hope that a change of environment might cool the tempers a bit.

VALHALLAN TALKS REACH DEADLOCK

M.C.S

The peace talks regarding the continued civil war on Valhalla (Tiliala -4,-1) reached deadlock last week after the two sides involved failed to reach any agreement on the key question of accountability.

Representatives of the deposed Dictatorship, the misnamed Valhallan Democratic Peace Party, are demanding a full amnesty for members of the erstwhile 'security forces' and are holding out for guarantees of personal safety.

The freedom fighters of the Valhallan Liberation Army, led by Dentara Rast, are insisting that all those named in the 'Rast Papers' be brought to trial at the earliest possible opportunity. (The Papers, a series of letters published by the underground press immediately after the death in detention of Katia Rast, were the spark which ignited the current unrest.)

Professional mediators from the AIS are holding a series of talks on the neighbouring planet of Democracy and are interviewing the individuals concerned at secret locations in an effort to reach some kind of rational compromise before the hostilities spread beyond the urban centres in which it is currently raging. The security forces have taken a number of leading civilians hostage and are said to be using the Central civic hospitals as headquarters to avoid attack by the VLA units in the area.

One worrying development is the arrival in the area of both a Federal Colonial Fleet and the Imperial Seventh Protectorate. Both are well known for 'imposing peace' on minor, unstable systems and the announcement of the discovery of tantalum on Valhalla has made the area on of rather more significance than previously.

The presence of both Federation and Empire means that neither will be able to move unless it has overwhelming odds.

The stalemate therefore continues - to the advantage of the Valhallans.

PEACE TALKS PROGRESS ON VALHALLA (TILIALA)

M.C.S

The unrest continues on the war torn planet of Valhalla in the system of Tiliala (-4,-1).

Leading members of the Valhallan Liberation Front (VLF), the political arm of the Valhallan Liberation Army, have been holding high level talks on the neighbouring planet of Democracy with professional mediators, diplomats and lawyers from all three galactic powers in an attempt to break the deadlock over the current civil war.

There is a serious belief that the VLF will accept partitioning of the southern hemisphere into three or more independent areas to allow the planet's cultural minorities to co-exist in a peaceful and democratic fashion. Final details of division seem to be the only impediment to a real and lasting peace in the system although there is also the question of whether the amnesty currently in force for members of the old security forces should still apply in the new states.

A number of freedom activists have very strong personal reasons for bringing members of the deposed Dictatorship to trial at the earliest possible opportunity. Dentara Rast, military leader of the VLA is particularly anxious to bring to trial those members of the security forces responsible for the recent death in custody of her partner.

It seems likely, however (and not entirely surprising) that the remaining representatives of the Valhallan Democratic Peace Party (widely known as a repressive dictatorship) will hold out for a full and permanent amnesty.

TILIALA: EMPIRE MEDIATES END TO CIVIL WAR

M.C.S

His Imperial Majesty has been delighted to hear the encouraging reports from the Imperial negotiators, diplomats and lawyers working to end the war raging on Valhalla (Tiliala -4, -1).

The cities of Lowing and Austin Starport have both been hit particularly hard and civilian casualties have been high. Representatives from both sides are discussing the division of the system's two habitable planets into a number of cultural 'sectors' each with an autonomous government, separate electoral system and independent trading rights.

The offer of financial aid from the Imperial Foreign Reserve has made a significant difference to the tenor of the negotiations. The departing Valhallan Democratic Peace Party was, until recently, a recognised ally of the Empire and a number of exclusive trade deals had been secured in previous decades. However, the demonstration of overt and fundamental human rights violations by the reigning Dictatorship led to Galaxy-wide disapproval and to call for a trade embargo on all goods and services derived from the system.

The Emperor's personal decision to back the legitimate claims of the Valhallan Liberation Front, with force if necessary has led directly to the onset of talks.

We hope to bring you news of their success in our next issue.

VALHALLA - BATTLE GROUND OF THE GODS

M.C.S

Valhalla - the endless battleground where the bad get tough and the tough get even.

A place to go after you're bored with living.

A place where you can fight to your heart's content, where the ice giants will roam forever through the forests and the gods hurl thunder bolts at each other from the backs of the horses that draw the sun across the sky.

The place where the Valkyry ride to war at the start of every new day, taking their warriors with them.

Tough if you happen to live there 'though.

Suppose you aren't bored with life and you wanted to get up in the morning and brush your teeth in peace? Or you just have to get that relationship crisis sorted but there's a piece of heavy artillery blowing holes in the roof and you can't put your head out of the door without someone crisping your halo with a laser. You'd get sick of a permanent diet of thunderbolts after a while ....

Those of us who enjoy a quiet life can feel truly grateful that we live somewhere nice and simple like Mars or Jupiter or New California where the pools are warm and the Ice-Pure Crater Juice flows down the throat like a dream. Or even Lucifer in Sirius where the sun irradiates the planet and fries everyone to a tiny crisps for the whole of the daylight hours ....

Well, maybe not. But at least you don't have permanent civil war on Lucifer - unlike the poor suckers on Valhalla who must, by now, be trying to work out what it was they did wrong in a previous life.

Not only do they have the freedom fighters hurling rocket grenades at the Government on their doorstep, they have the Federal and Imperial 'Colonial' fleets circling each other like a pair of fighting dogs around their sun.

We have a suggestion, people. It's time to jump ship and get out of there.

TILIALA - VLA LEADER DIES IN STARPORT ATTACK

M.C.S

Dentara Rast, leader of the freedom fighters of the Valhallan Liberation Army has been killed while in transit to the neighbouring planet of Democracy.

In an attack classic of its kind, a single ship fitting the description of a [MiL0(Til ship type) fighter penetrated the planet's waning security cordon and destroyed the ship carrying Rast to the next round of peace negotiations. All VLA members plus their compatriots in the political wing of the freedom party, the Valhallan Liberation Front, have withdrawn from the talks and are demanding the arrest and trial (under AIS law) of the deposed dictator, Augustus Checkin as the price of their return.

They have also demanded the identification and arrest of the assassin responsible for the murder of their leader as a pre-requisite to further talks. The truce has broken and the freedom fighters have resumed their bombardment of government offices, this time in the minor city of Alison and in the neighbouring urban centres of Dietnick and Checkin's Claim.

Further, the VLA fighters have taken over the roads leading to the tantalum mines and are threatening to use explosives to destroy the routes into the mining area.

Imperial and Federal negotiators in the area are said to be extremely unhappy with the recent turn of events and are offering practical support from their own police forces to aid the apprehension of both Checkin and the unnamed assassin.

DEATH OF VLA LEADER HALTS TALKS

M.C.S

The recent assassination of Dentara Rast, military leader of the Valhallan Liberation Army, has sparked renewed fighting in the civil war zones of the planet. Rast's entire entourage withdrew from the peace talks in order to attend a state funeral in her home city of Austin Starport and have let it be known through neutral intermediaries that they hold the Valhallan Democratic Peace Party (or, at least, the remnants of same) responsible for the murder of their leader.

The active members of the VLA are said to be re-arming from stock-piles hidden at the last cessation of hostilities and they apparently intend to return, fully armed, to exact revenge. The rebels have moved their heavy artillery to the outlying areas around the city of Alison and are said to be ready to destroy the lucrative mining installations in the area.

This short sighted destruction of a planetary resource would seriously damage the economic viability of the area and representatives of the Federal Colonial Council are moving towards the area in an attempt to avert any unnecessary destruction.

Offers have been made to help locate the assassin responsible and to bring him, her or it to justice at the earliest possible opportunity.

EMPIRE MAKES PEACE ON VALHALLA

M.C.S

A peace-keeping detachment of the Seventh Squadron, the Far Systems Protectorate is circling the system of Tiliala, the site of much recent civil unrest. Commander Ria Kyine, Squadron Leader In Action, is leading the fleet (under personal direction from the Emperor) in order to oversee an permanent end to the civil war that has overtaken both of the inhabited planets in the system and is threatening thousands of lives. The Far Systems Protectorate is fully trained in the suppression of civil unrest and Commander Kyine is quoted as saying that, whereas they will not return until peace reigns in Valhalla, they do not expect to be away from their home base for any significant length of time. Imperial negotiators believe that agreement can be reached between the parties although if it is proved that the Valhallan Democratic Peace Party was ultimately responsible for the recent assassination of Dentara Rast, the late leader of the VLA, then they may have to concede the loss of their amnesty.

Commentators on both sides have suggested that the death of the assassin responsible, identified as [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) would hasten a successful conclusion to the talks. Imperial Guard Commanders on all stations have full identification updates of the wanted Commander. Citizens are required to examine the details and are reminded that to harbour a known fugitive constitutes treason against the Empire.

VALHALLA: KISS OF DEATH

M.C.S

The Rasts are not doing well.

Katia had a nasty accident, courtesy of our unfriendly local Dictator during her vacation in the militia headquarters, and now Dentara has been vapourised by a low-life assassin while heading for Democracy to try and sort out a deal for peace.

Valhalla may be a happy hunting ground but there are a lot of seriously unhappy people out there just at the moment. The surviving members of the 'freedom fighter's have gone on the war-path and are out there thinking of ways to get even with whoever it was that nailed their leader. Trouble is, there are quite a few contenders.

Anyone in the galaxy with a [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship) could have carried out the hit and any one of about three Powers or a certain planetary ex-Dictatorship could have offered them the dosh.

Or perhaps someone just wanted to get their grubby paws on the tantalising tantalum ahead of the field. In any event, the good guys have brains and they went on out to the tantalum mines with a big box of bangers and offered to blow them all to bits if no-body helped them to find the bad guys.

The result?

The FSS and the Imperial Palace Guard went through their computers in next to no time and dig out the info.

Whodunnit?

[MiR(Til Pn or NPC) in a [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship) number [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship id).

Go get them, people.

There's a whole lot of goodies ready for whoever hooks this fish ....

VLA CALLS FOR ASSASSIN'S ARREST

M.C.S

The new joint leaders of the Valhallan Liberation Army have issued a statement calling for the immediate arrest and imprisonment of [MiR(Til Pn or NPC), the Commander believed to be responsible for the assassination of their late leader, Dentara Rast. The demand is the minimum pre-condition to their return to the negotiating table and, as such is being taken seriously by the diplomatic team.

Talisker Scotch, leader of the Independent Alliance representatives on the team has gone on the record as saying that 'If that's what it takes, we'll turn the Galaxy inside out.' Interpol have begun a full data search of their records and have issued an all-points bulletin for the identification of the commander in question.

A reward of $50,000 is offered for information leading to the apprehension of [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) and sources close to the Terrorist Investigation Team confirm the AoD (Alive or Dead) status of the bulletin. In the meantime, the Federal Colonial Fleet and the Imperial Seventh Protectorate are hovering in the wings waiting to take advantage of the situation.

Negotiators for the AIS are working overtime to bring the talks to a satisfactory conclusion before either of the two Police States decides to take unilateral military action.

PEACE TALKS FALTER AFTER DEATH OF A LEADER

M.C.S

The Federal Colonial Fleet is still in position around the war-torn system of Tiliala. Negotiators on all sides were hopeful that a break in the deadlock could be found in spite of the recent death of Dentara Rast, the charismatic VLA leader, at the hands of a paid assassin: [MiR(Til Pn or NPC).

The new leaders of the Valhallan Liberation Army are effectively insisting that they be handed the head of the assassin on a plate as a pre-condition to their return to the talks and the mood on the ground here in Valhalla is such that they are likely to get what they ask for.

Rast had gained the respect of all those involved in the negotiations and her death has been seen as a personal tragedy as well as a political disaster by many of those involved. Had the VLA not demanded justice, it is likely that the tri-partite negotiators would have brought their own pressure to bear on their respective governments.

This is, to our knowledge, the first time in legal history that the an individual has been sought for the same crime by all 3 police authorities.

The last known ID of the assassin is [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) travelling in [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship) bearing identification [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship id). An FSS Fugitive File has been opened and Federal Authorities on all stations are reminded that to harbour a known fugitive carries maximum penalties for the system in question.

Ignorance is not considered a valid defence.

EMPEROR OFFERS REWARD FOR ARREST OF FUGITIVE

M.C.S

In an unprecedented display of the generosity for which he is famous, His Excellency Hengist Duval, the Defender of the Oppressed and the Sword of Justice, has offered a reward of $50,000 for any information leading to the arrest or apprehension (dead or alive) of the fugitive [MiR(Til Pn or NPC), the Commander responsible for the assassination of Valhalla's chief negotiator, Dentara Rast.

[MiR(Til Pn or NPC) is known to be flying a [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship) of type [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship id) and was last seen in the [MiR(current sector). Any Imperial citizen making an arrest will be granted honours by His Excellency in accordance with their rank and status and anyone providing accurate information of a recent sighting will have their Providence Review brought forward to the next meeting of the local Civic Council.

All citizens are reminded that it is treason to harbour a fugitive and that failure to report any sighting will be similarly adjudged.

It is the belief of the Imperial High Luminaries in place in the system of Tiliala that, as soon as the fugitive has been apprehended, the negotiations will continue and that the civil war will be brought to a close.

BOUNTY HUNTER'S DREAM TIME

M.C.S

It's Pan-Galactic Bounty time again....

The VLA, InterPol, the FSS and the Imps have got together and are offering a bounty for the killers of our late freedom fighting friends - Dentara Rast. Get into your ships and get out there.

We have an identification and we know the ship. All you have to do is to search the galaxy, get there ahead of the police ships and $50,000 is yours for the asking. You, like us here at RIG, may find the sale of human life to the pigs to be an antediluvian custom that should have been abandoned along with two-party electoral systems and screen-based computer games when human-kind left the constraints of our mother planet at Sol.

BUT if you see this creep and tell the right people - you could make enough credit to keep you in Riedquatian mouse-mat coats for the rest of your natural and beyond.

The name is: [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) the ship's a [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship), number [MiR(Til Pn or NPC ship id) and the low-life killer was last seen leaving Tiliala at speed.

If you get a positive ID, let us know and we'll make sure it reaches the right ears, eyes and trigger-happy laser fingers. Just remember: these people kill for a living, Dentara Rast was probably not the first and certainly won't be the last- so think twice before you go wading on in inviting them to make your day.

(And don't forget to mention the editorial staff of your favourite journal in your Will...).

IMPERIAL GUARD LOCATES VALHALLA ASSASSIN

M.C.S

The tireless endeavour of the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard surveillance teams once again bore fruit last month as the Commanders of the 2nd Squadron, the Internal Protectorate tracked down and destroyed the assassin [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) responsible for the death of Dentara Rast of Valhalla (Tiliala).

Station Commander Koft of the Liabeze Imperial Guard reported the arrival of a ship answering to the description of that used by the fugitive and requested the assistance of 2nd Squadron in the subsequent action. The fugitive was confronted shortly after take-off, subsequently refused the chance to surrender and was destroyed by the overwhelming fire-power of the Imperial Squadron in a brief but glorious display of supra-planetary dog-fighting.

Commander Deest, 3rd wing leader of the 2nd Squadron has been elevated to the rank of 'Baron' for her part in the action and Commander Koft, mentioned in despatches, has received a personal letter of thanks from His Imperial Highness, the Emperor.

ASSASSIN YIELDS TO FSS

M.C.S

Commander [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) outlawed for the cold-blooded assassination of Valhallan Liberation Army's leader Dentara Rast, died following a deep space confrontation with members of the Federal Security Services Colonial Security branch.

[MiR(Til Pn or NPC) was identified just prior to take off by an observant member of the landing staff on the orbital station of Greenhill City (Waedphi) and a number of FSS defence craft searching the area were alerted in time to follow the fugitive ship through hyperspace and out into deep space close to the lucrative vacation centre of Quiness.

The outlaw refused the terms of surrender offered by the FSS wing commander and fired without warning, destroying a number of ships before eventually succumbing to the superior fighting skills of the Federation pilots.

Reports from Valhalla suggest that the new joint leaders of the VLA will shortly be returning to the negotiating table and that they are likely to accept the offer of Federal Colonial Restructuring funds to help them in the restoration of civilised life to their two planets.

INTERPOL SUCCEEDS WHERE OTHERS FAILED

M.C.S

Recent reports emanating from both the Empire and the Federation suggesting that the fugitive commander, [MiR(Til Pn or NPC), had been located and destroyed have proven false.

[MiR(Til Pn or NPC), named as the assassin responsible for the murder of Dentara Rast of the Valhallan Liberation Army, had been sought for over a month without success until an Interpol operative reported visual identification of the suspect in a gambling pit on the outer Edge planet of Rance's Haven (Quinqu).

Local members of the Interpol Terrorist Investigation Team converged on the location, arresting all those present who lacked adequate personal identification. The fugitive, sadly, died while resisting arrest but the body has been iced in liquid nitrogen prior to being flown to Valhalla for positive identification.

The informer has been granted a change of identity, re-location to an unnamed Inner Core system and re-settled with the reward, as offered, of $50,000.

Peace talks have resumed and are reported to be making 'adequate' progress.

TALKS RESUME ON VALHALLA

M.C.S

The joint leaders of the Valhallan Liberation Front returned to the negotiating table last month after the successful arrest (and unfortunate demise) of the assassin [MiR(Til Pn or NPC) responsible for the death of their late leader, Dentara Rast.

Undoubtedly, it would have been preferable for all concerned had the assassin lived to reveal the identity of the financiers behind the hit, however, given the current climate and the desire for a peaceful solution on all sides, debts are seen to have been paid, honour served and both sides are prepared to continue negotiations.

The talks now hinge on the details of the amnesty required by the leaders of the deposed dictatorship and the partition of Valhalla into a number of secure zones in which the various cultural minorities can co-exist peacefully.

BULLETIN ROUND-UP

M.C.S

His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Harald is said to be 'shocked but stable' following a close encounter with an Exiocan Polar Bear while on a hunting expedition on O'Rourke's Colony (Exioce).

The bear in question was shot by the Prince's guides who have since been detained for questioning by the Imperial Guard's Snow Patrol on suspicion of attempted assassination.

OTHER NEWS: Two Federal spies have been detained during the course of routine security patrols in the extraction plant on Solo's rock (Urtize).

The Seventh Squadron, the Far Systems Protectorate, of the Imperial Navy returned to Facece in triumph last week after successfully maintaining peace in the Tiliala system.

Two pilots of the 2nd Squadron, the Internal Protectorate are to receive medal honours at the next quarterly visitation of His Imperial Highness following the detection and destruction of the assassin [MiR(Til Pn or NPC).

HOLIDAY-MAKERS ARRESTED

M.C.S

Two wandering hitch-hikers passing through the Imperial mining colony of Moore Starport on the planet Solo's Rock (Urtize) in the Imperial sector (3,-4) en route to the Federal Democracy of Finn (Edethex) have been arrested by an over-zealous detachment of the local Imperial Guard and are being detained on the usual spurious spying charges.

The two have not yet been named but are believed to originate from Tiliala.

Both are being held incommunicado and, in direct contravention of the terms of the 3-P treaty, are neither being given access to a Federation defence lawyer nor are they being allowed to make contact with the local Federal Consul on Finn.

The Sector Ambassador, Dr T J Tyth has made representation at the highest level possible under the circumstances and is awaiting a response from the Commander of the Urtizian Imperial Guard. In a similar case last year, a single hitchhiker was killed when the ship in which she had hitched a ride was destroyed by a detachment from the Imperial Navy shortly after take off from an unmarked landing strip on the closed to the mining complex.

SPIES SHOT WHILE ATTEMPTING ESCAPE

M.C.S

The two Federal spies detained on Solo's Rock in the Urtize system (3,-4) have both committed suicide whilst under the care of the Urtizian Imperial Guard. The Guard Commander has issued a statement of regret that the two could not be brought to full trial coupled with a warning to any others who consider the state-of-the-art ore extraction technology on Urtize to be an easy touch for industrial espionage.

Miners reported two low-flying ships attempting to make landing in the area during the quiet period of the shift and it is believed that a rescue attempt was under way similar to that thwarted by the diligence of the Imperial Naval Internal Protectorate last year. All miners and their householders are reminded of their duty to maintain constant watchfulness and to report any unusual aerial sightings to their local Guard Commander.

BULLETIN UPDATE

M.C.S

The two hitchhikers previously reported missing while touring in the region of Solo's Rock (Urtize) have both returned safely to Finn (Edethex) Neither reports any ill-effects from their enforced stay at the hands of the Imperial Guard but both have stated their intention to steer well clear of the Imperial slave pits in the future.

A Federal Naval Pilot has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander following an unfortunate incident in the Urtize sector

Ambassador TJ Tyth has been recalled to Earth and will be replaced as soon as a mutually acceptable alternative can be found. Anyone wishing to apply for the position should contact the appropriate authorities.

Talks have broken down on Valhalla (Tiliala) following the death in suspicious circumstances of Augustus Chenick the deposed dictator and erstwhile head of the Valhallan Secret Police. Ships of the Federal Navy are moving in to contain the violence.

BIO-FIELD: THE POLAR BEAR OF EXIOCE

M.C.S

O'Rourke's Colony, Exioce. Imperial world, recognised throughout the Galaxy as a Planet of Special Scientific Interest (pssi) was also one of the first worlds on which custom bio-engineered species were designed, bred and released.

The Exiocan Polar Bear, derived from Earth stock, has been an enormous success. Standard Polar Bear embryos (fertile) were imported from earth and successive generations underwent modification as far as the F8 which is the current breeding stock. These bears have increased levels of Growth Hormone ensuring that they grow to at least twice the mass of the F1s, altered CNS catecholamine sensitivity to enhance the sympathetic responses and an increase in ferocity to ensure that the response to stress is 'fight' and not 'flight'.

Early problems with intra-species fighting have been largely overcome by increasing the inter-sibling bonding and confining bears of differing 'tribes' to separate land masses. Similarly, the early catastrophic reduction in prey species has been ameliorated by the introduction to the planet of genetically enhanced walrus, seal and penguin, all natural prey species on Earth. All three were enlarged and underwent a similar enhancement of the sympathetic system although with the 'flight' responses increased to reduce the kill rate.

So far, the balance seems to be holding and the native fauna have not been observably affected by the introductions.

Time will tell.

YETI HUNTING SEASON OPENS- WIN TWO FREE TICKETS

M.C.S

Well, it's that time of the decade again. The guys and gals with the guns are out in force, braving the sub-zero temperatures, the treacherous snow fields, the crushing ice-floes and the icy gales to murder cuddly polar bears, hack at the seals, harpoon the walrus and generally indulge in an orgy of bloodlust.

We at RIG have always been trenchant supporters of the anti-hunting lobby but we have to admit to a certain sneaking admiration for the dedication of those who are prepared to forego all but the bearest (geddit? Ed) of life's essentials for their sport.

O'Rourke's Colony is cold folks, seriously cold and there aren't many amenities out there. Added to that, the Imperial Guard snow patrols maintain a constant watch to check that none of the happy hunters is breaking the rules by using anything seriously dangerous. Projectile weapons only (no lasers), nothing bigger than a .303 and no more than twenty rounds per person per week, maximum.

On top of that, you have to face the wrath of the Exiocan Polar Bear - genetically engineered to have bigger teeth and a nastier temper than almost anything else in the Universe. But the nastiest nasty of them all is the Yeti.

No-one's seen it and lived. No-one's got close enough to film it. But everyone who's been there has heard it roar. That's the real reason they go back, season after season.

Everyone who is anyone in the hunting world wants to be the first to have nailed a Yeti. If you're one of them and you can't quite scrape together the 11,586.99 credits for a week's hunting, never fear.

We're offering TWO, yes TWO FREE TICKETS to the Galaxy's coldest holiday zone. All you have to do is mail us with YOUR idea of what to do with the Yeti when you've found it. Best answer gets the ticket.

MAIL US NOW.

DIPLOMATIC SUMMITS?

M.C.S

In yet another example of Federal and Imperial hypocrisy, the latest 'Summit' meeting to discuss the wording of the Tiliala Peace Treaty is taking place on, of all places, O'Rourke's Colony, Exioce.

O'Rourke's, officially designated as a 'planet of special scientific interest' is one of the many examples of mutual Federal/Imperial co-operation behind the backs of their populations. Diplomats, dignitaries, lawyers and other hierarchs of both galactic powers spend their days hunting the Exiocan Polar Bear - recognised Galaxy-wide as one of the most savage legitimate quarry species ever to be engineered - and their evenings discussing weighty matters beside a roaring REAL log fire, drinking glasses of aquavite and eating caviar.

The decadence has to be seen to be imagined but none of us are likely to see it. O'Rourke was ear-marked early in the spread of the Empire as an ideal game hunting area and a series of interdicts were passed to ensure that it remained unspoiled by the great unwashed of any political affiliation. Video filming or replication of any kind is forbidden in order to maintain the sense of exclusivity.

To be invited for a week's hunting at O'R's is to finally have ascended to the highest echelon of either State. In this, the Federation and Empire are, not surprisingly, at one.

We at Frontier News feel glad to live in a System that is free from this kind of political double dealing.

PRINCE HARALD GETS CLOSE SHAVE!

M.C.S

Young Harry's done it again.

The walking disaster zone of a Hereditary heir to all that is the Empire went out to blow the heads off some poor defenceless Polar Bear in Exioce and the Bear fought back.

Good on ya Bear, we say.

The hapless ursid (that's 'bear' to the rest of you) was taking a quick snooze on an ice-floe when Harry and his crew snuck up with their hand-held rocket launchers (they deny using anything so violent but we know better) and went in for the kill.

Young Harry, naturally, wanted all the glory and raced in, guns blazing with his 'make my day, bear' battle cry and the bear did for him. Well, it tried as hard as it could before the trusty hunters piled in and brought the entertainment to a close. The lad's got a nasty cut over his right eye and there's a rumour of the odd broken rib.

Nothing that the surgeons can't fit back together, of course, but enough to give the right royal household a right royal shock. which is only what you deserve when you go out with murder in mind. Right??!

Mail us with YOUR views on the Imperial Idiot and we'll publish the best.

And while we're here... Did you hear of the latest fiasco in the Valhallan sagas? Every police force in the Galaxy was hot on the tail of [MiR(Til Pn or NPC). And every single one has claimed success. They can't all be right, can they?

What's the betting that there are one or two doppelgangers still hanging around and the REAL culprit is, as we write, sitting by a pool in New California where, as we all know, the Pure Cold Crater Juice is the best anywhere in the Galaxy.

HARALD ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT?

M.C.S

Crown Prince Harald, scion of the Imperial house of Duval is recovering from injuries sustained while hunting in the exclusive Big Game Hunting planet of O'Rourke's Colony (Exioce). The paranoid Commander of the local Imperial Guard has arrested the Prince's hunting guides in the astonishing belief that they set up the bear to make a pre-meditated attack on their lord and master.

The Exiocan Polar Bear is renowned for its size and ferocity but not it's ability to distinguish one diminutive humanoid from another when they're all clad from head to toe in white camouflage gear and running towards it with rifles blazing.

Sadly, this kind of reasoning is unlikely to save the lives of the hapless guides who will almost certainly suffer a 'fatal accident' while enjoying the hospitality of the Imperial Guard.

ROCKFORTH WINS LIBEL SUIT

M.C.S

The Rockforth Company, owners/developers of the Independent system Ackwada have won their legal battle to demonstrate libel against the relatives of Dien W'rit. W'rit died in unusual circumstances while on holiday in the 'entertainment suites' of Yorksville, Thompson's planet (Ackwada) leaving behind a recently modified Last Will and Testament which made Thompson Thompsonson, joint owner of most of Yorksville, sole heir to the entire W'rit estate.

Furious relatives secured the services of the entire staff of the Facanbe Legal Foundation in an effort to recover their lost credit - in total amounting to several giga-billions and sued Thompsonson for extortion.

Thompsonson, with the aid of his co-owners the Rockforth Company, counter-sued for libel and the two cases have run concurrently for the last decade. Rockforth retain the services of the Rockforth Legal Academy on Thompson's planet (Ackwada) in perpetuity.

Several of Rockforth's staff were involved in last year's re-structuring of the Independent Systems Legislature concerning Hearsay and Libel and hence it's not at all surprising that they eventually won the suit. The W'rit vs. Thompsonson case has, however, yet to be decided and our legal correspondent is of the opinion that it will be a close run thing. Thompsonson might just lose this one.

The judges are in session at the Academy as we write and their pronouncement is due some time around [DrR(120,120)

INDEPENDENT BARON WINS LEGAL BATTLE

M.C.S

The Rockforth Company, owners of the vast gambling emporium that is Yorksville, Thompson's Planet (Ackwada), last week won their libel action against the relatives of one Dien W'rit, deceased.

The W'rits maintained that Rockforth, in the shape of Thompson Thompsonson, CEO of Yorksville Hospitality Inc. and manager of the Pink Flamingo, had 'persuaded' Dien W'rit to write an entirely new Will (in the company of two Rockforth Lawyers) and then, effectively, fed him to the alligators.

The interesting aspect of all this, from a legal point of view is that the libel action has been heard independently of the murder trial and has been decided before it. In the judges' opinion, Thompsonson is innocent until proven guilty and therefore any assertions made before the trial constitute libel.

The W'rits are, not surprisingly, contesting the decision with the full support of the legal establishment who point out that if this sets a precedent, it will be impossible to try anybody under Independent Systems Law because the mere act of bringing a case to court will, in and of itself, constitute an act of libel. We await further developments with interest.

ISL IN CHAOS

M.C.S

Independent Systems Law has created yet another piece of legal nonsense to complement the Facanbe Fiasco of last year. In this latest example of legal devastation, the Rockforth Legal Academy has re-written the rules to ensure that its benefactor and main client, the Rockforth Company wins its libel case against a family of Independent citizens, the W'rits.

The outcome of the legal contortions is such that no-one living under Independent Systems Law can now bring any case against another member citizen without leaving themselves wide open to a libel suit that will leave them credit-less before their own case ever goes to court.

That, at least is the case with the W'rits. At the moment, the family owes the Rockforth Company a quite phenomenal amount of cash and they may be rendered bankrupt long before they get anything owing to them from the murder trial - if it is found in their favour.

Those of us living under a sane and balanced legislature can feel grateful for the wisdom of our elders and betters.

COURT NEWS: His Imperial Highness Hengist Duval, fifteenth scion of the line, paid a brief visit to the planet of Noble's Legacy (Tiacan) to honour the Governor and his consorts and to enjoy the hospitality surrounding the annual ferret racing stakes.

ROCKFORTH FORTUNES SOAR

M.C.S

....And unto those that have shall be given....

Remember that? No, neither do we, but no doubt we should.

The Rockforths whose family owns the Rockforth Company of Ackwada and surrounding systems are certainly putting it into practice in a BIG way. These guys were being pursued by a frantic family from somewhere in the back of beyond who thought that one of Rockforths dens of iniquity had ripped off (and murdered) their one and only rich sibling.

Not surprisingly, they went to court over it. More surprisingly, it's taken almost ten years to come to any conclusion during which time the Rockforths bought up the entire staff of one of the most prestigious legal schools in the area, transferred them all to a new Academy on their own planet and had them all re-write the libel laws so that they could scream libel and sue the poor souls for every credit they've got before they themselves got done for murder-1.

Confused? So are we. But we're sure we don't want to be living anywhere near Ackwada at the moment.

When the LAWYERS are that bent, imagine what the cops are like....??!!

APOLOGY TO ROCKFORTH

M.C.S

The Proprietors and Editorial Council of Frontier News wish to make it absolutely clear that under no circumstances whatsoever did they impute or intend to impute that the staff of the Rockforth Legal Academy or any of their associates, companions, colleagues or relatives might in any way, shape or form be open to financial or other inducements in the process of their legal duty.

We are aware that the article published in our previous issue contained a subclause which may have raised doubt in the minds of some of our subscribers. We apologise unreservedly for any offence caused, and retract absolutely all such statements, clauses or subclauses.

We at Frontier News are fully aware of the absolute professional integrity of the staff of the Rockforth Legal Academy (including all of their associates as described above) and would fully recommend their services to any citizen of Empire, Federation or Independent Systems requiring legal assistance of any sort.

EDITORIAL COMMENT - THE TWIN FACES OF 'FREEDOM'

M.C.S

The Independent Systems Alliance teeters as ever on the brink of total anarchy, the price paid for basing a 'democratic system' on the twin evils of Corporate Finance and Anarchy - that adolescent desire to be free of all boundaries.

Those who live under the warm glow of Imperial Favour know the security of rules that are made to be kept. Rules that are written with the welfare of the entire population in mind. Rules that maintain peace, stability and prosperity in perpetuity.

Contrast that with the constant chaos of a hundred minor Systems , all with their own views of how life should be organised and all with their own input into a legal system that ends up looking like a patchwork quilt. This is the Independent Systems Law. A legal arrangement where money speaks louder than justice and it is possible to buy a new set of laws if the colour of your credit is right. This is the kind of nonsense that has long been predicted by the Empire.

But we are not here to gloat. We are here, ready to help, when asked. We extend an open offer to any System that wishes to enter the fold of the Empire. We will welcome you to join us in our constant search for a better life and a better future for all Imperial citizens .

JUNIOR SWIMS ALONE

M.C.S

'Junior' the intelligent dolphin from the sea-world of New California (Liaququ) has been wowing the visitors in his new home town of Edmunds on the planet Tracy (Fawaol 2,-3). The rustic rural farmers of the agri-land got bored with just quadrupeds and grass and built themselves a water-world where they can go see what the fish look like in their real habitat rather than just on a plate in the most expensive restaurants the planet has got (Crazy Mazy's on 52nd Street - serves grilled Terran Trout at 2,000 credits a bite - but it's not one we'd recommend).

Junior was shipped in a month or two ago and, according to the management of the Liaquarium, has just about settled in to the new home. WE say that dolphins are mega-intelligent super-beings and they should be left to swim in the HUGE ocean with loads of other cute cestacians, and they SHOULDN'T be stuck all alone in a nasty big tank.

JUNIOR IS LONELY!!

We at RIG think he should be given a swimming mate to play with IMMEDIATELY (one of the hairy farmers perhaps) and that a real dolphinian friend should be brought in immediately (or as soon as they can afford one).

What do YOU think?? If enough of us mail them, they'll HAVE to do something NOW.

SO get your fingers out and get mailing - and tell them where you heard it first.

'ARMS FOR MOUSEMATS ' PR DENIES CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

M.C.S

Popular Representative J Biggs of Reagan's Legacy (Delta Pavonis) is facing yet more questions following allegations from leading aides that the PR was involved in the widespread smuggling of Riedquatian mousemat coats throughout the system and surrounding sector.

The PR, a charismatic demi-android with elegantly designed charm facilities had previously been known as one of the sectors most popular politicians and this journal believes that the recent bad press is part of a campaign of vilification instigated by members of the grubby political opposition. PR Biggs has made several trips to war-torn Riedquat, always in a diplomatic capacity and has taken design plans for a number of Pavonian-built harvesters to enhance the economic viability of the sectors visited.

In our opinion, there is no harm at all if the grateful farmers of Riedquat choose to repay the PR with the local produce and we believe that more such philanthropic visits should be made by others of differing political hues.

(PR Unith Tollans take note).

ROCKFORTH SET TO SUE

M.C.S

The 'News' faces the deepest crisis in our long and very rocky history. The Rockforth Company is threatening legal proceedings following the statements made in issue [DaR(Frontier News,55) of this journal.

The outlook as of now is not good and you may have to look forward to a future without The News. We will, naturally, do our utmost to defend our journalistic integrity and our right to reproduce our true beliefs without fear of the repercussions. Nevertheless, the chances of coming out of this without a crippling legal bill are not high.

Accordingly, the FRONTIER NEWS DEFENCE FUND (FNDF) is up and running and all donations will be treated with due respect, gratitude , delight, and universal acclaim.

No other news this issue.

No doubt there are lots of others having life crises out there, we just haven't had time to think about it.

'NEWS' FACES LEGAL SUIT

M.C.S

The 'Frontier News' is facing a libel suit following the ill-advised wording of an article concerning the Rockforth Legal Academy. The News has printed a full retraction with an apology but it seems unlikely that either the Rockforth Company or the Legal Academy is likely to give up at this stage. Both have had recent astounding success in the Rockforth vs. W'rit suit and are said to be expecting similar vindication in W'rit vs. Thompson proceedings, due to be decided next month.

If the courts find against the 'News' they face a fine that will be orders of magnitude greater than the annual income of the journal and it seems likely that, whether they win or lose, the overall legal bill will ensure that The News ceases to exist. Leading lawyers at the Rockforth Legal Academy on Thompson's planet (Ackwada) have issued a statement on behalf of their client, the Rockforth Company, expressing their sorrow at the likely demise of a fine publication and denying any personal responsibility for acts forced on them by the 'News' itself.

'NEWS' HITS THE FINAL ICEBERG

M.C.S

Remember the Titanic folks?? That glorious sea-ship that sank without a trace after hitting an iceberg??

We feel that the sad news of 'The Frontier News' imminent decline reeks of the same kind of relentless pathos. A newspaper sinks slowly out of sight beneath the waves of Corporate Finance.

The down-to-earth lads and lasses at 'The News', full of true grit and steely-eyed journalistic integrity have their backs against the wall, bullets clamped firmly between teeth and are keeping their upper lips duly rigid in the face of an awesome onslaught from the barracks of the Rockforth Company's legal eagles. Tugs right at the heart-strings doesn't it, folks??

We at RIG will be heart-broken to lose our closest friends in the media-business and we'll be sending something suitable to their Defence Fund and we advise you to do the same.

A couple of credits from every reader and they'll be able to buy themselves a holiday in the sun when it's all over.

FRONTIER NEWS REAPS THE REWARDS OF ANARCHY

M.C.S

It is with overwhelming sorrow that the Imperial Herald has to report the prospective demise of a long-standing sister publication. The Frontier News has finally and terminally run up against the litigatious nature of the Corporate Mind. Those who live in a System which allows vast private profit to be made from the use and abuse of human frailty can expect the money-makers to bite back when the evil hypocrisy of their financial dealings are revealed.

'The News', displaying the journalistic integrity for which it is justly famous was rash enough to suggest that the Rockforth Company of Ackwada might possibly have had some influence over the judgement of a recent law suit in which they sued an unfortunate family for libel. Rockforth have come down with the full weight of Independent Systems Law behind them and are, effectively, on the verge of destroying the 'News'.

Such are the dangers of living in a System driven by financial rather than communal considerations.

Imperial citizens can be proud that their Herald will never be in danger of closure over anything that is published here.

FRONTIER NEWS DEFENCE FUND -MASSIVE SUPPORT

M.C.S

In only the second month of our campaign to raise credit to fight the Rockforth Company's libel suit, the News is delighted to report overwhelming support form subscribers and other well-wishers. So far more than ten thousand credits per day has flowed into the fund account (FNDF, c/o Risible Rights Fighting Account, Jone's Planet (Essfafa)) and we have had several promises of lump sums which will be paid as we need them.

Best of all, we have had the offer of virtually free legal advice from some of the best minds and biggest names in the history of Independent Systems Law. Attorney T. Larcen from Qulada has been quick to offer full support and advice for a nominal sum and the entire staff of the Facanbe Legal Federation has promised access to its databases to seek out legal precedent.

In addition, a variety of well-wishers have suggested, and indeed pledged to carry out, novel solutions to our problem.

We feel honoured by the care and concern shown and gratified that so many of you feel so strongly that we must survive.

THOMPSON THOMPSONSON - DEATH MYSTERY

M.C.S

Thompson Thompsonson is dead. Three days before the final judgement in the W'rit vs. Thompsonson case, the man at the centre of the allegations of bribery, extortion and falsification of legal documents has died in spectacular fashion. Who ever it was that took out this contract, they paid serious money and they got fireworks.

Thompsonson was known to be taking a hard-earned holiday at the spectacular resort of Temperance on New California (Quiness), away from the rough and tumble of court hearings and the grind of milking the last few credits from an unsuspecting punter. He had spent a week at the eighteen star Hilt-Inn just outside the city spending credits as if they grew on roulette tables (which, in his case, they do) and offending some of the more sensitive guests with his language, his eating habits and his novel uses for the potted Lycrex plants that enhanced the decor of the hotel's hallway.

The last few moments of his existence, however, warmed the cockles of their hearts. Thompsonson lit up the night sky like a minor super-nova of his own as the sunbed on which he was disporting himself by the 3-D pool exploded in a blast of flame turning the gambling mogul into a brief but very spectacular pillar of flame.

Reports suggest that a 'technician' was seen to be 'adjusting' the sunbed's settings earlier that morning and a murder enquiry has been instigated. A representative from Thompsonson's casino on Yorksville, Ackwada made a statement expressing the sincere regret of the management.

No member of the W'rit family was available for comment.

MINING COLONY RECEIVES IMPERIAL AID AFTER CROP FAILURE

M.C.S

The mining colony of Mansfield Colony, Laedla has been the beneficiary of the Imperial aid system after a catastrophic change in the weather patterns led to a complete failure of the primary production crop: Deltan maize.

The maize, grown around the mineheads of the planet is the result of many year's research by the Deltan Food Production Executive and is the only crop that will make the most of the planetary and meteorological conditions on Mansfield, nevertheless, when the weather patterns change and the crop fails, the population of Mansfield would be left to starve were it not for the munificence of their local Sector Commander who has ordered the transfer of several root crops and a grain substitute from planets with more of an agricultural output in the area.

The citizens of Mansfield have offered their undying gratitude to the Emperor for his foresight in appointing such a generous sector Commander.

JUNIOR TO GET A FRIEND

M.C.S

Junior the dolphin, imported from the glorious sea world of New California (Liaququ) to amuse the rural hicks in downtown Edmunds on Tracy (Fawaol 2,-3) is to get a friend to keep her company.

Our swimmy friend was the subject of a recent RIG editorial in which we reminded the citizens of Tracy that their duty as life-loving, law-abiding humanoids was not being served by keeping a fellow member of an intelligent species in solitary isolation.

Literally thousands of outraged RIG subscribers boycotted the entire system, refusing to buy any produce of Tracian origin (which includes the delicious smoked TracHam and the TracHorse-hide coats both of which make huge profits for the farmers overseas) and war-mailing the CEO of the Liaquarium on Austen's Haven in an effort to force a change in management policy.

And, as ever with a RIG crusade - IT WORKED!!!

Junior's friend will be arriving from Liaququ just as soon as the transport ship can get here. We trust that they will enjoy a long and happy life together.

ROCKFORTH LEGAL ACADEMY DESTROYED

M.C.S

One of the Galaxy's newest but nevertheless most prestigious legal Academies was destroyed last week in a series of unannounced bombing raids.

Five separate ships, all bearing false identification markings launched devastating point-blank missile attacks on the Academy, leaving it a heap of smouldering rubble.

Emergency services had their rescue efforts seriously hampered by the serial nature of the bombings and the entire structure was raised to the ground in the space of a few minutes. Fortunately, the attacks took place during the night and few of the academic staff were on the premises at the time.

The three Senate attorneys preparing the final judgement in the W'rit vs. Thompsonson case were, however, on site and all three were injured beyond repair in the blasts.

Neither side in the case has made any official statement, however, sources close to both parties suggest that they may well be prepared to drop all further action in an effort to prevent any further escalation of the violence.

There is also a suggestion that the proposed Rockforth vs. Frontier News libel suit may also be allowed to lapse.

NEWS OFF THE HOOK!

M.C.S

We DO still live in the age of miracles!!

The Frontier News, our much maligned but dearly loved (honest, guys) sister journal has been granted a miraculous reprieve. The bosses of the Rockforth Company's Board of Management (those that are left alive) have decided to DROP the libel suit they were bringing against the Editorial Council of the News.

WHY did they do such a thing?? Did the earnest wishes of RIG readers come to their attention and melt the ice in their hearts? Did the pleas of thousands of Independent Systems citizens wake them in the night and make them re-plot their plans? Did they finally see sense and decide to re-write the entire Independent Systems Law?

NO. They got scared.

Some fan of the News organised a BIG strike against the centre of the Rockforth corruption the Rockforth Legal Academy. No less than NINE separate ships went in and blew the place apart. That's serious money, people. Somebody somewhere really had it in for poor old Rockforth A. The whole lot vanished in a flash and a puff smoke - and half the people inside it went with it. The real question is - who was it??? Was it the News?

Surely not. They're such NICE people.

Was it the W'rits who were about to lose all their loot? Was it any one of the thousands of people who have been taken to the cleaners by the hoods in Yorksville? Could be.

There are lots of people out there who hate these guys and any one of them might have set this one up.

Anyway, it's come up with the goods and the News is off the hook.

Have a fun party guys!!!

ROCKFORTH DESTROYED

M.C.S

Rockforth Legal Academy funded, built and staffed at the behest of the Rockforth Company of Ackwada, was wiped off the face of the planet last week, presumably at the behest of one or two of the Rockforth Company's many bitter enemies. The Company was notorious for in-house corruption and for running a System-wide network of gambling halls, casinos, vice dens and 'play-grounds' where anyone with sufficient funds could buy anything the Galaxy could provide - and pay for it afterwards in blackmail and extortion.

The Rockforth's funding of the legal academy was an open secret that only made it into the light of day when the 'Frontier News' had the courage and audacity to publish a minor piece noting that Rockforth's lawyers had re-written the ISL libel laws to get their clients of the hook.

The News was next in line for the Rockforth hatchet when an unknown public benefactor (with money to burn - literally) paid off no less than a dozen different Commanders to blow the Academy apart.

Those who live by the gun, die by the gun and those who died in the rubble at Rockforth had it coming to them. Those that are left seem to be keeping a sensibly low profile and have dropped all legal proceedings pending a re-arrangement of the Independent Systems Laws.

ANARCHY REIGNS - GUN LAW ON ACKWADA

M.C.S

The results of anarchy are well demonstrated by this month's destruction of the so-called 'Legal Academy' on Thompson's Planet, Ackwada. Even in the Independent Systems, they make an attempt at a legislature and the Academy was designed to cover the illicit dealings of their controllers, the Rockforth Company.

Now the results of decades of corruption have finally borne fruit and those who set the wheels in motion are dead; dust and water vapour. Nothing more. In a System where lawlessness prevails, someone with more money and a grudge paid a squadron of fighter-bombers to attack and destroy the base and everything around it. With a disregard for human life that is the hallmark of the Independents, they fired dozens of missiles at point blank range in broad daylight, removing the Academy and all those in it from existence.

The only benefit to come from this monstrous act of murder and mayhem is that our sister journal, the Frontier News is, thankfully, saved from the threat of closure as the remaining Board Members of the Rockforth Company have dropped all legal cases in the absence of their lawyers and advisors.

We repeat the Empire's offer to all those who would prefer to live under stable rule to defect whenever the opportunity arises.

You are free to enter any one of our worlds where the local Imperial Guard will ensure that its Hospitality Suite is at your disposal.

INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE ON AYETHI

M.C.S

Two 'travellers' from the Imperial System of Cemiess were apprehended by a particularly alert member of the local militia found them inside the Quitolline extraction plant on Topaz, Ayethi.

The two (names withheld pending legal proceedings) had arrived at the Lomas space port claiming to be astronomers awaiting the next flare of the red star. Officials had become suspicious when they failed to follow even basic radiation safety precautions and appeared unaware of the projected date of the next flare.

The pair were followed from the hotel to the Quix production complex and were arrested in the research offices while attempting to copy the details of Quitolline extraction. 'Quix' brand Quitolline has the largest market share of any anti-hyperspace-sickness drug and the unique additions to the standard Quitolline formula is a secret that many of their competitors would pay several fortunes to acquire.

Officials of the Quix production union have pointed out that even with the extraction data, Quix is impossible to manufacture without intimate knowledge of the single known source of Quitolline. Security has been increased on all plants to prevent subsequent break-ins.

POPULAR REPRESENTATIVE LOST IN FAAESSLAN JUNGLE

M.C.S

Popular Representative J Biggs of Reagan's Legacy (Delta Pavonis) was reported missing believed killed while on a fact-finding mission in the jungles of Faaessla last month.

The PR along with a dozen close friends and colleagues from the Dee-Pavonian Council had visited the jungle-covered world of Morris's Haven in an effort to ascertain the truth of the rumours of a semi-sentient bipedal humanoid species that has been reported deep within the jungles of the K'toli basin on the southern edge of the long mountain range that runs across the northern hemisphere.

The PR made a statement before leaving Delta Pavonis denying any involvement in the 'arms for mousemats' scandal that has rocked the Pavonian democratic system. the statement further affirmed the right of every citizen in any system to purchase the weapons required for their own protection using the credit exchange of their choice.

"If people wish to barter, that is their right, granted under every Federal Charter", said Biggs.

The PR's death comes at a fortuitous time for those wishing to close the scandal - with the main protagonist dead, the matter will very probably be allowed to drop from the news.

5 - FURIES STILL UNDER CONSIDERATION

M.C.S

The Many-Sheckels Trust is said to be considering the purchase of Zusa Maya's 4-D sculpture 'The 5 Furies' which has spent the last two centuries residing in some obscurity in the Museum of Imperial Antiquity in Chekovport on Conversion, the second Imperial planet in the system of Achenar.

The sculpture, one of the earliest examples of 4-D art, was 'donated' to the MIA by the artist following lengthy and intricate discussions with the then Imperial Councillor for Aesthetic Appreciation, Crown Prince Hemien III, a younger brother to the Emperor of the time.

The piece was considered to be in direct competition to a piece of 'art' produced by the Crown Prince himself and it was subsequently expunged from all records by the Imperial propaganda machine. The Trust has proved not only its existence but its exact location (it's on Fort O'Brien on the planet Emerald in the system of Cemiess, -2,-2) and they are applying significant pressure to have it unearthed (literally) and returned to the public domain.

Imperial Diplomatic Councillors are said to be advising the Emperor to allow the piece to leave Imperial space and it is likely that it will be sold, no doubt for an extortionate sum, in the near future.

CULTURAL TRUST HONOURS IMPERIAL ART COLLECTION

M.C.S

The Imperial Councillor for Artistic Appreciation, Crown Prince Harald, has today announced that the Museum of Imperial Art at is to hold an exhibition in honour of the second centennial of anniversary of the death of Ms Zusa Maya, the renowned 4-D artist.

Ms Maya's art graces some of the most famous sites in the Inner Core; the Hanging Gardens of the Imperial Embassy at Zaex and the Subterranean Exhibit of the Miner's Labour Club in Andcefa being but two notable examples. The centre-piece of the exhibit, however, will be 'The 5 Furies'.

This most wonderful example of conceptual art was donated by the artist to the Museum of Imperial Antiquity on Emerald, Cemiess (-2,-2) in grateful memory of the many happy hours spent at the museum in contemplation of the Emperor's fantastic array of anti-gravity waterfalls. A spokes being has categorically denied the pernicious rumours of the sculptures forthcoming sale to an independent collector as Federalist propaganda.

Citizens are reminded of their glorious duty to report any person (or being) heard or seen to be propagating Federal information in any form to the local Imperial Guard.

TRUST HAS EYES ON 'LOST' SCULPTURE

M.C.S

Art critics galaxy-wide are holding their breath this month with the news that the Many-Sheckels Trust may be about to purchase the Zusa Maya's 4-D sculpture 'The 5-Furies'. The piece has been a talking point amongst critics for the past two centuries - ever since, in fact, the sculptor made the serious tactical error of accepting a personal invitation from Crown Prince Hemien III to visit his studio and then subsequently failed to accept his physical advances. (If you'd seen him, you'd know why - Ed)

Big mistake. Very few people get the chance to make that kind of error twice in a row and it is no doubt a testimony to the artist's fame that she was allowed to go free with only her latest sculpture as the price of her liberty.

Now, the M-S Trust, in accordance with its remit to collect only the best the Galaxy can produce, has set its sights on the 'lost sculpture' and is confident that it is only a question of finding the right price.

If they succeed, the piece will be moved from it's current site on Emerald (Cemiess, -2,-2) to reside in splendour in the M-S Trust museum in Oliverport on Goldstein's Rock in Epsilon Eridani (1,0). Watch this space for further news.

TRUST SUCCEEDS IN 'FURIES' QUEST

M.C.S

The Many-Sheckels Artistic Trust last week announced an astounding success in its endeavour to return Zusa Maya's spectacular piece of 4-D sculpture 'The 5 Furies' to the public domain.

The Imperial Aesthetics Council has announced its intention to allow the Trust to acquire the piece after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations and Trustees are said to be 'delighted' with the outcome. The price is unlikely ever to be revealed but there is a suggestion that a number of smaller Sheckels pieces will be exhibited in perpetuity at the Museum of Imperial Art in a direct 'quid pro quo' arrangement.

In the meantime, 'The 5 Furies' will be transported within the next two to three months to the M-S Testimonial Site in Scott Town on Homeland in Beta Hydri where visitors from across the Galaxy will be invited to enter the world of 4-D sculpture.

Those not familiar with this art form are advised to book several days leave to enjoy the true depths of the Fury and its aftermath (an extra course of Therapy may also be advisable)

FEDERAL SPY CAUGHT

M.C.S

Homekeepers in the quiet edge world of New America in the frontier system of Miargre (-8, -3) were yesterday shocked to learn of the existence of a Federal spy in their midst.

Jan Thikka, an apparently incorruptible worker for the greater strength of the Empire was named by the Local Imperial Guard as one of the leaders of a small ring of dedicated Federation spies.

Arrest of the accused followed immediately and in subsequent dialogue with the Interrogation Council, Thikka agreed to help the citizens of the Empire with their enquiries. A number of co-conspirators are being sought at the time of writing and will be taken into custody in due course.

No Federation ships will be permitted to land or take off while the investigation is in progress and anyone attempting to leave will be considered to be aiding and abetting escapees .

NOTE: The act of launching will render any Commander liable to the due process of Imperial Police Law.

SPIES RETURN

M.C.S

The renowned Commander [MiR(Spy Player or NPC) was recently accorded a State Welcome in the Naval Headquarters of Eta Cassiopoea following a dramatic rescue from the planet of New America in the Imperial edge system of Miargre (-8,-3).

In a mission requiring split second timing, Commander [MiR(Spy Player or NPC) succeeded in breaching Imperial defences and rescued Jan Thikka from the Central Interrogation Agency Headquarters. Captain Thikka is currently in the care of the Naval medical Services but has expressed sincerest thanks to all those involved in the rescue mission. A ceremony awarding Commander [MiR(Spy Player or NPC) promotion to the rank of [RfG10(1) will take place as soon as Captain and the other field officers involved are given leave by the Surgical orderlies to take part.

RECOVERY OF ANCIENT TREASURE

M.C.S

The Imperials called it the 'Duval Artefact' and locked it in a vault on Conversion for all eternity. In reality, this unique piece of uni-dimensional art work is the last surviving relic of an ancient and sentient race, wiped out by the Colonising Forces of Duval in their efforts to carve for themselves a space on the Universal Trading Map. Achenar 6d died so that the Empire might live and we are not about to let them forget it.

The Achenar Treasure will be put on display in the secure Exhibition Centre at Scott Town on Homeland, Beta Hydri (0,2) and members of the Federation and AIS will be accorded a solemn welcome by the attending exhibition Mentors.

Mentors are trained in the full history of Achenar and will be pleased to inform visitors of the full horror of the genocide, its precedents and the nature of the Imperial High Command that took its place. For those requiring deeper understanding of the annals of the region , recommended scanning includes Ovary Highwater's root work "Imperial Chronicles, a Federal Perspective" and the sequel "Two Thousand Years Too Long".

THEFT OF ANCIENT ARTEFACT

M.C.S

The Imperial Palace Guard of yesterday cancelled all leave following the theft of the priceless Duval Artefact from the Imperial Provincial Museum and Authentic Theme park in Chekovport. The relic, discovered on 6d in the early days of the Empire was treasured as an Inter Stellar Treasure and a perfect example of an ancient and novel uni-dimensional art form.

The thieves, identified last night by the Imperial Guard as Solly Hull and Trent Water, both museum workers plus accomplice, Commander [MiR(treas Player or NPC) are believed to have had access to the regional personnel computer codes and to have succeeded in bypassing all of the routine psychological profiling, genetic testing and Soul-Searching techniques used to ensure the loyalty of the Museum Attendants.

The local Captain of Guard issued a statement to the effect that the area had been sealed to all hyper space traffic and requests patience on behalf of all traders for the interruption of their routine schedules while a complete ship to ship search is performed.

Any person or persons attempting to leave before the lifting of the hyper space ban will be assumed to have acknowledged their guilt and action will be taken in accordance with the Laws of Attrition.

The Federal Authorities have so far failed to comment on the case despite the extreme displeasure voiced by the Exalted Imperial High Commander.

A scheduled meeting of the Bi Partite Command prior to the latest round of Sun Diving at Delta Pavonis has been cancelled on a point of principal.

NOVEL VIRUS DEVELOPED BY IMPERIAL NAVY

M.C.S

Details were leaked yesterday by representatives of the Federal and Independent Treaty Signatories to the effect that the Imperial Naval Research Scientists have finally succeeded in developing a viriod capable of distinguishing on the basis of human-android body percentage.

It has been known for some time that the scientists at the station were attempting to engineer such an agent to use in 'biological cleansing' of frontier worlds.

Full details are not yet known however, sources claim that the agent will erode all body parts with a significant organic content but that there will be some cut-off level to protect androids with self-healing external cutaneous layers. If the viriod were to be brought into regular use, all human and semi-human inhabitants of disputed territories would be in danger of extinction. It is thought that the threat alone would be sufficient to persuade colonists to move off-world on a threatened planet.

NOVEL VIRUS 2

M.C.S

Following our reports in the last issue concerning the agent under development by the Imperial Research Group, the Federal Law Department have lodged a complaint with the Procurators of the Sirius Convention claiming that the viriod contravenes all Inter-galactic Warfare Treaties. They have gone on to assure colonists that work is proceeding on a vaccine and that supplies will be provided to the outer worlds on a priority basis.

The Imperial High Command have issued a statement denying the existence of any such biological agent, have accused the Federal authorities of libel and are threatening legal action.

Universal Amnesty has demanded the right to inspect the Research Station, claiming that the research necessary to develop such an agent would unfailingly have required the exploitation and probable death of any human experimental subjects and that this degree of vivisection is an absolute infringement of human rights.

It has long been believed that the Imperial Research Command has permitted the use of slaves as experimental subjects and that the thriving slave trade on nearby systems is considered proof of this argument. If this were ever to be proved in an Intergalactic Law Court, the Empire would be in breach of multiple Conventions and the Allied Corporations currently affiliated to the Imperial High Legislate would be required by their Oath to Shareholders to sever all relations.

Fortunately for all concerned, there is no likelihood whatever of the IRC allowing outsiders of any political colouring into their domain and so the abuse or otherwise of human rights will remain a mystery.

EMPEROR WATCHES RACE WITH PRIDE

M.C.S

The Emperor and entourage were last week's Spectators of Honour at the Ikalne rounds of the intergalactic Trans World Racing Challenge. This leg of the event is held once very ten solar cycles (approximately fifty years of Standard Time). Participants race around the Pole to Pole circumference of three planets, one in each political territory, using only species and equipment native to that world.

In the current heat, racers used the Ikalnian Berian, a quadruped resembling the old Arabian Dromedaries of Ancient Earth but capable of metabolising the indigestible Lignum plant which has proven to be the only local food source. Riders wore traditional dress of hemi-woven plant fibres and were required to survive on local traditional fare. Water was provided on a daily basis but, nevertheless, three competitors died during the week-long race. Post mortem examinations suggested that dehydration was the cause of death in each case.

The winner and all four runners-up in this leg were all from Imperial Worlds, although, as the race rules require, none was from the race-world.

Federal and Independent participants gained minimum points and the Imperial Racers now have a significant lead over their rivals.

MURDER ON IKALNE

M.C.S

Two Federal sportists died during Ioquqan leg of the InterGalactic Trans World Racing Challenge. The invitation Challenge is held on three different worlds, one from each political affiliation and, as in the past, every effort is made on behalf of the host nation to ensure that the course is both as challenging as possible and that it differs as widely as possible from the other rounds of the race.

In this case, following the Pole to Pole race across the frozen ice world of Phiagre (Independent) using only the local Terrioal sledge-bears as transport, the Imperial leg was held on the deserts of Ikalne. Riders were provided with a string of Ikalnian Berian, quadrupeds with similar bodily characteristics to that of the Arabian Dromedaries of Ancient Earth but with the notable difference that the Berian is carnivorous and prone to eating unwary colonists. The riders were provided with protective clothing similar to that worn by the locals and given one week prior to the race to perfect safe-riding techniques. The Berian is not renowned for its tractability and it was apparent early on that those given to the non-Imperial Racers were of dubious reliability.

This was borne out when, at the mid-point check, two Federal racers failed to make their call-in. Subsequent search parties revealed that both riders and had disappeared and that their string of Berian were returning to their breeding grounds. Complaints from the Federal Race Adjudicators have so far had no results and the Imperial Racers are claiming an outright victory.

The Union of Independent States are believed to have lost one rider in similar circumstances.

The Federal leg of the race will be held in Fifteen Standard Years on the underwater world of Wendle and the Racers will be provided with Wendelian Arc-eels as transport.

DREAMSPACE TICKETS

M.C.S

Win two, YES TWO Free Tickets to the NEW Galaxy wide rendition of the LATEST, GREATEST hit from DarkSpace Dreamware.

Enjoy an EVOLUTIONARY EXPERIENCE in the world of Dreams. Interact freely with the creatures of another's imagination. Roam across the endless worlds of time and space FREE for all dream time from the shackles of mundane existence.

All this and more can be yours - all you have to do is to take out a lifetime's subscription to your favourite Journal: RIG.

And you were going to do that any way weren't you....?

REMEMBER - Renew your RIG subscription - NOW!!

PERSONAL NETWORKING BACK

M.C.S

The RIG personal networking service is BACK AGAIN

After an AMAZING response to our last offer, WE present you with another opportunity to FIND the human/'droid of your DREAMS.

WE all know that the one special being is out there somewhere, but with a UNIVERSE to choose from WHO KNOWS where they're hiding?

Do you want to go through the next half dozen Cycles ALONE.

DO you want to spend time in the company of beings you would rather avoid

WOULDN'T you want to FIND YOUR LIFE'S MATE??

The lovingly hand-coded data banks at RIG are here to help solve all your inter-personal problems. Send us your life history in six monthly bites, your genetic and/or technical specifications, the colour of your hair, your inclination to write poetry and your dental records. In less time than it takes to down two measures of Arcadian Arco Juice, the INCREDIBLE, super-powerful, all seeing, all knowing database of the DIVINE MATCH MAKER will seek out and commit to memory ALL possible compatible beings on our files.

See our next ecstatic issue....

DREAM ON....

M.C.S

NOW, for less than one tenth of your life-times salary, we can make you

HAPPY FOREVER.

You KNOW it's worth it.

For further PROOF, read the following ECSTATIC Vapour-Ware messages left on our THANX BANX by previous HAPPY couples.

YES!! It was the meeting of a lifetime. A memory beyond the wildest visions of our Dreamware Cycles. To have found, at last, another semi-tech.

Someone who understands what it means to be locked in the limbo between one world and the next. Someone else who enjoys the dreams of the Clinkers and who writes poetry in trans-cryptic, sextuplian lilting formats, with archaic pen and ink on old lilac paper.

Someone, above all, with the same deep and abiding interest in Ancient Earth Tax Records and with a collection of VAT Receipts to rival my own. I couldn't possibly have asked for more. We are blissfully happy and intend naming our first adopted child after your inestimably wonderful journal.

Yours in wonder and THANX.

Seriol Untafri

PERSONAL NETWORKING BACK

M.C.S

Following our last heart-warming article on Personal Networking, we felt you'd like to read more of the wonderful, sentimental slush that you send to us on a daily basis. Here, for your delectation and delight, another bucket-load of tripe:

RIG! Our abiding and unfettered gratitude for everything you did for us.

Your DIVINE MATCHMAKER has woven its enchantments once again.

Both of us have been through decades of misery hunting between the systems for the right Special Partner, moving from one star port to the next, finding brief moments of excitement and stimulation moving on to the next port and moving the next after that, always hunting for something bigger, better, more exciting.

All those years and the answer was so easy. We should have come to you years ago. The moment our eyes met over our sixth measure of Arco-Juice, we knew we were meant for each other. This is the Being my mother promised would come to take me away from all this. (My mother believed entirely in the sanctity of the 'Whole Thing' and in the importance of finding the Right Person to share your life with.) What matter that we speak different languages and I have never tried writing poetry?

There is so much to learn, a whole Universe out there to explore....together....

What more could we ask for?

Yours in ECSTASY

Mori Polle

HEIGHT STILL AN ISSUE

M.C.S

Commentators on the Independent Systems All-Race Board have recently been undertaking a survey of the human and andro-human populations of the four main Systems groups. One of the key findings is a significant difference in height between the groups and between the races.

In general, on Imperial worlds, there is a greater tendency for andro-human alterations to the basic genetic stock. The vast majority of those raised, induced or born on these systems have some degree of clone blood and hence a high genetically engineered component. The tendency in gene design in the recent past (within the last half millennium) is to produce beings of 'ideal' height for the required profession.

As a result, miners tend to be short - less than two meters high, sedentary professionals - lawyers, corporate executives and middle management tend to be taller ( two meters is considered ideal) while sporting professionals or those likely to be indulging in a significant amount of sporting leisure time have been up to ten centimetres taller.

The result is that these heights are considered the norm and a degree of discrimination based on physical stature has evolved, albeit unconsciously.

The All-Race Board wishes it to be stressed that, at no point and under no circumstances would it suggest that any person or persons of any Political shade would knowingly contravene the Regulations as laid down in the Basic Rights Agreement of 2202, however there is a consideration that there are certain individuals who feel that their professional choices are being constrained by their personal characteristics.

It is axiomatic that any person has the right to choose NOT to obtain the available surgery to alter their physical or intellectual status and that there can be no wilful discrimination on the basis of this. It is not difficult to imagine, however, that such discrimination may occur should the profession in question require specific manual labour.

No action will be taken at this point until the members of those Systems highlighted by the survey have had the opportunity to examine and rectify the matter. Future reports will deal with specific cases (subject to legal verification).

DREAMWARE - CAN IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE? (Part 1)

M.C.S

As part of our ongoing programme to shed new light on aspects of our civilisations in all their forms, we performed another of our ground breaking surveys amongst the cognoscenti of the Inner Core. We sent our intrepid reporters on assignment to a dozen representative systems of each political Shade and gave them a remit to explore, to observe and to ask the questions that most need to be asked: where do our dreams come from, why do we choose them and how much do they affect our lives?

Think about it. You sleep for what - six hours a night? And most of us spend at least half of that hooked up to the dreamers, more if we have the credits. But who decides what it is that we watch? Do you make a full, free and frank choice based on the wide array of titles available? Or do you work your way through the StarCharts like the rest of us?

Go on, admit it. When was the last time you thought seriously before you dreamt up your credit coding? Most of us are too sleepy to think our way clearly through the first twenty seconds of Hypnagogic Messaging, we choose whatever's next on the list that we haven't seen or we go for the Classics and revel in Archetypes as old as Time itself..

And so it all begs the question. Who is really in charge of our dream life and what are they getting out of selling us their dreams?

These are the key questions of our time and WE have the answers. Watch this space to learn everything you need to know but were too lazy to ask....

DREAMWARE - CAN IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE? (Part 2)

M.C.S

So - you've thought about it.... Do you really have free choice in your dreams?

You think you have. Everybody does. This is, after all, the era of absolute personal freedom - enough space in the Universe for infinite expansion and the technology available for everyone to do what they want, when they want for as long as they want, provided it doesn't harm anyone else. That's the theory anyway. But we still need to dream and we still find other people's dreams more exciting than our own. - And we're prepared to pay what they ask to see them come true, night after night.

The astonishing fact unearthed by our intrepid reporters was the degree to which our lives are moulded by our dreams. Did you or did you not mould your first real love affair on the classic 'Alexandria'? Did your long term partnerships break up in the mould of 'Singular Destiny' and have you never, really never, changed your attitude to work after a night spent in the chaos of 'Industry Standard'?

Have the Federalists amongst you never woken up feeling just that tiny bit less well disposed toward the Empire after a night amongst the re-creations of the Achenar Myths and have the Imperialists never woken up feeling more proud to be labelled 'Citizen of the Empire' after the dreams of the Duval dynasty?

Let's face it folks, the Dreams may well be the product of industrial enterprise and be subject to free market forces as the Laws of Commerce decree but who do you think is guiding the productions in the first place? And who do you think decides what gets into the Star Charts we're all so keen on? Who, we ask, is the power behind the throne?

Wait for the next enticing article for the answers that will change the way you dream.

DREAMWARE - CAN IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE? (Part 3)

M.C.S

Back again with this topical issue - only in your favourite journal. Since our last dream-ware article, we have been literally inundated with mail from concerned and surprised inhabitants across the Inner Core Some were shocked, some astonished, others horrified. Here are some examples of the depth of your feelings:

A Librarian from an Inner Core Imperial system wrote:

Dear RIG, Thank you for your inspiring and thought provoking article in your last issue. I was MOST CONCERNED to read of the influence of Commercial Dreams on our waking lives. Of course, I had never considered that the Dreaming might spill over into my daily activities but, now that I think about it, there is an awful symmetry to the passage of all my Primary Life Events and the dreams that I choose most regularly. Even my therapist acknowledged that this might, indeed be the case. What can I possibly do? Please help. I am at my wit's end....

A real estate analyst from a Wide core Federal System told us:

It's all true! I DO pick the top dream in the Star Charts and work my way down the list - except once every six months when I go back for a re-run of 'Sale of the Millenium'. After each one, my commission rises - it's there in plain sight on my performance charts and I HAD NEVER NOTICED....

I am devastated. My life is no longer my own. Please help....

These two are representative of the thousands we have received in the same vein. The wording was different but the message was the same: All of you are deeply distressed by the idea that your choice of dreams might in some way be influenced by interests other than those of commercial enterprise.

You are happy, it seems, to have your sleep life dictated by the Marketing Strategy Managers of the Dream-Lightning Syndicate and turn the Presidential Quorum of Cygnian Dream Entertainments into the single richest unit in the Corporate Alliance, but the thought that there might be 'vested interests' involved is too much.

As a journal, bound by the Inter-Alliance Libel and Slander Laws, we are not, naturally, going to point the finger at any one individual or organisation. Indeed, it is unlikely that any such single individual exists. The powers behind these particular thrones are multifold and well hidden and there is not the slightest chance that we will be ever know the individuals involved. But, the next time you sleep, perchance to dream, remember this: Androids Never Dream....

THE CHOICE TO DREAM - PART ONE

M.C.S

A recent survey conducted by members of the Unaffiliated Research Syndicate was conducted amongst systems in the Inner Core to determine the sleep/Dream patterns of the majority of the human and andro-human population. It is axiomatic that Androids have no need for sleep, no psychic need to dream and no observable states in any way analogous to those states in humans. In fact, one of the earliest defining features used to distinguish between silicon and carbon-based self-aware beings is that the silicon based, technologically created, being does not have the need to dream - the dreaming function ( if there is a function) evolved in parallel with the ability to be self aware.

Self-programming silicon functions on an intellectual level at several orders of magnitude greater efficiency than does the carbon-based equivalent and the learning curve is spectacularly steeper. Learning to full capacity takes less than one cycle from initiation in the Android while there is ample evidence that the vast majority of humans never attain their full intellectual capacity at any point in their life cycle.

The dream/no dream distinction was used by the Committee of Differentiation in the early years of the third millennium during the series of organo-mechanic Conflicts. As the boundaries between human and andro-human became progressively less distinct, the parochialism of either camp increased to the point where to accuse a human of having android characteristics or vice versa was tantamount to suicide. The andro-humans caught in the middle were loathed by both sides.

We follow in our next issue with an examination of the question: Is there a need to dream?

THE CHOICE TO DREAM - PART TWO

M.C.S

Following our last issue concerning dream work, we ask the question that contains the key to dreaming.

Is there a real need to dream? Is it a useful to differentiate between android and human ( organo-mechanical divisions) and is the need to dream linked to mental ability? Then - how does the use of manufactured dreams alter our perceptions of reality?

We sent them to find out how much our lives are really run by the Dreamware we absorb in such vast quantities. Do we change our lives, our beliefs, our patterns of behaviour or our therapists under the influence of dreams created for us in the multi-media warehouses of Zemien?

Over a period of three Cycles, our reporters talked to a total of five thousand individuals, androids as well as human and filed reports with our central processing department.

Of the three thousand humans questioned over two thirds admitted on first questioning that they had based their early relationships on those modelled by the Dreamware archetypes. All were adamant that their belief structures were moulded by the dreams and that the official tuition available in inter-personal relationship was not considered to be either accurate or relevant to their own lives. Adult humans of all age groups were equally affected, the only differences were in the nature of the archetypes fashionable at the time and hence the direct affects demonstrated.

THE CHOICE TO DREAM - PART THREE

M.C.S

In this, the conclusion of our Dream report, we present the definitive resume on the topic of dreaming.

Research has demonstrated that the requirement for archetypes are cyclical, the two opposing polarities being exemplified by the Archaic Greek myths and legends and the Late Industrial Era, both of Earth.

Beyond that, pseudo-historical re-creations of the Lost Race of Achenar were popular amongst the Federal Systems, particularly those near the core where the degree of indoctrination correlates exactly with the popularity of this type of Dreamware. It is alleged that in Federal Systems, the teaching Committees use pre-cognitive conditioning to encourage the developing youngsters to adhere to the trend. Naturally, RIG does not subscribe to this belief.

In Imperial Systems where Achenarian mythology is banned, the replacement sub-belief is that of the heroic formation of the Empire with full deification of the Duval dynasty, or at least the scions of it that succeeded the eponymous founder.

In Systems owned by Corporations, the dictating factor tends to be financial and the trends follow strictly commercial lines. The recent stunning success of the Dream-Lightning Syndicate was largely due to the incredible marketing strategy of the Cygni who broadcast the first episode of a sixteen part saga FREE on every dream-waveband. The starting cost would, apparently, have paid for the re-population of a couple of small planets but the returns were said to be 'substantial' and moved the DLS into the forefront of the Dreamware industry.

The most striking finding of the survey was the attitude of non-organics to the dreaming needs of the human population. The failure of dreaming in androids and mechano-humans with significant cerebral transplants was attributed to the silicon based nature of the synapses.

DREAMS AND THE SILICON INTERFACE

M.C.S

Researchers at the University of the Fifth Age on Mars (Sol) are working flat out on an exciting new breakthrough in the understanding of the organic/silicon distinction. Recent advances in the development of neural interfaces in organ-androids may, for the first time, have created the dreaming facility in non-organics.

The scientists are playing their cards pretty close to their chests but leaked information from a reliable source suggests that several of the research subjects are not only finding the need to sleep but are reporting dream-like experiences.

To date, only those of natural human extraction or with primate cerebral transplants have demonstrated these faculties and dreaming has been the primary distinguishing feature enabling the fine line between organic and silicon intelligence to be maintained.

A breakdown in this line would radically change the social and cultural basis of our entire culture.

LEGAL BATTLE CONTINUES

M.C.S

The ongoing law suit between your favourite journal RIG and the legal department of the Achenarian Re-creation of Sentience and Evolution is reaching a climax in the Sirian Chambers of the Intergalactic High Court. RIG had maintained, and stands by its statement that the acronym (deleted on the advice of our lawyers) of their name was an accurate description of both the nature of the work undertaken and of the type of person involved. We know that any sane RIG reader will support the case and are unendingly grateful for the offers of financial and legal aid from thousands of you around Known Space. We are confident that our lawyers are the best that can be found, trained on a RIG- sponsored grant at the best universities and are going to win the case.

ECO TERRORISTS STRIKE ON BIG GAME WORLD

M.C.S

Eco terrorists performed a breath-taking invasion on the big game hunting park on the Federal planet of Teem.

The 'Teem Boar' had recently been identified as a new potential game species; the combination of intelligence, territorial instincts and an innate savagery when protecting their offspring rendered them ideal in all respects. Both sows and boars can be induced to attack with extreme ferocity but are unlikely to launch pre-mediated, unexpected attacks on hunters who remain outwith the breeding territory (unlike the Choa-Bird of Rrion - co-ordinated hunting packs of which wiped out several parties of big-gamers before it was realised that they had near sub-human intelligence and hunting was deemed unsuitable)

The attack happened as the InterGalactic Big Game Hunter Federation (IGBGHF) was finishing preparations to turn the entire world into a Sporting Reserve. Bookings had been taken for the first party of sporting fanatics towards the end of the current breeding season. and hides had been being erected in suitable locations near to the breeding territories.

Reinand Snow, the President of the IGBGHF was due to arrive on the planet for a ceremonial inauguration and hunting of the first family of boars. Arrival dates had been changed several times prior to the actual day and the armed faction of the Intergalactic Species Protection Force had failed to aquifer the exact itinerary and timed their raid a full cycle ahead of the President's arrival.

Nevertheless, an active service group succeeded in penetrating the tight security cordon and landed on the perimeter of the sporting complex. From there, they forced their way into the heart of the control area, killing guards, monitor staff and scientists and disabling the catering and service androids. They sealed shut the docking station and systematically destroyed the hides and all facilities for human habitation.

Press releases from the Force headquarters state that the group have successfully halted all hunting facilities and escaped without loss of life. They further state their claim that the Boar should be considered a protected species and the political arm of the Force are working to that end in the council of the InterGalactic Species Federation.

BEYOND THE EDGE: TURNER'S QUEST MISSING?

M.C.S

In an act of unprecedented aggression, Naval Commanders of the Imperial Seventh (Far Systems) Protectorate, have arrested an AIS-sponsored pilot operating in the region north of Miandin (-1,6). Commander Jo Merion, aide to Meredith Argent of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.), was on an AIS classified Search and Rescue mission when intercepted by the ships of the Imperial Navy and forced to make an unscheduled landing on Scott's Rock in the anarchic system of Liaethfa (0,7) where there is believed to be a protected Imperial Naval base. Merion was arrested and is being held in solitary confinement by a contingent of the Imperial Guard. The contents of the AAAI ship (a prototype Mirage II under development by the engineers of the New Rossyth Shipyards) were searched and removed. Meredith Argent and the management of the AAAI are making political representations at the highest level.

The Imperial Ambassadors to the Alliance of Independent States have been called to the New Rossyth Shipyard Management Base in New Rossyth on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4) and it is assumed that Merion's release is imminent. The contents of the ship, have however vanished without trace.

Reporters for the News believe that Merion was on a mission to rescue Commander Mic Turner who is believed to have abandoned the exploration ship 'Turner's Quest' and is now drifting in the ship's Escape Capsule, somewhere beyond the Northern Edge.

Commander Turner launched the 'Quest' in semi-secrecy recently with a mission to explore a set of systems in the Far North and has not been heard of since. Merion's ship, the Mirage II, has been designed specifically as a Search and Rescue ship with full hospital facilities.

BEYOND THE EDGE: TURNER DEAD. REQUIEM ON ALIOTH

M.C.S

Commander Mic Turner, ship designer, explorer, co-owner of the New Rossyth Shipyards and life-long friend of Meredith Argent, the chair-elect of the Alliance of Independent States, is dead. A statement released by the NRS management stated simply that Commander Turner died during the course of a personal flight and that a Requiem, arranged by Meredith Argent, will be held at Fortress Culloden on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4) at [MiR(Treq). All those who wish to pay their last respects should make themselves known to Argent's Office on arrival at either of the two main star ports (New Rossyth and Fortress Culloden) or at the Orbital station: Gotham Park. Inter planetary transport will be provided as required. A further report states that Commander Jo Merion's release is expected imminently.

An undercover reporter working on behalf of the News has discovered that Jo Merion was not arrested by the Imperial Navy as previously thought but is, in fact, being held by INRA (the covert Intergalactic Naval Research Arm that serves under the High Command of both police powers in cases where their interests coincide.) It is our belief that Mic Turner had been investigating reports of an aged Thargoid base North of the Edge and that the 'Turner's Quest' was damaged or destroyed during the mission. Further, we believe that Merion was sent out from the furthest north AIS base on Tecumseh (Miandin -1,6) on a specific S&R mission to find Turner, dead or alive and, in either case, to return to with the 'Quest's' Escape Capsule. Merion's arrest is therefore of less importance than the fact that INRA are now potentially in possession of Turner's Capsule and all its contents.

We will keep you informed of developments in future issues.

BEYOND THE EDGE: MERION RECEIVES DUAL HONOURS

M.C.S

In a surprise move by both the Federation and the Empire, Commander Jo Merion, the AAAI Search and Rescue Pilot who recently recovered and then lost Turner's Capsule, has been released from custody and granted elevations of rank by both police powers. In award ceremonies held sequentially on Eta Cassiopoea and Facece, Merion was made a Captain within the Federation and an Earl within the Empire. Outstanding prison sentences on a variety of systems for smuggling of undeclared and illegal goods have also been waived with an effective whitewash of the FSS and Imperial Guard criminal records. The infrequency of bipartite award ceremonies of this nature suggests that the High Commands of both sides are attempting to conduct a whitewash of the incident and that Merion may well be under significant pressure not to reveal the full details of recent events.

In the meantime, Meredith Argent and the board of the New Rossyth Shipyard are organising a Requiem for Mic Turner to take place at the city of Fortress Culloden on Argent's Claim (Alioth, 0,4) at [MiR(Treq) to allow close friends, colleagues and fellow explorers to pay their last respects. Those wishing to attend are reminded to make contact with Argent's Office on landing. Anyone else who wishes to make a final gesture is invited to make a suitable donation to the Turner's Requiem Fund.

Donations can be made at any of the three main bases on Argent's Claim around the time of the Requiem.

BEYOND THE EDGE. A MILITARY BASE??

M.C.S

Reports from our undercover investigator continue with the revelations that Commander Mic Turner, the ill-fated explorer, had unquestionably visited an uncharted system North of the Edge shortly before the destruction of the ship 'Turner's Quest'.

It is alleged that there is a system, or set of systems that have been used as a Military Research Base in the recent past by the Research Arm of INRA, (the Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm - an undercover unit drawn from the Elite pilots of both the Federal and the Imperial Navies). The system is said to be currently uninhabited but there is, allegedly, a high degree of military surveillance maintained in the area- including a number of Military Defence Satellites.

If this is the case, it is entirely possible that 'Turner's Quest' was destroyed by either one of the Satellites or by the attack wing of INRA itself - working under the orders of one or other High Command. This would be the ultimate irony: Turner's life was devoted to exploration for both the Federation and the Empire and Mic Turner was effectively the only contemporary Commander to be genuinely trusted by both sides while being in the pay of neither. To have him die by the orders of both would not only be tragic, it would also represent a major breach of the intergalactic Law and the New Rossyth Shipyard management would be well advised to sue for full reparation.

It is said that Argent does indeed intend to commission a private investigation into the sudden and, to some people inadequately explained, death of an honoured friend.

BEYOND THE EDGE. REPORTER ASSASSINATED

M.C.S

STOP PRESS: The investigative journalist, Kiel Newent, working for Frontier News, died yesterday on the northern Edge world of Tecumseh (Miandin -1,6) during the course of an investigation. Results of a detailed post-mortem have yet to be released however it is believed that a rapidly acting neuro toxin was used. Newent had been investigating the 'Turner's Capsule' story and was believed to be in possession of information regarding the location of the Military Research Base discovered and visited by the ill-fated Commander Turner.

It was Newent's belief that Turner was murdered and the 'Quest' destroyed to prevent the location of the System from becoming general knowledge. If this is the case, it would appear that the journalist too died to keep the secret safe.

We mourn the loss of an honest, dedicated reporter who pursued difficult cases with integrity, intelligence and unwavering persistence. Our sincere condolences go to Maxen Foggerty, Newent's long term partner. A brief ceremony for friends and colleagues of the deceased will be held at the Funerarium in Old Curie on Hope (Gateway -1,4) at [MiR(KNdate).

Those wishing to make credit donations in Kiel's memory are asked to contact the Bulletin board at Old Curie or on the orbital station of Dublin Citadel where Maxen has opened an account in the name of the JOURNALIST'S WELFARE TRUST.

EXPLORER'S SHIP DAMAGED

M.C.S

Reports from the Northern Edge AIS system of Alioth (0,4) suggest that Commander Mic Turner, the Intergalactic Explorer, has been injured during a particularly difficult transit to an undeveloped set of systems outwith the inhabited zone. Details are scarce but it seems likely that the 'Turner's Quest' collided with a large asteroid during exit from hyper space and that the ship's hull and main drives were severely damaged. Detailed hospital reports of the injuries are not currently available.

Serious exploration of the region beyond the Northern Edge has been limited so far due to the absence of inhabitable planets. Turner, however, was well known for lifelong exploration of under-developed systems and was inclined to travel to outer stars merely in order to have been the first human to have set foot on any given world. The ship, 'Turner's Quest' was designed by Turner and Argent of the New Rossyth Shipyards specifically for outer system exploration and the current expedition was intended largely to test out new features of the engines and radar mappers. Those who saw the 'Quest' in action prior to the start of the current mission were most impressed with the ship's design specs and the number of innovative features. We look forward to reporting Commander Turner's full recovery in our next issue.

DEATH OF A REVERED EXPLORER

M.C.S

It is with great sorrow that we have to report the death in hospital of the renowned explorer Commander Mic Turner. The ship 'Turner's Quest' was destroyed by an asteroid storm in a series of freak collisions as it returned from the Northern Edge. Commander Turner returned to the in the ship's especially re-designed Escape Capsule and was admitted to the local general hospital for treatment. Sadly, the level of technology and staff expertise in the far frontier worlds is not always that which we take for granted in the Inner Core and the Commander died under anaesthesia while undergoing surgery for a fractured femur. Meredith Argent, co-owner of AAAI and a close friend of Turner's has announced that there is to be a Remembrance Ceremony in the form of a REQUIEM to be held at Fortress Culloden on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4) at [MiR(Treq) and that all friends, colleagues and acquaintances are most welcome. Those wishing to attend should make contact with Meredith Argent on arrival at Gotham Park space station or either of the two main cities, New Rossyth or Fortress Culloden itself. Anyone unable to attend in person but who would like to make a donation to the TURNER'S REQUIEM FUND is invited to contact any of the Argent's Claim BBs during the period of the Requiem.

MIC TURNER ([DrR(-41975,-41975) - [DrR(-90,-90))- AN OBITUARY

M.C.S

This Obituary was written for us by Turner's close friend and fellow explorer: Deven Cantry.

Mic Turner graduated with honours from the civilian pilot's school on the frontier world of Jones Colony (Essfafa) in the days before the AIS was so much as a twinkle in Argent's eye. Mic's passion, even as an undergraduate, was long distance flight and the novice pilot was one of the few to discover a habitable (and later terra formed) world before passing the full explorer's grade exams. An early association with Meredith Argent grew into a life-long partnership that has changed the political face of the Galaxy. It was Meredith and Turner between them who first proposed the creation of a safe political unit for those who wished to exist outwith the protection of the Federation or the constraints of the Empire and the pair were the main driving force behind the creation of the Alliance of Independent Systems.

Mic's explorations had always been in the Northern Edge zones and the development of a number of newly terra formed planets in the region provided the funding necessary for the creation of a Colonising Navy - with Mic, naturally, at the helm. The disputed system of Alioth was ripe for stable government when the Colonists of the new embryonic state moved in and, despite a certain amount of resistance, the fledgling democracy grew and flourished. Alioth developed a solid economy and became the site for the New Rossyth Shipyard, destined to build the Galaxy's greatest ship: the 'Turner's Quest'. This is the ship that broke all the rules and opened new and greater space routes to the dedicated explorer - it is also the ship in which Mic was flying when the final, fatal accident occurred. Details of Turner's death are inexact and the Escape Capsule has yet to be released from custody for full, independent forensic examination. Those of use who knew Mic well do not believe that an asteroid storm would have been fatal to so experienced a pilot. We may never know the real truth of Commander Mic Turner's death - but we are still asking questions.

Editorial Note: The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Editorial Committee.

FEDERAL AGENT APPREHENDED IN NORTHERN TERRITORY

M.C.S

His Excellency, Hengist Duval, the Restorer of Justice and the Holder of the Scales of Truth is to consider in person the case of a Federal agent, masquerading as a bounty hunter, who was intercepted recently during the course of an undercover investigation by operatives of the Imperial Guard. Commander Jo Merion, a fugitive from justice on several Imperial worlds, was running an espionage ring funded by the FSS and Interpol in the around the AIS-affiliated regions of the Northern Edge. Operatives loyal to the Empire shadowed Merion's ship into deep space beyond the inhabited zone and observed a pre-arranged meeting with a well known anti-Imperialist explorer. Subsequently, agents acting under orders from the local Captain of Guard arrested the hunter and initiated interrogation procedures. Diplomatic representations have been made on Merion's behalf by the Federation, the Alliance of Independent States and a number of private individuals including Meredith Argent, the co-founder and owner of the New Rossyth Shipyards. All will be considered by His Imperial Majesty at the next meeting of the High Legislate in two cycles time. In the meantime, Merion has been transferred to the Temporary Imperial Base on in the system of Liaethfa (0,7) and is enjoying the hospitality of the Empire.

EMPEROR EXERCISES LENIENCY IN SPY CASE

M.C.S

His most Exalted Majesty, Excellency Hengist Duval, 15th Emperor of the Galaxy, Defender of the Truth and Upholder of the Forty Two Laws, in due consideration of the case of Jo Merion, bounty hunter, fugitive and Federal spy has, after listening to the pleas of His inferiors, decided to exercise leniency. It is the decree of the Imperial Court that Merion be released immediately, that due reparation be made for any damage to self or property and that all previous convictions or sentences be erased from the Imperial records. It is the belief of this court that Merion acted in good faith in the rescue of Commander Mic Turner, explorer, adventurer and Friend of the Empire and is in no way to blame for the unfortunate events surrounding the destruction of the ship Turner's Quest or the subsequent tragic demise of its pilot. Merion in being stationed on Scott's Rock (Liaethfa 0,7) and is undergoing minor surgery at the Emperor's behest in the reparative orthopaedics department of the base's naval hospital.

A REQUIEM for Turner is to be held at Alioth in the near future. Those wishing to attend should examine the Bulletin Boards in the Alioth system. His Excellency will be arranging His own Service to be held on Capitol. Dates and times to be arranged in due course.

Other News:

Two minor agents previously employed by the Imperial Guard have been transferred to the industrial plant on Urandol.

The Imperial Guard Commander on Scott's Rock (Liaethfa 0,7) died suddenly at the end of last month and has been replaced by Lieutenant Seyit Kan from Achenar.

EMPEROR VISITS FACECE

M.C.S

His most exalted Majesty, Excellency Hengist Duval, 15th Emperor of the Galaxy, Defender of the Truth and Upholder of the Forty Two Laws, honoured the Imperial Naval Base at Facece with his presence at the recent Rank Award ceremony. His Imperial Majesty thrilled the assembled crowd with a brief exposition on the financial status of the Imperial mining targets and the new Corporate venture undertaken with the Independent Financier, Meredith Argent.

Those being honoured are: Tiel Donovan of Ackdati: made Squire for attainment of superlative production targets, Mtoli Irrinu of the colony Inioen: posthumously awarded the rank of Prince for extreme bravery in battle, Catsor Suntec of Milagre: elevated to Viscount for winning the recent trans-world trek race in the face of extreme environmental hazard, [Pn of Sol for action taken on behalf of the Empire and Jo Merion of Olwain: created Earl, also for action taken on behalf of the Empire.

The ceremony itself was held in private and the awards made in absentia. Afterwards, the Emperor dined with the Captain of the Facecian Imperial Guard before returning to Achenar for further meetings with the Security Council of the Inner Core.

A full Imperial itinerary for the last two cycles can be obtained on application from the Secretariat of the Achenar Records Office.

COMMANDER TURNER - BEQUEST TO THE EMPIRE

M.C.S

Commander Mic Turner - Independent explorer and beloved Friend of His Imperial Majesty Hengist Duval, fifteenth scion of the House of Duval - has bequeathed to the Emperor a lasting memento of a life fully lived and, sadly, terminated too soon. Turner's Search, the first ship in which the great adventurer made all of the early discoveries is to be housed forever in state at the Imperial Ship Museum at Facece in honour of a friendship that will last beyond the bounds of death. The ship, an early Mark 1 Python will be transferred from the storehouse of the New Rossyth Shipyard and will be accompanied by a representative of Meredith Argent, Turner's close companion and executor of the Last Will and Testament. The Emperor is reported to be delighted with the bequest and is considering the possibility of endowing a new Pilot's College in the adventurer's honour.

NB ERRATUM: The Legal Department and the Editorial Board apologises to His Imperial Majesty, the readers of the Imperial Herald, and to Jo Merion of Olwain for the implications in the tone and content of the article which appeared in a previous issue of this journal. We wish to make it clear that none of the implied criticisms was true and, further, that no personal slur, slander or libel was intended to any person or persons, be they of organic, mixed or silicon origin. The article has been appropriately rewritten and the archived copies have been revised thereby absolving the Herald and the Editorial Board of all legal blame.

IMPERIAL RESCUE OPERATION SUCCEEDS

M.C.S

The independent courier and Pilot-of-Fortune, Commander Jo Merion of Olwain has undertaken a spectacularly daring rescue operation at the personal behest of His Exalted Majesty Hengist Duval, fifteenth of the line. It has become known to the Emperor that his close friend and ally, Commander Mic Turner had run into technical difficulties while on a mission of exploration in deep space North of the Edge. Commander Turner was the subject of a particularly savage pirate attack and the 'Turner's Quest', was left without main drive power and with the life support systems failing. Turner was forced to abandon the ship, but relayed an SOS message to His Imperial Majesty just before launching the Escape Capsule. His Excellency directed Commander Merion, a pilot of well recognised skill with a long record of Imperial co-operation, to undertake an immediate rescue mission to locate and recover the Escape Capsule from deep space. The most recent reports relayed by Commander Merion suggest that the Capsule has been located and that pick-up will take place later today. We fully expect to report Commander Turner's safe recovery in the next issue.

PROPERTY TYCOON MISSING IN DEEP SPACE

M.C.S

Mic Turner, the Intergalactic Explorer, ship designer and co-owner of a string of holiday resort planets is missing in Deep Space. Turner will be best known to readers of this journal as the Commander who colonised New Gotham in Olgrea (-3,5) - now one of the leading 'weekend vacation' resorts for management executives and their personal assistants. (The standard package includes a personalised 'conference schedule', a video of a packed conference hall and a well-thumbed 'lecture timetable'). Turner made a vast profit when the business floated on the intergalactic stock exchange and then moved into aeronautics, helping friend Meredith Argent to set up the Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) at the New Rossyth Shipyard on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4).

Turner subsequently designed the 'Turner's Quest', the flagship of the AAAI, designed as the ship for Deep Space exploration. It was in this very ship that Turner was exploring North of the Edge when calamity struck and the Commander was forced to take to the Escape Capsule. Nothing has been heard since and it seems the Capsule itself was damaged on launching. Reports will be relayed as soon as we have them. In the meantime, imagine yourself in the depths of unexplored space, marooned in your own Escape Capsule with rapidly dwindling supplies. What would YOU do? Call us with ideas and we'll publish the best.

TURNER RESCUED IN DARING MISSION

M.C.S

You did it again!!! RIG readers came up with the ideas, we mailed them through to the far perimeter of the Edge, administrative wheels turned, a ship launched and the rescue mission is drawing to a close as we send this through to your terminal.

Here is the winning suggestion sent in by Meriet Tenko of Faaessla:

"If I was stuck in an Escape Capsule in deep space, I'd radio for help and get someone to come and scoop me up."

What an amazing idea!! So what we did was to radio this idea through to the daring rescue team on the neat little planet of Tecumseh in the far northern system of Miandin (-1,6) and, almost immediately, Jo Merion, the Inter Galactic Search and Rescue pilot, launched from the orbiting station with all scanners on 'seek'.

The latest reports tell us that the lost Capsule has been FOUND! Wonderful.

A prize is winging its way to Meriet Tenko (well done Meriet) and we will fill you in on the full details of this remarkable event in the next issue. Meanwhile, we have a new competition to design the ultimate damage-proof Escape Capsule:

What would YOU put in YOUR capsule if the Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) asked you for YOUR design?

TURNER DEAD - THE GALAXY WEEPS

M.C.S

The awful truth of Commander Mic Turner's death became apparent shortly after our last report. The Galaxy's best known adventurer is dead and the whole population is in mourning. Our chief staff reporter, Dicked Morin, has written this moving obituary: (switch on mood music, lay back and weep)

Those who knew Mic Turner well were always astonished at the range and scope of adventure undertaken by this paragon of explorers. Nothing was impossible, no-one was other than a friend and no part of the Galaxy was beyond reach. There are oceans, mountain ranges, cities and entire worlds that carry the Turner name - all of them are in regions that had never before been touched by sentient civilisation. Millions of us, quite literally, owe our homes, our livelihoods and our happiness to this inspiring role model, this icon for all humanity. We should be delighted that we were alive to witness so great an explorer and devastated to be witness to the end.

NOW is the time to call for new safety legislation regarding the design of Escape Capsules and, if it is found that Pirates WERE responsible for the attack on the 'Turner's Quest', to call again for an Inter Galactic WAR against Piracy.

Please note: A REQUIEM for Mic Turner will be held at [MiR(Treq) at Fortress Culloden, Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4).

TURNER'S QUEST - THE ULTIMATE SHIP

M.C.S

Commander Mic Turner, the Intergalactic explorer, and Meredith Argent, the co-owners of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) "The Galaxy's Greatest Shipyards, bringing you the Galaxy's Greatest Ships" are ready to launch a new enterprise in the AIS capital, Alioth. AAAI are already renowned as the market leaders in the design of long-distance exploration ships, however, in order to maintain their lead, the galaxy's foremost designers are opening a new wing of the New Rossyth Shipyard at the city of that name on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4). The unit is intended to specialise in the re-design and refurbishment of ships specifically for long-distance flight and inter-planetary exploration although there will be facilities for war ships and cargo transporters as required. The new shipyard's flagship will be the 'Turner's Quest' an entirely new ship built to Mic Turner's unique personal design. The exact specifications are under close guard and are protected by the Pan Galactic Pre-patent Conventions but early press-releases suggest that it will be capable of travelling far greater distances than any ship currently available and that the shielding, missile bays and laser capacity will ensure its survival in the most hostile circumstances.

TURNER'S QUEST TO CARRY NEW MILITARY DRIVE

M.C.S

Details were released earlier today concerning the New Rossyth Shipyard's flagship, the 'Turner's Quest'. The new ship, designed for interplanetary exploration on a grand scale, is to be fitted with a new engine designed to supersede the current 'Class 3' military drive.

The new 'Class 4' aims to tackle the dual problems of directional range and fuel conversion ratios. The designers have gone back to the drawing board taking an entirely new approach to the problem of power generation and directional range control. If the final version of the 'Class 4' delivers the performance specs of the prototypes then this engine should not only be the most powerful yet to be seen in space flight, but should also deliver a significant increase in range for a given fuel load. In terms of directional control, the 'Class 4' is expected to be considerably more reliable than its predecessor with a greatly reduced incidence of mis-jumps - an enormous relief for all putative interstellar travellers. It should be borne in mind that both the Federal and Imperial Navies have ships which are fitted with variants of the Class 4 - this version is simply the first available for civilian use. It remains to be seen whether the New Rossyth designers can deliver something of greater performance specs than those already in existence.

TURNER'S QUEST - EFFECTIVE RETRO ENGINES

M.C.S

Work is continuing on the New Rossyth Shipyard's deep space explorer, the 'Turner's Quest'. The ship will not only be fitted with the new 'Class 4' military drives but will also carry a new generation of Retro-Thrusters to give massively enhanced manoeuvrability in space. In comparison to the old style thrusters, the new generation will enable ships to turn on a laser point. Those familiar with the problem of planetary approach will be well aware of a long-standing need for effective 'space-brakes' and, if these prove workable on the 'Turner's Quest', there is no reason not to see them fitted as standard on all ships within a relatively short time scale. Certainly, Commanders engaged in regular combat will see them as a significant bonus in dog-fights and those on long-haul flights will find them a joy to use in fine tuning the approach to planetary landings. Concurrent with the greater ship acceleration comes a new range of cabin fittings designed to enable the pilot to withstand the G-forces generated in high-speed space manoeuvres. The challenge for the designers has been to maintain blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres without risking high-pressure damage to the peri-vascular tissues. Early results of trials are encouraging and full-scale tests are planned in the near future.

TURNER'S QUEST - PROTOTYPE COMPLETE

M.C.S

The prototype for 'Turner's Quest' is complete. All tests have proved encouraging and the ship itself will be ready for commercial production at the start of the new year. The engine specs of Turner's Quest are breaking a lot of new boundaries. The 'Class 4' drives are promising a massive increase in both power and range and the newly design retro-thrusters have transformed the parameters of space manoeuvrability. The combination of the two together should ensure that the 'Quest' range of ships can out-fly and out-manoeuvre every other ship in existence.

A single ship will be built for the designer, Mic Turner and fitted out according to personal specifications for a new and so far undisclosed exploratory mission to uncharted systems beyond the Northern Edge. To date, four other ships have been commissioned, all by close friends of Turner and it seems unlikely that others will be made available except by personal approval of the designer.

Both Turner and Meredith Argent, the financial source behind the New Rossyth Shipyards, are said to believe that the ship should maintain exclusive status, not only to retain its position as flagship of the Yard but also to ensure that deep space exploration is not undertaken by those considered politically, emotionally or psychologically unfit.

The decision is bound to cause some consternation, particularly in military circles where rumours suggest that both the Federation and the Empire were intending to commission a number of 'Quest' class squadrons as soon as production commenced.

TURNER'S QUEST CARRIES MUSEUM PIECE

M.C.S

The first production model of the New Rossyth Shipyard's deep space explorer "Turner's Quest' is ready for her maiden flight. The ship, designed by Mic Turner to extend the range and accuracy of possible exploration is due to make a test flight out to the AIS Northern base at Argent on Tecumseh in Miandin (-1,6). Following that, the ship will embark on an exploratory mission to an undisclosed destination said to be beyond the northern Edge boundaries.

The ship's specs vary somewhat from the original design released by the NRS - in this case the ship is to be equipped with an original Inter-Species Translator recovered from the Argent Aerodynamics Museum on Wicca's World (Alioth) and restored to full working order. The IST was developed by the early INRA Researchers to facilitate communication with the Thargoid race prior to the alien's exclusion from the galaxy.

To the best of our knowledge it has no other function than to communicate with Thargoids and its inclusion in Turner's inventory can only increase suspicion that the 'Turner's Quest' may, after all, be intended for more than just the discovery and development of unpopulated planets.

MINER/PROCESSORS - A NEW DEVELOPMENT IN FUEL TECHNOLOGY

M.C.S

Engineers and technologists at the New Rossyth Shipyard are developing a new generation of mining machines capable of converting base nuclear ores into fuel suitable for use by the new 'Class 4' military drives. A redevelopment of the core reactor in the 'Class 4' enables the drive to use a wider range of semi-stable fuels with an improved fuel conversion ratio - in crude terms, there is more 'thrust per tonne' than in the old 'Class 3' engines. The new M/Ps can be transported and landed in the same way as the old-style mining machines and are designed to make use of the wider range of potential fuels by mining, extracting and processing the raw materials to create fuel rods in the format required by the new 'Class 4' drives. If it works, this innovation removes the one of the last barriers to infinite distance deep space travel, however, to be effective, the machines have to survive long periods unattended in a wide variety of planetary environments and this has yet to be tested. We await further reports with interest.

TURNER'S QUEST: MAIDEN VOYAGE UNDER WAY

M.C.S

'Turner's Quest', the New Rossyth Shipyard's flagship launched today with her namesake at the controls, en route for Tecumseh (Miandin -1,6) and then points north. The final ship's inventory was released after the launch and includes all of the latest technology available to the deep space explorer -the new 'Class 4' military drive, a cargo hold carrying sufficient fuel to take her well beyond the northern Edge, and a number of the newly developed 'Miner/Processors' reported in our last issue. Neither Meredith Argent nor the press managers at the NRS will confirm the destination of the 'Quest' but it seems almost certain that, between them, Turner and Argent have developed a ship capable of reaching the nearest system thought to have been used as a base by the extinct race of Aliens, the Thargoids, in their incursions into this part of the Galaxy. Whether their final intention is archaeological, developmental or commercial is unclear, but the target can no longer be in doubt.

TURNER'S QUEST - SHIP IN TROUBLE

M.C.S

Reports of the maiden voyage of the deep space explorer Mic Turner and the ship Turner's Quest have been sparse for some weeks. Turner landed on the AIS base at Argent on the relatively low-tech planet of Tecumseh (Miandin) for refuelling and the 'Quest' underwent a major service at the hands of the New Rossyth Shipyard's engineers. Re-launch was trouble-free and the ship was last seen heading north for a system or set of systems, co-ordinates unknown, in the far northern sector. As previously suggested, we believe that Turner and Argent were intending to locate the system(s) used by the Thargoid race as their forward base in the abortive attempt to infiltrate this part of the Galaxy. This has yet to be confirmed but the ship's failure to return within a month of launch at least gives weight to the theory. Current rumours suggest that the 'Quest' ran into trouble in a region beyond the range of the Escape Capsule and that a rescue mission, organised by Argent, is under way to recover Turner and the capsule before the life support mechanisms fail. Further reports will be broadcast as they arrive.

MIC TURNER DEAD - TURNER'S QUEST DESTROYED

M.C.S

Mic Turner, the inter galactic explorer is dead. Reliable reports from Miandin (-1,6) have confirmed the rumour that has been circulating for the past few days. The 'Turner's Quest' was lost and the Commander took to the Escape Capsule, probably in the full knowledge that it, too, was damaged beyond hope of survival. Jo Merion, one of Argent Aerodynamics' foremost Search and Rescue pilots succeeded in the almost impossible task of locating and retrieving the Capsule but was subsequently arrested by an officer of the INRA while returning to the Biafra Base Orbiting Station. Merion is currently being held in custody at a protected military base on Scott's Rock in the system of Liaethfa (0,7) and Turner's Capsule, which almost certainly contains information regarding the final destination of the 'Quest', has not been seen.

Diplomatic pressure is being applied, notably by Meredith Argent, co-owner with Turner, of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.). Argent's Company commands a large number of ship yards in both Federal and Imperial systems and therefore the CEO wields significant political pressure.

The NRS management are arranging a Requiem to be held at Fortress Culloden on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4) at [MiR(Treq). All friends, colleagues and fellow explorers are invited to attend. Meredith Argent has ordered a forty-eight hour amnesty for all those currently outlawed on AIS systems, enabling everyone to attend the Requiem in safety.

TURNER'S CAPSULE MISSING

M.C.S

Turner's capsule, missing since its return to the uninhabited region north of Miandin (-1,6) has still not been located. Details released by Argent Aerodynamics confirm that Commander Jo Merion has, in fact, been released from custody and is undergoing reparative surgery, courtesy of the diplomatic wing of INRA. The Capsule, however, was removed from the hold of Merion's ship and neither it nor its contents have since been released. A spokesperson for the Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.), today confirmed that the company has legal ownership of the Capsule under both Corporate law and the deeds of Turner's last Will and Testament (under which all Turner's possessions in all states have become the sole property of Meredith Argent, Turner's close friend and the co-owner of AAAI.) Recently released details of the new 'Stowmaster' Capsule design suggest that Turner was fully expecting to use it as an escape method - it had been equipped for long range flight and was armed as a single seater fighter. Merion's report to the AAAI has not been released but unconfirmed rumours suggest that the Stowmaster's life support system had been interfered with prior to launch.

JOURNALIST MURDERED ON FRONTIER WORLD

M.C.S

An independent journalist, Kiel Newent, working undercover for a number of journals was murdered last week on the frontier planet of Tecumseh (Miandin -1,6) while investigating the details of Mic Turner's death. The reporter was well known across the galaxy for dogged determination in the uncovering of large corporation fraud and government corruption and was beginning to build a name as an investigator of the covert operations of the agency INRA (the existence of which is still denied by the High Commands of both the Empire and the Federation.)

Newent was believed by colleagues to be in possession of information regarding the last location of the Turner's Quest before its destruction - and was expecting to acquire evidence from Jo Merion (the Search and Rescue pilot who was responsible for the retrieval of Turner's Capsule) linking INRA certain pilots to the explorer's death. The assumption must be that Newent ran foul of those who wish such information kept private. Ironically, this is the strongest possible clue to date that Mic Turner was a murder victim, not the subject of a tragic, fatal accident.

We send our best regards to Maxen Foggerty, Newent's long term partner. Foggerty has let it be known that a brief ceremony for friends and colleagues of the deceased will be held at the Funerarium in Old Curie on Hope (Gateway -1,4) at [MiR(KNdate). Those wishing to make credit donations in Kiel's memory are asked to contact the Bulletin board at Old Curie or on the orbital station of Dublin Citadel where Maxen has opened an account in the name of the Journalist's Welfare Trust.

NEW 'QUEST' TO UNDERTAKE TURNER INVESTIGATION

M.C.S

Quest class ships were developed to Mic Turner's unique personal specifications by the highly acclaimed New Rossyth Shipyards based on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4). They have subsequently proved to be the only ship currently available with the range and exploration capabilities to make a serious attempt to develop worlds beyond the Edge. Four other identical ships were commissioned at the same time - all by close friends of Turner's. These four have remained in private ownership although none have so far been used for genuine deep space exploration.

It is now apparent that Meredith Argent, the co-owner of AAAI and the NRS and one of the four to have commissioned a 'Quest' is considering making a loan of the ship to an un-named Commander on the condition that it is used initially in the investigation into the death of Commander Mic Turner, the late explorer. The ship had been equipped to the same standard as the original Turner's Quest, including a newly re-designed 'Stowmaster' Escape Capsule.

The remaining three 'Quests' are still in private hands and have not yet seen a maiden flight.

NEW COMMANDER STEPS INTO TURNER'S SHOES

M.C.S

Rumour from Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4) suggests that one of the four remaining ships designed to the exact specifications of the ill-fated 'Turner's Quest', is tooling up for a repeat of Turner's final, fatal flight. Sources close to Meredith Argent, Turner's close friend and the owner of the acclaimed New Rossyth Shipyard, have told our reporter that the ship, to be named 'Argent's Quest', is being kitted out to the same specifications as that used by Turner for the investigation into the putative 'alien systems' North of the Edge. Although the rumours have not yet been confirmed by any of the relevant authorities, it is now widely accepted that Turner was attempting to locate the legendary 'front base' used by the extinct race of aliens, the Thargoids. According to our sources, Argent is convinced that Turner had located the bases and was returning to the Edge with whatever information or artefacts the systems revealed. It is the purpose of the newly fitted 'Argent's Quest' to retrace Turner's steps and discover exactly how (and why) the explorer died. We at Frontier News wish the new commander well - and trust that she, he or it is up to the task ahead. Nobody said this would be easy.

ARGENT LAUNCHES NEW QUEST

M.C.S

With the death of Mic Turner, Meredith Argent is now the sole owner of the New Rossyth Shipyard on Argent's Claim (Alioth 0,4). Following a week's long Remembrance Service at Fortress Culloden, Argent has thrown the might of the shipyard into frenzied activity. Output has doubled and designs both of new ships and new weapons systems are reaching the prototype stage faster than ever. In the background, Argent's own ship, built to the same design as the 'Turner's Quest' is being dragged out from under the metaphorical dust sheets and is being fired up for its maiden flight. According to a spokes being for Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.), Argent has decided to bring the ship into use for personal transport only. Those of us living in the systems around Alioth and Gateway will, in the weeks and months to come, have the pleasure of seeing one of the Galaxies foremost ship-builders flying in what is unquestionably the Galaxy's highest spec. ship. We look forward to many hours of ship-watching.

EMPEROR TO VIEW NEW SHIP

M.C.S

His Excellency Hengist Duval, 15th Emperor of the Galaxy, Defender of the Truth, Hawk of Eternal Peace and Upholder of the Forty Two Laws, is to honour Meredith Argent, owner of the Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated, by viewing the newly commissioned 'Argent's Quest' at the Naval Institute on Facece. His Excellency will be present for the annual presentation of Graduate Honours and will remain in the region for a display of Naval Flying techniques. Argent's request to take part has been granted in honour of the deceased Friend of the Empire, Commander Mic Turner. The new ship, an exact replica of the one used by Turner in the last exploratory flight, will take part in the flying display, allowing the engineers of the AAAI to observe their ship in comparison to the vastly superior flying force available to the Imperial Navy. Attendance at the display is by invitation only although a small number of tickets will be allocated by System Lottery and Citizens are encouraged to purchase Lottery tickets from their local Civic Guard.

TRIPLE-A BONANZA!

M.C.S

It's finally happened! The ship they said would never leave the launch pad is taking to Space, courtesy of recently bereaved ship-yard owner, hyper-rich financier and explorer's 'friend' Meredith Argent. Our local friendly ship-builder has finally dragged out the mega-ship and will take it for a spin round Alioth and Gateway in the next week or two. Keep your eyes peeled for something going faster than anything you've ever seen before and if it takes a shot at you (which it certainly won't unless you're daft enough to shoot first) get out of the way fast - whatever you're shields are like, they won't be enough. We've seen the specs of this baby and there's not a go-faster stripe amongst you who wouldn't pay everything they've got to get their grubby paws on the controls just for a minute or two. But you'll have to wait. Meredith's found a new commander.

NOT someone to fill Mic Turner's body-suit, that would be impossible, but someone good enough to take the new 'Argent's Quest' (don't say modesty isn't an Argent trademark) and make it go where no-one has gone before. So eat your heart out all you wannabes out there.

BUT we think we can get YOU a ride in the passenger seat. Mail us with YOUR ideas for a new ship , we'll send them to the New Rossyth Shipyards and if they like them they'll let you ride in their new flagship. Get mailing people!

'INRA OPPOSES 'QUEST'?

M.C.S

New Rossyth Shipyard's second flagship, dubbed 'Argent's Quest', is up and flying. She launched quietly and with minimal media attention a short while ago, ostensibly for yet another test drive but with a private itinerary identical to that of the late Commander Mic Turner. Observers in the Northern Edge have reported a sudden and simultaneous upsurge in Naval activity. Pirates and drug-traffickers who have, until now, flown routes through the northern uncharted territories with impunity, are finding themselves the subject of spot checks, unprecedented customs embargoes and summary destruction by trigger-happy INRA fighters with an excess of adrenaline and a deficiency of both intelligence and tact. Coincidentally, these pilots are in exact placement to intercept the 'Quest' on either the outbound or inward routes.

Of more concern is the report that there was a small INRA counter-intelligence team operating out of Liaethfa (0,7) on the far Northern Edge at the time the last 'Quest' vanished from sight and that their leader, J Saunders is on a prolonged 'leave of absence' which is the usual way of giving a pilot free reign and then not having to pick up the diplomatic tab afterwards.

With luck, the new Commander of the 'Quest' has the firepower and/or the luck to survive. Otherwise we may be re-publishing the last few articles all over again.

'ARGENT'S QUEST' RETURNS

M.C.S

Officially, it's still out in uncharted space. Unofficially, we can tell you that the 'Argent's Quest' has returned intact to the Inhabited Zone. So far there is no real indication of where it has been or what has been found but there has been a flood of novel 'Alien Items' on the trading markets and our experts suggest that at least some of them appear to be genuine. Meredith Argent, suddenly and inexplicably out of circulation, has been seen in the vicinity of the ship and may well be several steps closer to discovering what happened to the much-mourned Mic Turner. We, meanwhile, can only wait and guess.

One fresh and ominous development is the launch of the INRA Attack Wing which is said to be out 'on manoeuvres' in the Northern zone. Additionally, members of the INRA counter-intelligence team are on top alert and are refusing to answer legitimate questions from the press. If speculation concerning INRA's involvement in Mic Turner's death is true, then the new 'Quest' Commander had better keep a sharp eye over both shoulders.

'QUEST' MAY BE COVER FOR NARCOTICS RING

M.C.S

Evidenced is accumulating that the much-vaunted exploration ship, the 'Argent's Quest', is being used as a front for the smuggling of narcotics in the regions of the Outer Edge. Reports from the NRS stated that the ship, whose launch was shrouded in unusual secrecy, was due to retrace Mic Turner's steps in the Northern Zone, seeking out new systems with planets suitable for terra-forming. Instead, evidence is mounting that the new 'Quest' (and possibly, for all we know the old one) has been used to transfer synthetic narcotics from pharmaceutical plants on some of the low-population frontier anarchies to high-paying centres in the Inner Core. It is with great regret that we see a ship that was designed to be the best that current technology could produce turned to such invidious ends and we deplore the absence of honour and integrity in those who would corrupt the fabric of our society.

The FSS have issued an all-points bulletin requesting information as to the current location of the 'Quest' and the identity of its Commander. Anyone reporting useful information will be suitably rewarded.

EMPEROR HAS PRIVATE VIEWING OF 'QUEST'

M.C.S

His Most Illustrious Excellency, Hengist Duval, Supreme Elite Commander of All Protectorates, Hawk of a Thousand Peaceful Treaties and Exemplary Ship Commander has honoured the ship 'Argent's Quest' with His Presence and His Hand on the controls.

In a meeting that took place in absolute secrecy, the Emperor met with Meredith Argent of the AAAI and made a conducted tour of the 'Quest', a ship which replicates that in which the Beloved Explorer, Mic Turner, made that last, fatal, flight. The Emperor then graced the control room of the ship and delighted all present by taking the ship through a full trial of its paces, surrounded, naturally, by the Guard ships of the 2nd Squadron, the Internal Protectorate.

His Excellency is said to be 'pleased' with the performance of the ship and, although it is obvious that it in no way matches the performance of ships designed and built in the Empire, it is possible that His Excellency may commission a craft for the Imperial Ship Museum at Facece. Representatives of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) are delighted with His Excellency's decision.

INTRIGUE CLOAKS 'QUEST'S' RETURN

M.C.S

The Super-Explorer Ship designed and built in Meredith Argent's controversial New Rossyth Shipyard has, so rumour has it, returned from her maiden voyage out beyond the Northern Edge. And what a trip! If even half the whispers on the grapevine are true, this ship has seen more in one trip than most of us see in a lifetime.

There ARE still Thargoids out there, folks, and this ship has been there, seen that, got the star-suit ... and the crate of Thargoid body parts, the two dozen new Language Interpreters, the details of a ship drive that could take you across the Galaxy in seconds ... and anything else you have ever dreamed of owning.

The lucky owners are in possession of a fortune in Thargoid technology and objets d'art, worth more than the whole of the New Rossyth Shipyards put together PLUS they now have the secret to the source of the store-house if not to the makers themselves. And, more important than all of that, they came back ALIVE!!

So - all you have to do is get on down to the New Rossyth Passenger Information Office, ask them nicely if they'll give you the location of the source of all this bounty, find a ship like the 'Quest' and get on out there to Riches Unlimited.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??!

'QUEST' vs. INRA - 1:1

M.C.S

'Argent's Quest' has been seen once more in the Inhabited Zone. The INRA attack wing harrying lone pirates and loose traders in the Northern Edge has also returned to base although, ominously, the leader of the INRA Counter-Intelligence wing, one Commander J Saunders (Elite), is still missing 'on personal leave'.

Impartial observers believe that INRA and their political masters are seriously worried by both of the recent attempts to re-locate the Bases used by the Thargoids in their incursions to this part of the Galaxy and that they will stop at nothing to prevent the various 'Quests' from succeeding.

If 'Argent's Quest' has returned intact then it is either capable of holding off an entire wing derived from the most experienced fighter pilots in any part of the Galaxy OR the Commander has reached some kind of compromise with the INRA leaders and is now, effectively, an agent of the bureaucracy.

Of the two, sadly, the latter is the most likely which would be a pity. For a long time now, Meredith Argent has succeeded in retaining the Independence of the New Rossyth Shipyards and Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated. To see it compromised at this time would be a great loss to true democracy.

'QUEST' FRAMED BY INRA?

M.C.S

Prince-Admiral Foster, Commander of the INRA Diplomatic Corps has named the new Commander of the 'Argent's Quest' as [MiR(PnorNPC). In an edict covering all Federal and Imperial stations (and with a request for assistance from the Independent Systems Alliance) INRA claim that [MiR(PnorNPC) is a known Terrorist with a lengthy police record for radical political violence. Imperial and Federal citizens across the Galaxy are being exhorted to report sightings to their local Police or Military Guard post with the assurance of a hiked rank and a giant boost to their credit ratings if the report leads to an arrest.

We at Frontier News believe that this is the latest desperate act on the part of the INRA High Command who have failed in their attempts to either divert, suborn or destroy the 'Quest' in its avowed mission to seek out the killers of Mic Turner. If, as rumour suggests, INRA pilots were responsible for Turner's death then those in command must surely be feeling seriously nervous. We urge those of you who believe in personal freedom to offer security and support to Meredith Argent's new agent-in-space.

Whatever the outcome, if the 'Argent's Quest' survives to fulfil its remit the Galaxy will be the better for it.

'QUEST' COMMANDER REVEALED AS KNOWN TERRORIST

M.C.S

The New Rossyth Shipyard's latest employee has been named as one of the most wanted ship Commanders in the Galaxy.

[MiR(PnorNPC) the Commander of the deep space explorer 'Argent's Quest' has been revealed as a militant terrorist with affiliations to all three of the Core Galactic terrorist factions and a score of minor offshoots. Police on both sides of the political divide have been combing the known space routes since the fiasco at Tiliala and were surprised when informers ceased to give reliable sightings. It is obvious now that the fugitive found one of the safest hide-outs in space - the pilot's seat in the 'Argent's Quest'.

We cannot believe that a Financier with the integrity of Meredith Argent can possibly have known of the record when the terrorist was hired and there is certainly no move on the part of the authorities to arrest the New Rossyth Shipyard's owner for aiding and abetting a fugitive. The latest identification of the terrorist will be posted on bulletin boards throughout Federal and Imperial space and citizens are strongly urged to report any sightings, however fleeting.

'QUEST' STOLEN BY WANTED CRIMINAL

M.C.S

His Imperial Majesty, Hengist Duval, Doyen of a Thousand Triumphant Battles has issued an arrest warrant for [MiR(PnorNPC), the Commander responsible for the theft of His Majesty's newly commissioned AAAI ship, 'Argent's Quest.' The ship was presented as a gift to His Majesty by the grateful shipyard owner Meredith Argent and was being flown to His Excellency's shipyards on Capitol when the crew were overwhelmed by a band of renegade stowaways, led by [MiR(PnorNPC), a terrorist with a string of previous convictions for vicious crimes against the citizens and property of the Empire.

The automatic distress warnings were disconnected and it was several hours before the ship was reported missing and the local Naval Defence wing notified. Riann Kinoss, the Commander of His Majesty's personal Imperial Guard has taken control of the search and has vowed to bring the fugitive to justice. All citizens of the Empire are requested to assist in the loyal endeavour of their Officers and to report any sign of the villain. A full ID will be posted on all Imperial Bulletin Boards.

His Excellency has offered his support and has let it be known that any citizen making a report leading to a successful arrest will be granted due honour by the Emperor Himself. Citizens are reminded that failure to report any sighting is considered treason in the eyes of Imperial Law and is punishable by enforced slavery.

'QUEST' ISN'T BEST - IT'S OFFICIAL!

M.C.S

Well, life is never simple. There we were, all set up to tell you stories of true heroism performed by megastar [MiR(PnorNPC) the new commander of the 'Argent's Quest' and it turns out that the double-dealing hyena has done a runner with the ship and is using it for personal nefarious purposes. There's a list of crimes as long as your ship's hull from Terrorism and drug trafficking to kidnapping and blackmail. The 'Argent's Quest' is suddenly the most wanted ship in the Galaxy.

We have to admit that we were taken in with the rest of you but we'll do our best now to make amends. We're offering our own reward to the one who turns in the traitor. IF you tell US where and when you saw the 'Argent's Quest' or its Commander and we get there with our heavies in time to make a Citizen's Arrest, we'll give you a LIFETIME'S FREE passes to the SPECTACULAR Cisco Theme Park on New California in the system of Epsilon Eridani.

What more could a hard working Citizen want in their life? So take a look at your Bulletin Board, memorise the ID and keep your eyes and sensors peeled. Remember, if we get there first, you get a life of luxury forever. GO TO IT FOLKS!!!

'QUEST vs. INRA - BATTLE COMMENCED

M.C.S

It has happened at last. In the increasingly vindictive war between INRA and [MiR(PnorNPC), (named as the new Commander of 'Argent's Quest') the stakes have now reached a nadir of perverted justice. From being a reasonably high-grade pilot with a fairly average police record, [MiR(PnorNPC) is now the Galaxy's most wanted Commander. INRA's 'Dead or Alive' arrest warrant, issued to all FSS and Imperial Guard units, has effectively granted powers of summary execution to almost every citizen in Federal and Imperial space with the added implication that anyone thought to have seen, spoken to, bought from or otherwise consorted with, those named is wide open to a parallel charge of High Treason and the death penalty.

Rarely in the history of modern times have the powers of 'justice' displayed such flagrant barbarism and it is a sign of their increasing desperation that they are prepared to do so now. The questions we must ask ourselves are: What do they know that we don't? And what are they afraid that we will find out?

With luck, 'Quest's' Commander has the resources to stay beyond the reach of the INRA hit squads for long enough to tell the Galaxy the true facts. We urge those in all Independent Systems to give the 'Quest' their wholehearted support.

'QUEST' MISSING - NO REPORTS OF ARREST

M.C.S

The 'Quest', it seems, has vanished. Following our last report, sightings flooded in from Independent Stations, at least some of which seem to have been accurate. [MiR(PnorNPC) has successfully taken on INRA at their deadly game of cat and mouse and has survived so far with ship and self intact. We can be in no doubt that, had the police forces of either Power succeeded in making a kill, the entire Galaxy would have known about it. So - where has the 'Quest' gone now??

Meredith Argent is staying silent but sources from within the New Rossyth Shipyards have told us that the original venture was successful and that the ship made landfall at not one but two separate systems used by the Thargoids. Both were desolate and, surprisingly, there was substantial evidence to support Dr Joreb Innitu's assertion that INRA were responsible for the demise of the aliens.

Following a great deal of heart-searching by Meredith Argent and the senior staff at AAAI, the 'Quest' has been granted permission to attempt a flight as far as the Thargoid's Home system. Our source was not forthcoming as to the exact location but the distances involved are enormous and the danger doesn't bear thinking about.

The entire history of the Thargoid's involvement with humanity has been one of savage violence and mutual animosity. To fly directly into the lion's mouth seems to us an act of unprecedented bravery - or crass stupidity. Either way, our thoughts go with the Commander.

'QUEST' COMMANDER PLANNING PACT WITH ALIENS

M.C.S

The ship 'Argent's Quest' and its Commander, [MiR(PnorNPC), are still at large - and we have information from covert sources to suggest that the renegade may be attempting to make contact with the last remnants of the Thargoid civilisation in an effort to aid their return to our sector of the Galaxy. Such an attempt is, quite obviously, an act of absolute insanity - were it to succeed none of us would ever again be safe. The aliens proved themselves vicious, amoral and capable of massacres beyond the scale of anything known in human history. Their obvious disregard for human life and property and their grasp of basic technology made them a formidable enemy until they were finally overwhelmed by the powers of the Federal and Imperial Navies, allied under the auspices of INRA.

It goes without saying that this maniac must be stopped by whatever means necessary and that both the FSS and the Federal Navy are doing their utmost to prevent the 'Quest' from beginning its journey. We again urge all decent citizens to do their duty in reporting any sightings of ship or personnel to the nearest FSS post.

'QUEST' THREATENS IMPERIAL SECURITY

M.C.S

The ship 'Argent's Quest', stolen while in transit to His Excellency's private shipyard, is being used by the renegade [MiR(PnorNPC) to mount an expedition that defies all Imperial laws and threatens the very heart of the Empire. The ship has been seen in a number of anarchic stations and is known to be equipping for a long distance flight due to take it to the area thought by some experts to be the core of the Thargoid stronghold. While the aim of the venture must surely be self-centred finance, the wider implications must be obvious to all who hold our current era of peace and prosperity dear to their hearts.

If, as one may suppose, the aliens destroy the ship as soon as it comes within range of their nerve-centre, then all will be well, but we cannot afford to take such a risk. The traitor must be stopped before the ship takes off on its journey. The Emperor himself has requested all citizens with ships and weapons to hand to scour the Galaxy for the 'Argent's Quest' and, on finding it, to call up the aid required to destroy the ship and all who fly in her. The Commander who succeeds in locating the Quest will be granted lifelong Governor-ship of the next system on which terra-formation is complete.

'QUEST' GOES WEST

M.C.S

What are you doing out there?!! Does NO-ONE want a lifetime in Cisco these days?? Or are you all too busy making ends meet to get out there with your eyes peeled and your sensors set to maximum on the lookout for one of the loopiest space-dogs of all time? We've seen our fair share of insanity here at RIG but this one takes the biscuit.

Once in a while you hear of someone with a crazy plan and you wonder - is this the most exciting thing anyone's ever done or are they, quite simply, barking? In this case, it's easy - they're barking. Quite, quite, utterly, over-the-top crazed. A padded room's too good for them. Dying on the end of a hundred military lasers is too good for them and that's what's most likely to happen - unless they get clear away from our part of the Galaxy in which case - do you know what they're going to do?? They're off to track down the Thargoids!!! Then they will DEFINITELY die in a haze of Thargoid laser-vapour - and good riddance to them, we say.

Have you ever heard of a more crazy idea?

If you HAVE - mail us and let us know what it was - we'll publish the best.

ARGENT'S QUEST - TRUTH OR FICTION?

M.C.S

The 'Quest' has survived. At a cost to the military of untold millions, the naval might of Federation and Empire failed entirely in their self-appointed task to annihilate one of their citizens. [MiR(PnorNPC) not only escaped intact but has left inhabited space with the apparent intention of flying to Thargoid space. If it's true (and it may be a particularly astute piece of dis-information so don't hold your breath) then we could be at one of the turning points in our existence How should we, as a race, respond to the Thargoids if we meet them again?

We consulted the remnants of the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute at Wicca's World (Alioth) as to the predicted outcome if a human Commander was to fly directly into a Thargoid populated zone. Their response was not encouraging - the past few encounters have been uniformly acrimonious.

Nevertheless, their theory stands that Thargoids are inherently peaceable and only fight, in the first instance, in self-defence. If we don't fire at them, they won't fire at us. [MiR(PnorNPC)is likely to be the first human ever to put this theory to the test. If it proves correct, the rest of us may have the same pleasure in the near future. Think on it and prepare your response.

ARGENT SUES INRA

M.C.S

Following the departure of the ship 'Argent's Quest' into Far space in search of the Thargoid stronghold, Meredith Argent is taking the higher echelons of INRA, most specifically Commander J Saunders(Elite), to court for the murder of the explorer Commander Mic Turner. Argent claims to have positive evidence, retrieved by the new 'Quest' Commander, [MiR(PnorNPC), that the earlier ship, 'Turner's Quest' was identified as an intruder by INRA defence satellites ringing an exclusion zone around the area previously defined as the Thargoid front base. Immediately afterwards, Saunders and others of the INRA counter-intelligence wing (previously demonstrated to be flying in the area) attacked and destroyed Mic Turner's ship and subsequently appropriated the 'Quest's' Stowmaster Escape Capsule, wiping the flight recording equipment prior to returning it to its rightful owner. Council for the defence has been allocated and are vigorously denying all charges. INRA have agreed to be guarantors for the accused and hence Saunders is free to continue with normal duties until required to give evidence.

INRA vs. ARGENT - MUTUAL SUITS

M.C.S

Sudden and unexpected announcements emerged last week from both INRA and Su and Prosperr, legal advisors to Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.). INRA are prosecuting Meredith Argent in person for aiding and abetting the renegade terrorist [MiR(PnorNPC) and Argent is bringing legal proceedings against certain named members of INRA for: the premeditated murder of Commander Mic Turner, the destruction of the ship, Turner's Quest, the detention without trial of Commander Jo Merion and the destruction of certain items from an escape capsule, the property of the aforementioned Commander Turner.

If found guilty, those on both sides face lifelong imprisonment in the Warren on Grant's Claim (Ross 128). Life is short and decidedly inglorious in there - not a prospect to be taken lightly. Bail has been granted to all parties and Legal council in the various Systems are preparing their respective cases.

The time parity agreement has been signed so that the opposing suits will be permitted to run in parallel with simultaneous Judgements. Given the weight of evidence in both cases, it is likely that it will be several years before the first witness is called. With the recent developments in the 'Argent's Quest' case, we have to question whether the defendants on either side will still be alive by the time the cases open.

ARGENT BEHIND THEFT OF IMPERIAL SHIP

M.C.S

Meredith Argent, Intergalactic Financier and co-designer of the 'Quest' class ship stolen while en route to join the Imperial Fleet, has been accused of conspiracy to defraud the Emperor. In a case which sets a precedent in the Imperial Courts, Officers of the Imperial Guard and INRA, the Naval Elite Corps, have given statements to the Imperial High Legislate to the effect that Argent was aware of the impending theft of the 'Quest', that agents of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) were present at the time the space hi-jack took place and that Argent has personally sanctioned a number of the subsequent acts of terrorism committed by the ship since its disappearance. In particular, Argent is accused of co-conspiracy in the act of trespass on military property. The renegade ship was recently found to be present within a clearly marked military exclusion zone in direct contravention of Imperial Law and failed to turn back when requested so to do by Officers of the Imperial Naval Far Systems Protectorate. These are grave charges and the accused will be given every chance to answer under Imperial Law. The case is expected to take place on Capitol and will commence within the year.

CRIME DOESN'T PAY??

M.C.S

They say crime doesn't pay. They've been saying it since before the first colonisation ship took off from old mother Earth. But it doesn't stop millions of dudes the Galaxy over giving it a go just to see if it's true. Now we have all the proof you'd ever need that sometimes it pays - FOR A WHILE. Until the forces of law and order catch up with you - then the black stuff hits the ventilator and you wish you'd stuck to showing tourists round the museums on Lave.

The BIG news this month is that Meredith Argent, the mega-rich explorer, ship designer, shipyard owner and broken hearted 'friend' of Mic Turner, has turned a hand to the dark side. A host of law suits are piling up on the desk to say that friend Argent not only engineered the disappearance of the 'Argent's Quest' but was responsible for wiping out several dozen Naval Ships, blowing apart a handful of Military Research Satellites and treading ALL OVER a carefully hidden Military Exclusion Zone.

Nasty. Very, very nasty.

At least the big-wigs at the head of INRA think so, even if you and I think that none of this is particularly bad. At any rate, they've come out with all (legal) guns blazing and they're determined to make a kill.

IF YOU have any GOOD ideas of things Argent might have done that can go on the list, mail us and we'll print the best - remember, there's still a lifetime on CISCO up for grabs.

INRA'S REVENGE

M.C.S

In the wake of the 'Quest's' disappearance, INRA counter-intelligence units are taking their revenge on the New Rossyth Shipyard's owner, Meredith Argent. As a mode of retribution, it has its limitations. Argent manifestly has no means of contacting the vanished Quest, even supposing that the new Commander is still alive. If the authorities were hoping to forestall or prevent the 'Quest's' mission to locate the Thargoid home base, then it stands no chance of succeeding. If it is intended to prevent further 'Quests' from taking part in a similar venture, it may succeed but only if the entire management team of Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.) are cowed into submission by the threat to the welfare of their leader - a doubtful circumstance. As pure, bloody-minded revenge, it is going to be very slow and very drawn out. The lawyers on both sides are promising the appearance of the first witness in court sometime in the next TWO years. Customary translation of legalese suggests that it could be any time in the next decade. In the meantime, the 'Quest' continues and INRA may be caught up with bigger things than suing financiers if Argent's new Commander succeeds in returning the Thargoids to our patch of the Universe.

ARGENT'S BASE ATTACKED

M.C.S

New Rossyth Shipyard on Alioth was last night the subject of a series of 'hit and run' missile attacks. Three separate ships mounted individual attacks, the third launching missiles directly toward the Emergency Service Personnel who were dealing with the fires and the wounded from the initial two attacks. Those caught in the fires are at the burns unit of the New Stockholm Critical Care Hospital and those requiring immediate organ replacement have been transferred to the Plastic Surgery suite at the New Rossyth General Hospital. Those who believe they may have relatives injured in the attack are urged to contact the Personnel Department at the New Rossyth Shipyards and ask for Kay Dee who has all the latest details.

Fortunately, neither Meredith Argent nor any of the chief executives of the AAAI were on Argent's Claim at the time of the attack and they are now directing the repair works necessary from a private residence on a nearby safe system. The plant was designed to withstand nuclear attack and hence the primary work rooms and the trading areas are still operational.

Potential clients are urged to continue with trade as usual.

ARGENT KILLS HUNDREDS

M.C.S

Hundreds of shipyard workers were killed on Argent's Claim (Alioth), the capital of the AIS, in a series of lightning missile attacks organised and directed by the owner of the firm that employed them: Argent Aerodynamics Amalgamated (Inc.). With a flagrant disregard for human welfare, (and in breach of all Health and Safety Regulations) Argent co-ordinated a vicious attack on the New Rossyth Shipyards in which three separate war planes launched missile attacks on the main Complex, causing immense structural devastation and widespread death and injury to those personnel working on the site. The exact extent of the damage is not clear but it appears that the administrative areas were the worst affected by the blasts. Argent, who was miraculously off-planet at the time of the attack, has refused to comment to our reporters but the Commissioner of Public Relations for INRA has made it clear that the authorities consider this to be a blatant attempt to destroy vital evidence required in the current 'Quest' case. A warrant for the retrieval of essential data will be issued at the earliest convenient opportunity, allowing INRA operatives to investigate the Shipyard site.

ARGENT DESTROYS IMPERIAL EVIDENCE

M.C.S

In a desperate bid to prevent the due process of law, Meredith Argent, owner and Managing Director of the New Rossyth Shipyards has organised a 3-stage missile run on the Shipyard. Three ships, all of Federal origin struck at fifteen minute intervals in the early hours of the morning and fired multiple missile salvoes at pre-determined targets in the Shipyard Complex. Officers of the High Legislate claim that vital evidence required in the case being brought against Argent may have been destroyed and they are requesting the permission of the ruling council of Argent's Claim to attend the scene with their own retrieval equipment. In spite of a mutual co-regard treaty between AIS and the Empire, permission has so far been refused. The Emperor Himself is said to be ready to step in with a Personal Request should it be necessary.

MISSILES AND MAYHEM

M.C.S

Where was the last place in the Universe you should have been last month?? New Rossyth on Argent's Claim (Alioth), that's where. If you were working on the construction plant at the New Rossyth Shipyards the other night, then you're probably reading this from your hospital bed with multiple fractures, third degree burns and missile-shock. Everyone else, be glad you weren't there when the ships roared in and the missiles fell. It was very nasty in there for a while and, of course, everyone in sight is blaming somebody else for the mess. Meredith Argent (who was very lucky to be at a meeting in the Gotham Park Orbital Station at the time) has placed the blame squarely at the door of the INRA agents who have been accused of murdering Mic Turner. INRA, needless to say, have polished their halos and flashed their medals and denied all knowledge. Their suggestion is that our intrepid ship-designer organised the strike single-handed in an effort to throw the feds off the scent. Both are possible.

We reserve our judgement. What we can say for certain is that any of you out there who have ever worked for the AAAI are about to have the happy experience of watching your life insurance premiums shoot through the roof. Happy pay-day people!!!

INRA'S REVENGE II

M.C.S

The recent attack on the shipbuilding workshops of the New Rossyth Shipyard is the latest desperate manoeuvre in an escalating war of attrition directed by INRA against the management of the AAAI, in particular, its owner Meredith Argent.

Three ships launched several salvoes of pre-targeted missiles with the obvious intention of destroying the administrative centres and the construction plant. Had the attack taken place fractionally later, the full management team, including Argent would have been on site for a strategy meeting and there can be little doubt that this was known to those in command at INRA. Private sources tell us that the meeting had been delayed for unforeseen personal reasons and that the team were, in fact, in the orbital station awaiting a shuttle down to the planet when the first ship was detected on the scanners.

Fortunately, Argent and Turner had the foresight to design the plant to withstand nuclear attack and there was remarkably little loss of life. The medical fees of those injured are being paid for by the AAAI and the families of those killed will receive full recompense. In the meantime, Argent and co-workers have moved to a secure site off planet and business at the NRS continues as usual.

'QUEST' SIGHTING

M.C.S

Rumours from the far Northern Edge suggest that the controversial 'Argent's Quest' may have docked at a number of 'safe' stations owned by the AAAI within the last two weeks. Sources close to Meredith Argent, the company's owner, confirmed that there had been contact with the Quest and that the Commander was still alive and in high spirits. In view of the recent legal and military attempts to apply pressure to have the 'Quest' halted, it has been decided that the ship will remain outwith the boundaries of currently inhabited space for some considerable time. There has been no indication of whether the Commander has yet succeeded in the endeavour to locate the Thargoids but our source has confirmed that such is the intention of the flight. Warrants for the arrest of commander [MiR(PnorNPC) remain in force under Federal and Imperial Rule and so we urge those of you in Independent space to continue to provide support as and when it is needed.

RENEGADE SHIP INVADES FEDERAL STATIONS

M.C.S

The renegade ship 'Argent's Quest' flown by the wanted Terrorist [MiR(PnorNPC) has mounted a number of hit and run raids on Federal Stations in the Disputed Zone beyond the Northern Edge territory around Alioth. Reports are sparse due to poor communications from that area but it appears that in some cases, the entire staff of a station was wiped out in a multi-missile attack of such speed and ferocity that the defending ships had no chance to take off before they were destroyed. No terrorist faction has yet claimed responsibility for the raids but they have the hallmarks of previous attacks carried out by [MiR(PnorNPC) while working for the extreme eco-terror group 'Worlds in Action' and there are no ships other than the 'Quest' which have both the speed and fire-power to mount attacks of such savagery plus the range capacity to mount so many attacks in such a short space of time. So far there is no sign of the 'Quest' having reached the Thargoid home system and it seems increasingly likely that the entire story was a cover for an AIS-led encroachment on Federal Territory.

IMPERIAL NAVY CLASHES WITH TERRORIST

M.C.S

Ships of the Far Systems Protectorate recently scored decisive victories over a wing of terrorist ships, led by the outlawed ship, 'Argent's Quest'. The ships attacked a succession of those frontier stations marking the northern-most reaches of the Empire but were held off each time by successive wings of Naval Protection vessels who had been called to assist those of His Imperial Majesty's citizens who unselfishly give of their lives to protect the outer fringes of our expanding Empire. A number of Naval pilots lost their lives in the course of their duty - all will be honoured by His Excellency in a special ceremony at Facece, time and date to be announced.

In view of the possibility of a renewed Thargoid Invasion, the High Legislate has ordered that all Naval Protectorates should have their squadron numbers doubled and the Emperor had instigated a recruiting drive in the Inner Core. Details will be posted on Bulletin Boards throughout Imperial space and all those with suitable genetic content and under their first century in age are encouraged to apply to their local Naval post for further details.

'QUEST' GOES WEST - AND COMES BACK AGAIN

M.C.S

It's back!! The 'Argent's Quest' is flying loops around the Northern Edge blowing up everything in sight. If you're out there and you're in a ship, we suggest you get your kit together and get back home to the Core where it's safe. The danger money may be good but the hospital facilities are lousy and remember - you can't take it with you!

The crazy Commander seems to be a tad upset about the slights against our friend Meredith Argent and is hell bent on taking revenge on every Naval ship, base and Station in the Northern Zone - that's if the reports of casualties coming in on the INRA waveband are anything to go by. Of course, it may be that the morons in the Federal and Imperial Navies are shooting at each other by mistake - they're a trigger happy shower at the best of times.

BUT, the BEST news is, NO SIGN of the Thargoids - yet. OF course they may be cruising around out there, just out of sight waiting for the 'Quest' to do their job for them - in which case, flying won't be half the fun it used to be.

What would YOU do if the Thargoids attacked YOUR ship? Mail us NOW and we'll publish the best answer.

QUEST vs INRA

M.C.S

The latest twist in the running battle between INRA and the AAAI sees the 'Argent's Quest' returning to the Northern Edge with, if anything, more fire power than before. Reports suggest that the ship has taken on the combined might of two INRA attack squadrons (Counter-Intelligence and Systems Defence) and, so far, survived to tell the tale.

Sources at AAAI suggest that Commander [MiR(PnorNPC) may well have made initial contact with the Thargoids but needs to return before any lasting connection can be made. Top level representations to Meredith Argent from the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute on Wicca's World (Alioth) are said to be making progress and it seems likely that if the 'Quest' docks at any AAAI-controlled station, it will take one of the Alioth Institute Professors back with it to the Thargoid Systems. In research and cultural terms, this could be one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of human space. We will need all the advice we can get and all the information we can gather if we are to meet the Thargoids a second time without repeating the mistakes of past centuries.

THARGOID CONTACT CONFIRMED

M.C.S

A confidential report document leaked from the recent management meeting of AAAI has confirmed that 'Argent's Quest' has indeed made contact with the Thargoid race. As reported in our previous issue, [MiR(PnorNPC) succeeded in locating three systems used by the Thargoids as bases during their period in human space. Evidence found there enabled the ship to re-equip and to make the journey to the Thargoid home systems where the Commander allegedly entered into formal negotiations with the Thargoid leaders. Details of the discussions have not yet been released and, indeed, it is doubtful whether a full transcript has been made available to the staff at AAAI for, in spite of rumours to the contrary, the 'Argent's Quest' did not make planet-fall at any point during its recent return to the Northern Sector.

The reported clash with naval ships occurred around the area of the Thargoid front bases was instigated by Commander Saunders of the INRA Counter-Intelligence Unit who appears to be pursuing a petty personal vendetta against [MiR(PnorNPC).

The report states that the 'Quest' has now returned to the Thargoid system and is not expected in human space for some considerable period.

'QUEST' THREAT DEFEATED - TEMPORARILY

M.C.S

Pilots of INRA, the combined Federal and Imperial Naval galactic defence force have seen serious action for the first time since the eradication of the Thargoids in 3151 CE.

Elite pilots from both sides co-operated in a series of actions aimed at eliminating the threat posed by the ship 'Argent's Quest' in its self-proclaimed mission to return the Thargoid menace to human space. A series of armed confrontations took place in the uninhabited zone far beyond the Northern Edge during which it became apparent that the 'Quest' is armed and shielded beyond the capacity of any ship designed to date.

The specifications released by the AAAI are untrue in every respect and there can be no doubt that Meredith Argent and Mic Turner had been planning this exact chain of events for the past several decades. In fact, it is possible that the terra-formation and colonising projects undertaken in the Edge zones were done solely to create a base from which such a project could be launched undetected.

In the event, the 'Quest' was finally overpowered by the INRA pilots and fled in to the desolate regions beyond range of the naval war-ships. The menace has been defeated - but we must ask ourselves how long the peace will last and whether it is not now time to re-consider old wars and old allegiances.

EMPEROR HONOURS NAVAL DEAD

M.C.S

His Most Illustrious Excellency, Hengist Duval, Defender of the Peace, Chevalier of War and Upholder of the Forty Two Unbreakable Laws has attended a ceremony at the Naval Academy on Facece to honour those killed in action defending our northern frontier against the outlawed ship 'Argent's Quest'.

Subsequently, His Excellency met with representatives from the High Legislate, the Protectorate Commands and the INRA Office to determine the best course of action in the face of the 'Quest' and the threatened, potentially devastating, return of the Thargoid race to Imperial Systems and trade routes. Diplomats from a number of surrounding Systems were present at the meetings and were granted an opportunity to voice their disquiet to His Majesty.

As a result, there is a tacit mutual co-operation agreement between the Empire and various unaffiliated Corporate States by which the latter should benefit from the superior protection abilities of the Imperial Navy and the Navy, in turn acquires new safe stations for re-fitting and re-fuelling.

The Naval recruitment drive mentioned in our last issue continues and citizens are reminded that 'Your Empire needs You'.

THE THARGOIDS - WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN THEY GET HERE?

M.C.S

Well, the 'Quest' has slipped through the net once again and is heading off into deepest, darkest space to make friends with the Thargoids.

If Meredith Argent and [MiR(PnorNPC) REALLY HAVE 'gone native', IF they are REALLY trying to bring the aliens back with them (if there are any left, if they want to come), WHAT are we going to do about it??

We sounded out literally dozens of you in the systems from which RIG is mailed and your responses varied widely. We conducted a random poll of RIG readers with the following results: 18.5% thought they would paint themselves white to reflect the blast (like it says in the manual); 28% thought they would spend every last credit on a SERIOUSLY BIG PARTY and try to stay completely smashed for the duration of the coming war (don't think of the hangover) and a MASSIVE 53% said that they would take ship on the biggest, fastest, nastiest battle cruiser they could find and vaporise the varmints on sight.

The rest of you (we make it 0.5%) said they would try to negotiate some kind of peace with the enemy. And jolly good luck to you, we say. You'll have fun trying to negotiate a deal amidst the sound of popping Leestian Champagne corks and the incessant whine of laser fire. But go ahead and try - may as well die a fool as a hero ...

THE THARGOIDS - THE PREPARATIONS

M.C.S

'Argent's Quest' has, once again, left the Edge to return to Thargoid space. Apparently Commander [MiR(PnorNPC) declined to take on board a member of the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) but a number of strategic briefings are said to have taken place and the Institute has transformed in recent weeks into a veritable wasp's nest of action.

The management of the AAAI have today issued a statement confirming that contact has been made with the Aliens, that they are interested in negotiation and that [MiR(PnorNPC) is returning to complete a round of talks which could see the Thargoids return to our Universe within the year. Their attitude towards the human race (and, by extension, the android derivatives) is ambivalent in the extreme - from the brief contact made so far it is likely that the aliens are not instinctively war-like and that whereas they will meet force with force, they will also be amenable to cultural interactions and trade.

We are about to face a genuine chance to mould our future. This time we must not slide back into the mindless xenophobia so characteristic of our race in all its past history.

FEDERATION AND EMPIRE MAY RE-FORM OLD ALLEGIANCE

M.C.S

The potential return of the Thargoids to human space is being taken seriously by those in both the Federal and the Imperial High Commands. Talks are under way at a secret, neutral location to determine the viability of resurrecting the old Inter-Galactic Naval RESERVE Arm - to replace the current version of INRA, the Inter-Galactic Naval RESEARCH Arm. This will be presented to the population of the systems as a brand new innovation designed to protect them from the Thargoid menace Those of us not subject to the propaganda of the police powers know that INRA is the same however you spell the acronym and that what matters is that the Federation and the Empire have never STOPPED collaborating at the highest level.

Their choice to present themselves as implacable enemies was essentially a cynical manoeuvre to manipulate the populace and their decision to join forces now in a declaration of war against the only other technocratic alien species we have ever encountered in space is no different.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In both the Federation and the Empire, power goes to those with the credit to pull the right strings and the political acumen to grease the right palms. So now, they are afraid that Thargoid palms are ungreasable - and, who knows, they may well be right. We in the Independent worlds need to decide soon whose side we're on and how we will show our hand.

INRA TO TAKE HIGHER PROFILE IN DEFENCE OF FEDERATION

M.C.S

Three of the most recent past Field Marshalls met last week with the current Naval High Command and Dr J K Shiven, the President-elect of the Federation, in an effort to define a long term strategy for the defence of Federal citizens and property in the face of the threatened return of the Thargoids to human space.

The final details of the defence plan are being resolved as we speak but the broad basis was announce yesterday and combines several separate strategies. Initially there will be a substantial increase in Naval power, increasing both the number and the size of the ships in each squadron. Credit ratings will increase for new and experienced pilots in an attempt to enhance Naval recruitment.

In terms of strategy, there will be a reversion to tactics abandoned after the First Thargoid war and all pilots are being recalled to undergo renewed training in multiple-ship attack modes. Finally, pilots will be permitted to form selective allegiances with Commanders of Imperial origin as and when they see fit. Guidelines will be published for all Naval Auxiliaries in the near future.

EMPEROR GRANTS FEDERAL REQUEST FOR AID

M.C.S

His Imperial Majesty granted audience last week to representatives of the Federal Government. The supplicants enjoyed several days hospitality in the Imperial Diplomatic Suite at Capitol before entering the Palace upon which they experienced close to an hour in the presence of the Shining Light of the Empire, Hengist Duval (and Crown Prince Harald, 16th of the Line) and were permitted to bring a number of questions from their President requesting the help of the Empire in the forthcoming Second War against the Thargoid Menace.

The supplicant left expressing their eternal gratitude to the Light of the Stars and to the people of the Empire for their forbearance. Later, His Excellency issued an edict through the High Legislate instructing all Naval Commanders that they may, under certain circumstances, form local allegiances with Federal pilots provided that their joint aim was solely the destruction of Thargoid ships.

This augments a previous edict permitting Commanders to form allegiance for the sole aim of destroying a Pirate fleet. The Federal Government later sent gifts and messages of undying gratitude through the Federal Embassy at Cheapside Lane on Capitol.

HIGH FLYERS DO IT WITH WINGS (TOGETHER)

M.C.S

The worms have turned. The multiple moons have turned blue. The pigs have grown wings and taken flight - again. The end of all the worlds are nigh and we are all doomed, doomed to die in the blackness of space.

WORRIED?? You should be. The ones in the know in the Federal and Imperial High Commands are worried enough to abandon the endless round of meaningless diplomacy in exotic holiday resorts. Now they're crowded round a table in the diplomatic sweat shop of Valhalla (Canhocan) trying frantically to scribble out an agreement that will allow both Navies to fly side by side without either:

  • A. - taking the chance to settle old scores and ending up in the biggest dog-and-cat fight ever seen or

  • B. - launching vendettas against the Independents and blowing half of the existing trade Systems out of the firmament.

Neither would matter much to the politicians except that they wouldn't be throwing themselves at the Thargoids and there's an outside chance that the creepy-crawlies might notice the absence of ships and help themselves to the Imperial Crown Jewels, or even his Royal Hugeness in person- and wouldn't we all be sad then?

(You DON'T have to write in with an answer to that one).

A NEW POLITICAL DIVIDE?

M.C.S

The air is clearing after the recent frantic round of diplomatic negotiations between the Presidential Representatives of the Federation and the Luminary Aides of the Imperial High Legislate. The potential return of the Thargoid race to our sector of the Universe has concentrated minds as nothing else in recent history. Observers at the talks believe that a new consensus is emerging and that we may yet see a solid Federal/Imperial coalition to rival the existing Alliance of Independent States. In this case the new unity would be for the sole purpose of driving the Thargoid once more from our sector of space and would be directly opposed to Independent moves towards conciliation with the aliens. 'Thargoid scare-mongering' is rife and is being fuelled largely by the propaganda machines of both sides with the intention of creating an atmosphere of maximum animosity so that the aliens, when they arrive, will be met by armed aggression from at least part of the human population. The challenge to those of us in the Independent Systems who do not share this unreasoned hatred of all things foreign is to reach an independent understanding with the aliens and see to it that we are not all tarred with the same brush - or fried with the same laser.

THARGOID ARRIVAL IMMINENT

M.C.S

The Thargoids are coming. They will either accompany [MiR(PnorNPC) as an honour guard or wait for the diplomatic negotiations to be completed and follow when we can assure them that they will not be met by an armed naval fleet from either the Federation or the Empire. Sadly, it will be difficult to make such an assurance with any credibility. The Federal and Imperial Navies are signing pacts of eternal bonding and arming themselves to the teeth for the coming conflict. Unless Thargoid technology has stood still in the past century and a half, it is entirely likely that they will vapourise ships with the same consummate ease as last time round and the Navies are in for a hard time of it. We in the Independent Alliance have to develop a means to unite our disparate systems. We must ensure that the aliens understand the basis of our political differences and accept the non-aggressive intent of the Independent populations. The management of the AAAI have volunteered to act as intermediaries and Meredith Argent has offered to make personal representations. We advise everyone else to read the articles published by the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) and to familiarise themselves with every known detail of Thargoid culture and technology.

THE THARGOID MENACE - ARM AND FIGHT (part 1)

M.C.S

The Thargoids are coming. The nightmare is returning and there is nothing we can do to stop it. One Corporation headed by a pair of ego-maniacs has set in motion a train of events allowing the most implacable enemy the human race has ever seen to re-enter our lives. There seems to be little we can do to prevent this, the AAAI is not prepared to divulge the location of the Thargoid systems and, in any case, will not allow any of the remaining, unassigned 'Quest' ships to launch. Thus we are condemned to another Galaxy-wide war with the dreadful cost in terms of human suffering and the imbalance in trade that we suffered one hundred and fifty years ago. Beings will die in their millions, trade will be disrupted, entire planets will be bombed out of existence and the only ones to profit will be the Independent Armament Manufacturers. No-one will be untouched by this. Those who do not die will lose loved ones, property and personal security. Nothing is sacred and the stability of our peace will hang in the balance. None of us can prevent their arrival but each one of us can do our utmost to drive the enemy from our sector of space as effectively and rapidly as possible. Those who can fly, are requested as a matter of utmost urgency to take ship and to arm. Those who cannot, are asked to offer their help in the forthcoming war effort. Only by each of us giving of our best can we hope to survive.

EMPEROR LEADS THE CALL TO ARMS

M.C.S

His Excellency the Shining Light of Reason, the Paragon of Peace, the Archmage of Logic and Hero of All Wars has issued the following reminder to all who enjoy the peace and prosperity of the Imperial way of life:

'My Beloved People. As you know, the threat of the Thargoid menace is once again made real. One hundred and fifty years ago, the matchless skill and valiant bravery of our Naval fighters eradicated the contamination of alien life from our sectors of space. Now, due entirely to the selfishness of one small group of people, the menace returns, better armed, better equipped and ready for war.

We will not disappoint them. We did not give way to them last time and we will not do so now. We will show them the strength of our Imperial resolve and we will force them from our Space in such a way that they will never return again. I am counting on each and every one of you to make your contribution to the fight. If you can fly, the Navy will welcome your skills. The rest of you can increase your output to supply the new ships, the new weapons, the new military drives to ensure that this war is over as fast and as cleanly as possible. Above all, we wish to avoid the terrible deprivations of previous wars. We will only succeed if every single Imperial Citizen, human and android, gives of their all in this time of crisis. Thank you.'

THE END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT ???!

M.C.S

The end is nigh. The nightmare begins. OR The greatest opportunity humanity has ever known. You pays your credits and you takes your choice - and if we're all dead anyway, what does it matter?? The creepy crawlies are creeping their way back again. The tide is rising and the bodies will begin piling up just as soon as the first ships get here. The Galactic sale of side-weapons is at an all-time high and politicians who have hated each other for centuries are shaking hands and sitting round tables trying to work out viable defence plans. Thargoid Fever is here again, people and it ain't half BAD.

This may even be your last issue of your very favourite recreational broad sheet - if they hit when we think they will, we'll be off planet and into the Core where it's nice and safe and they'll have to break through scrillions of battle ships before they get to us. So, as a parting shot to our beloved and loyal readership, we are offering the ultimate competition.

Mail us TODAY with your idea for how best to fend off the Thargoids. We'll read as many as we have time for and whoever wrote the best one gets to come with us to the safety of Mars (Sol).

NEGOTIATIONS COMPLETE

M.C.S

The following statement was released yesterday by the Plenary session of the Alliance of Independent States: 'The AIS representatives, taking into consideration the beliefs and wishes of their populations, consider that the proposed return of the Thargoids to Human (and android) space is to be welcomed and that every effort should be made to greet the renewed arrival with balanced enthusiasm, diplomatic trading rights and the offer of a full and frank exchange of views concerning past contact.

There was a unanimous agreement that [MiR(PnorNPC) and Meredith Argent should continue to head the negotiations (with the obvious proviso that they are both alive and willing to continue with their self-appointed roles) and that the AAAI should take part in all future Heads of System meetings. Meredith Argent has accepted the negotiating rights and has given personal assurance that the Thargoids have no aggressive intent towards humanity (and its scions) and that they will only take part in armed conflict if attacked.

Inhabitants of all Independent Systems are requested to avoid the anti-Thargoid hysteria sweeping other Systems and are strongly urged to avoid all armed conflict with any ships showing alien identification.'

A NEW GALACTIC ORDER?

M.C.S

The patterns are shifting and the old order is changing shape. The Thargoids are not an invading force. The preliminary messages, delivered through [MiR(PnorNPC) and Meredith Argent made that very clear. Nevertheless, for reasons known best to themselves, the newly united forces of the Federation and Empire believe, or wish to believe, that their security is threatened. The political lines are being re-drawn - the Empire and the Federation on one side, the Alliance of Independent States (plus any other non-affiliated systems) on the other.

Our advantage is that we have the aliens on our side. We hope. Our belief is that, as an advanced, technocratic civilisation, the Thargoids will choose peace over war, trade over bloodshed and a sharing of technology over its use for destruction. We, as an alliance intend to offer them cultural exchange, trading opportunities and a full and detailed examination of our past history as enemies.

There can be no real reparation for lives lost and worlds destroyed but we can look at why things happened and, learning the lessons of history, ensure that it never happens again.

THE THARGOID MENACE - ARM AND FIGHT (part 2)

M.C.S

Following our call to arms in the last issue of Federal Times, we can announce the final preparations for the second Inter-Galactic war. The alien's arrival is imminent. We have a few weeks, a month at best, to ensure that this time, we win. We intend that, as far as possible, life should be unchanged - trading will continue as and when possible and all forms of work and leisure activities will be preserved to maintain morale. Such alterations as occur will do so only when ordered by local civil or military leaders.

This war, as with the last one, will take place in the depths of space. Therefore, those who take ship require to be ever vigilant and to be aware that ships of the Empire are now our allies, to be supported in their every endeavour, as we expect to be aided by them. Those of you whose business takes them beyond the confines of system or planet are already sacrificing trading space for increased armaments and the Field Marshall in Chief has advised that all merchant ships undergo emergency service and have their shields renewed or replaced as necessary.

We intend to win this war, but we do not intend to sacrifice our lifestyle, culture or moral welfare in the process. We trust each one of you to play their part in keeping our way of life alive.

MILLIONS RESPOND TO THE CALL

M.C.S

Imperial citizens have flocked in their millions to the Central Volunteer Bureaux ordained by His Excellency to enable His subjects to aid their Empire in its hour of need. Day and night people of all genetic arrangement, freeholders and slaves, organics and androids have been lining up outside the Centres. In scenes reminiscent of war-time food lines on ancient Earth, citizens have been offering their services to the aid of their Empire.

The Navy has now got enough new pilots to maintain and fly every ship in its hangars, enough fitters and engineers to keep them in space and enough medical personnel to maintain a healthy set of crews. The rest of the war machine has been primed and is ready to move into full gear in defence of our glorious Empire.

It has been a heart-warming sight to know that every one of these people has been moved by His Excellency's call to arms - and they all have one thing in common - they are prepared to sacrifice their livelihoods, indeed their very lives, for the security of their Empire and the continued long life of their Emperor.

SHANGHAI!! (GOTCHA)

M.C.S

Were you watching? Did you see it? All those people queuing up for hours to get themselves shot at by the Thargoids? Warmed the cockles of your heart, eh?? Betcha thought they were there because they wanted to be, right? But did you look in the background and see all those Imperial Guard storm troopers?

The staunch members of the Internal Protectorate at their most efficient, waving their MK 47 assault lasers like they were just desperate for someone to try and break ranks. But those who live under the glow of His Imperial Munificenceness know better than to blow a raspberry at his happy Impish Guards - anyone who's THAT tired of life has already tried to make a break for it.

So - the weenies are all pilots in the Navy now, swaggering about in those shiny new uniforms, zooming about at the controls of the latest Naval Viper daring anybody to make their day.

A word from the wise. Don't.

Steer well clear. They're Thargoid meat. Leave them to those with the big guns and the heavy shields. You go get yourself a big blackout somewhere safe and wait 'till its all over. We will be.

P.S. But we haven't gone to Mars - yet....

DIVISIONS DRAWN

M.C.S

The final battle lines are drawn. The Imperial and Federal Navies are equipped as never before. The industrial might of both superpowers has been turned to military provision on a scale hitherto unseen in this Galaxy and vast sections of the populace have been variously persuaded or coerced into volunteering for military service.

On the other side of the line, the academic department at the Alien Studies Department of the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) has been publishing details of all known aspects of Thargoid culture, politics and technology and seminars are being advertised in all Independent Systems to enable those who wish it to familiarise themselves with the mechanisms of the Universal Translator (a re-development of the old INRA design).

One outcome of the upsurge in Thargoid-mania is a renewed interest in the history of their disappearance from our sector of the Universe. When they arrive, we will know their side of the story. But from our point of view, the late Professor Innitu's theory that INRA were directly involved could explain why the police states are quite so paranoid about the alien's prospective return.

FIRST ALIEN CRAFT FOR 150 YEARS

M.C.S

There is a Thargoid ship in human space - the first since 3051 - and it is piloted by a human pilot. [MiR(PnorNPC) has been to Thargoid space, spoken with the Thargoid leaders and stayed alive long enough to return home with new trading rights, new technology and ... an entire Thargoid ship. In return for services rendered - the details of which have not yet been revealed - they have made a human-compatible version of a full Thargoid mother ship.

That much we know from Meredith Argent and the AAAI - little else has been revealed and will only come to light if the ship and its new commander can survive the armed might of the Federal/Imperial alliance. Every Naval ship in space is converging on the system where the alien craft was last seen and there is likely to be a battle like nothing we have ever seen.

In the old days, Thargoid technology used to be good. It was good enough to defeat most of the Navy for most of the time. The question now is whether it has improved significantly over the last century and a half to the point where the Commander at the helm can defeat all of the Navy all of the time.

Watch this space.

THE LEADING EDGE?

M.C.S

The forward edge of the Thargoid invading force has entered our space. Reports of a single ship bearing Thargoid identification marks are flooding in from various Edge regions. Elite pilots of the INRA Systems Defence Force have been directed to the area with orders to kill on sight but so far contact has been minimal and the alien has taken evasive action on each occasion, avoiding direct confrontation.

Naval strategists believe this is the first part of an elaborate feint to cover the imminent arrival of a massed attack force in another part of the Galaxy and have not ruled out a hyper space attack directed into the Inner Core. This may seem unlikely but we have no knowledge of the advances in Thargoid technology since the last Thargoid War and we must prepare for every eventuality.

All Federal ships are warned to beware of a roving single Thargoid piloted by [MiR(PnorNPC) and to maintain constant vigilance against the arrival of a full scale war fleet.

NAVY WARDS OFF ALIEN ATTACK

M.C.S

His Excellency has issued a proclamation of thanks to those Naval pilots, seconded to the INRA Systems Defence Force who gave of their lives in defence of their Emperor. Seventeen pilots lost their lives in a savage attack by alien ships in the far reaches of the Northern Sector.

The exact number of attacking ships is unknown but the Imperial Forces were severely outnumbered and fought with exemplary skill, losing only a small number of their squadron. The newly practised mass-manoeuvres are apparently extremely efficient and Naval tacticians are adding minor features to improve the safety of the attack formations.

All pilots will be recalled to Facece in rotation and given seminars in multiple ship manoeuvres which will ensure that when the main force of the Thargoid attack fleet arrives in our space, we will drive them back with minimal loss of Imperial lives. There will be a posthumous award ceremony for the dead hosted by His Excellency from his Defence bunker at Capitol. Date and time to be announced. Commanders are reminded that it is now an Offence against the Empire to attack a Federation ship and that any ship known to have done so will be destroyed on return to Imperial Space.

FLYERS ZAPPED (GOTCHA - AGAIN?!?)

M.C.S

One ship versus the entire massed forces of the Empire and the Federation. We wonder if our intrepid friend, the Commander of the Argent's Quest isn't by now feeling a touch paranoid - and remember, pal, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you... In a very short space of time, our friend [MiR(PnorNPC) has gone from a nobody flying harmlessly in space, shooting up the odd asteroid and hijacking the occasional courier to the most wanted pilot in the history of time - AND the only person in the Universe ever to see the inside of a Thargoid ship and survive.

YES, it's TRUE. A human in a Thargoid ship. Rumours from the Edge say that our happy flying friend has got hold of a real, working, flying Thargoid mother ship - or as close as you can get and still breathe the air. But how long will it last??

How long do YOU think the Thargoid's new Commander will live before the Navy get their sights lined up and press the trigger so hard the ship melts into nowhere?? MAIL us NOW with your estimated survival time to the nearest forty eight hours and we'll see to it that the closest one gets a piece of the ship when they bring the bits home.

Now THAT'S a prize worth going for.

ONE SMALL STEP FOR HUMAN KIND...

M.C.S

The final stages of one of the Galaxy's most audacious long-term projects is drawing to a close. Meredith Argent and Mic Turner worked together for over four decades, locating, colonising, in places terra-forming, a set of systems in the Northern Edge from which to launch a comprehensive systematic survey to locate the Thargoid bases.

Between them, Argent and Turner designed, built and tested the 'Quest' set of ships equipped as none other in our Galaxy to be capable of carrying one human into Thargoid territory - and to survive the experience. Mic Turner died in the attempt - murdered by the head of the INRA counter-intelligence service while returning from one of the Thargoid Forward Bases.

In spite of the loss of a life-long partner, Argent continued with the task, recruited [MiR(PnorNPC) and pushed the mission to its planned conclusion.

That conclusion is with us now. [MiR(PnorNPC) has returned to the Edge with the most tangible evidence yet of the ultimate success of the venture - an intact Thargoid ship, re-designed for human use.

The Management of the AAAI have reported that the Thargoid leaders are in communication and that they are prepared to honour non-aggression treaties with the Alliance of Independent States.

We have success.

STALEMATE

M.C.S

So far so good. Thargoid technology is every bit as good as it used to be, if not better and [MiR(PnorNPC) has survived against supposedly insuperable odds. The INRA fleet has withdrawn to re-examine their strategies, to fire or decapitate(respectively) the Admirals and Princes in charge of their military failure and consider their next move.

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Independent States and the AAAI have appointed Meredith Argent and Dr Kit Silver Professor of Alien Studies at the Ghandi Institute (Alioth) to act as Galactic Ambassadors to the Thargoid people. One of the remaining 3 'Quest' class ships has been commissioned as an Ambassadorial craft.

This incarnation, named the 'Sappho's Quest', will shortly be dispatched with Argent and Silver on board to the region surrounding the nearby Thargoid Systems in an effort to arrange the necessary pacts, treaties and exchange of cultural values before the Thargoid fleet returns to this part of the Galaxy. With this in mind, the Alioth Institute has compiled a history of the Galaxy and a list of essential data with which to explain human politics, psychology and cultural attributes. Included in this will be a complete file of Frontier News back copies.

Those with ideas for other contributions should contact the Thargoid Action Station (TAS) at the Institute immediately.

TRUCE

M.C.S

Following the recent upsurge in violence in the Northern Edge, the Thargoid incursion into our territory has been successfully contained and the joint Field Marshalls and Chiefs of Staff have issued orders to the INRA pilots, and all others flying under Federal or Imperial flags to avoid engagement with the enemy until such time as a diplomatic settlement can be reached - or until it becomes plain that peace is impossible and we are required to re-commence the war.

Diplomatic staff from the joint Federal and Imperial War Group are travelling post haste towards the Northern Edge in an effort to negotiate a diplomatic settlement that will avoid further bloodshed. We are not, by nature, aggressive, but we must retain our right to protect our cities, our homes and our trading routes from the unwarranted aggression of those who do not share our dedication to true democracy and real family values.

If the aliens can be persuaded to relinquish their territory-grabbing instincts, we fully believe that they can, in time, be taught the virtues of a free democratic society led by market forces where the freedom of the individual is paramount. We will give them every chance to do so but they must be in no doubt that we will take whatever means necessary to preserve our way of life.

EMPEROR IMPOSES PEACE

M.C.S

The superior technical and tactical skill of the Imperial Navy has once again brought our enemy to the brink of defeat. We have the aliens cornered and they are sickening of the fight. The massed ships of the Imperial Navy have surrounded the Thargoid fleet, containing their aggressive intent and ensuring that no Imperial citizen has been exposed to unnecessary risk.

Our Emperor's non-violent philosophy has halted the needless slaughter, instead his Excellency has imposed a truce and called for a round of pan-galactic negotiations to ensure a genuine and lasting peace in our time. Imperial diplomatic experts and members of the High Legislate are meeting now to choose delegates who can ensure that the traditional Imperial values are maintained and that our allies are not tempted to deviate towards a less balanced and honourable viewpoint in the forthcoming negotiations.

One hundred and eighty three pilots of the Imperial Naval Protection force were honoured, some of them posthumously, at a ceremony led by his Excellency from the Command centre on Capitol. All of those named have now been granted non-combatant roles in specialised command centres throughout the Empire.

THARGOID SHIP STILL FLYING

M.C.S

Well, all those of you who thought that [MiR(PnorNPC) wouldn't last out the month were WRONG. That rules out the 90% of you who replied to our last article saying that the new Thargoid ship wouldn't last more than two pico-seconds against the massed lasers of our intrepid INRA fighters.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

The Thargoid ship out-thought, outflew and out-fired everything the Navy could throw at it and escaped without a scratch. Now the Naval types have gone into a tail spin and have pulled everything out of the way before they see any more of their beautiful ships (not to mention their totally expensive pilots) melted into space-dust on the end of a Thargoid-built laser.

All of a sudden, we have talks of a truce, ship-loads of diplomats rushing back and forwards like the proverbial headless androids and the big-wigs in the Navy have taken to discussing tactics in darkened rooms with a lot of dream-ware technology to hand. From the look of things, we can expect to see scrillions of the tax-payers hard-earned credits going down the sink as 'diplomatic expenses' while they all sit around the tropical pools on New California (Quiness) sipping Pure-Cold Crater Juice and talking about the state of the Galaxy and how things are not what they used to be (what with the collapse of real family values and all....)

The question now is - will the wily aliens want to join in OR will they just go right ahead and blow us all to bits?

Let us know what YOU think on the standard mail line.

WHO WANTS PEACE?

M.C.S

We think they doth protest too much. The war-mongers of Empire and Federation have turned to peacemakers overnight ... and all because the warship fights too well.

In serious terms, the Naval leaders have had a severe shock - a single alien ship, albeit piloted by human rather than alien hands, has held off the INRA battle wing single handed. Extrapolating from that to the potential effect of an entire Thargoid war fleet doesn't look good on anybody's tactical graphs. Quite simply, the Navy would be comprehensively (and very rapidly) overwhelmed - and if the Thargoids were actually as aggressive as the paranoids think, the entire human population would follow it into massed oblivion.

The Federal/Imperial Coalition are rushing to start diplomatic talks- but they have yet to persuade anyone in the Alliance of Independent States to join them and there is, so far, no sign of the Thargoids - anywhere. Argent and Silver, acting as ambassadors for the AIS, are leaving soon in another of the 'Quest' class ships (newly named as the 'Sappho's Quest') in an attempt to reach the Thargoid Home systems before the aliens dispatch an exploratory fleet towards human space.

The Federation and the Empire can sit at home and negotiate with each other for as long as they like - nobody's going anywhere for quite a while.

AIS/AAAI DIPLOMATIC QUEST

M.C.S

Reports from the AAAI headquarters confirm that the 'Sappho's Quest' with Meredith Argent and Kit Silver (from the Alien Studies Institute at Alioth) has succeeded in making contact with the Thargoids. The Quest encountered the leading edge of the alien fleet deep in the Northern unexplored Zone.

Argent and Silver were invited to dock the Quest with the Thargoid mother ship and a communication link was established that allowed the human and alien ambassadors to speak with each other face to face for the first time in Galactic memory.

Details of the discussions have yet to be released but it is clear that both sides see a way forward to peaceful co-existence. The Thargoids have accepted that we have our own internal political differences and that, whereas the Alliance of Independent States can make guarantees of peace, the ambassadors couldn't make a similar promise for the Imperial and Federal forces.

The no-fire agreement therefore extends only as far as Independent ships and Commanders are urged to ensure that they fly only under full AIS identification and that, while doing so, they should NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES fire on a Thargoid ship.

Any pilot found to have transgressed will be subject to immediate Court Martial.

THE FRAGILE TRUCE

M.C.S

A third Inter-Galactic war is still imminent. In spite of the efforts of our diplomats to bring the aliens to the negotiating table, there is so far no sign that they intend to open discussions with our political leaders. Thargoid Mother ships have been sighted in a number of Edge zones and reports confirm that they will attack without provocation or warning.

Their tactics remain similar to the previous Thargoid War - each Mother ship is capable of spawning an apparently endless number of Thargons which will attack without concern for their own safety. Pilots are warned not to attempt to engage any Thargoid unless they have support from at least five other ships of either Federal or Imperial allegiance to provide support.

In this instance, a two-pronged attack focused on the Mother ship would appear to be the most effective. Entry and exit from hyper space would appear to be particularly vulnerable and you are advised to ensure that you have fuel for a second, emergency jump before entering a Thargoid trouble zone.

EMPEROR MAINTAINS HOPES FOR PEACE

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Light of Benevolence, is maintaining his vigil in the Imperial Command Centre deep beneath the Imperial Palace on Capitol. Day and night, our Emperor is striving to achieve a just and lasting peace with the aliens who have come to our space with their hearts set on war. Displaying the endless patience for which he is famed, His Excellency has set aside his grief over the death of so many courageous Naval Commanders and has offered the Thargoid leaders a chance to sit with Him and discuss our many differences.

The alien has so far declined to come to the negotiating table, preferring instead to send sporadic groups of war ships into poorly populated (and poorly defended) systems of the Outer Edge Zones. His Excellency has ordered His Pilots to restrain their righteous anger and to avoid confrontation with the enemy in order to persuade them of our peaceful intent.

Since it is not His Excellency's wish that any more of His citizens should lose their lives during this period of cold war, He has given all pilots flying under Imperial allegiance permission to return fire if attacked.

NO WAR IS A GOOD WAR

M.C.S

Still alive out there? Have you poked your head out of the bunker recently and had a look at the sky? Is it black with Thargoid mother ships spawning scrillions of nasty Thargons ready to reduce us all to carbonated water??

Ours isn't. We're still alive and, what's more, it sounds as if everybody else is too (if you don't count the odd couple of hundred Navy fighters, which we don't). Boring isn't it? There we all were, ready for a decent war to hike the prices of essential consumables and make a few arms dealers into over-night credit scrillionaires and it HASN'T HAPPENED.

Sounds as if, just this once, the diplomats may have done something useful and talked us out of the biggest war the Galaxy has ever seen. But what will we do next?? What are YOU going to do with your life now you're not about to lose it to a Thargoid with an itchy trigger tendril?

Send us your ideas for the best blow-out of the millennium - and we'll PAY for the one that sounds the most exciting.

Go for it, people. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE???!

HISTORICAL REFERENCES

M.C.S

The Thargoid fleet has reached a close enough proximity to the 'Human Inhabited Zone' for a number of other AIS delegates to join the discussions over the ways and means for our two species to share the Galaxy in peace. Sixteen representatives from member systems have boarded the 'Sappho's Quest' and are engaged in a round of negotiations designed to ensure that the wars of the past are never repeated. As part of the on-going talks, there is a full and frank exchange of information from the archives collected by both sides during the last war.

In due course, we will be able to know the facts, in detail, from both perspectives. Each side did unspeakable damage to the other and it remains to be seen whether the aliens are as prepared as we are to forgive and forget. They destroyed our homes, our trade and our ships, but we, collectively, forced them from our sector of the Galaxy and into a century and a half of internal exile.

The details of that will have to be explained, including INRA's past and current involvement in the action. We look forward to an open forum - and the eventual participation of the Federal and Imperial Coalition in the on-going peace process.

TREACHERY - TROJAN HORSES

M.C.S

The Thargoid/AIS truce, built on mutual trust and a common desire for peace has been deliberately threatened by Imperial/Federal insurgents. Last week, six ships flying under AIS colours and with trusted commanders at the helm, escorted the 'Sappho's Quest' on a return visit to the heart of the Thargoid fleet. Two of those ships then turned on the aliens, launching multiple ship to ship missiles in what proved to be a suicidal attack on the mother ship and the 'Sappho's Quest'.

The pilots were unquestionably INRA operatives. Their motive can only have been the complete destruction of the fragile trust built between our species and the aliens. They failed.

The outcome, had they succeeded in damaging a Thargoid ship could well have been different but in the event, the rapid reactions of Meredith Argent and the crew of the 'Sappho's Quest' rendered the attack harmless. Rather than having to fight for their lives, the aliens were treated instead to the sight of one human-piloted ship destroying two others in a brief but bitter dogfight.

The 'Quest', needless to say, was victorious and our negotiators boarded the Thargoid vessel only an hour later than the appointed time. The incident served, we believe, to strengthen the Thargoid's belief in our commitment to peace and also to highlight the political problems of a population divided by ideology.

The truce stands - but only just.

TRUCE BROKEN - ALIENS IN ALL-OUT ATTACK ON RESEARCH CENTRE

M.C.S

The third, and probably the last, Inter-galactic war has begun. We are living at the end of an era and none of us can predict the consequences for humanity (in all its forms). Shortly before this publication went to press, an alien battle fleet launched a surprise attack on the Inter-Gal/Sirius Medical Research Complex located near the equator of Hotice 1.

Three waves of Thargons equipped with pre-targeted nuclear missiles scored multiple direct hits on the Complex destroying it entirely and causing unspeakable devastation to the surrounding area. In scenes directly reminiscent of those from the last Thargoid War, thousands of civilian health workers were killed and many more are suffering intractable radiation burns. In a heartening display of mutual co-operation, the emergency services of both the Federation and the Empire arrived on the scene within hours of the raid and were able to evacuate a number of key workers together with samples of their most sensitive projects.

The ferocity and unprovoked nature of this attack confirms the frequent predictions of this journal that the alien race has returned with the sole intent of wiping out the human/android race. We urge you all, in the strongest possible terms, not to give way to their propaganda or their intimidation tactics.

If we stay together and fight together, we can still win this war.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Purveyor of Peace and the Lion of Battles, in consultation with the members of the Imperial High Legislate and listening to pleas from our allies in the Federation, has accepted that our best attempts at a negotiated peace settlement with the aliens has failed. The following announcement was released by the Council of the High Legislate at Noon (Capitol time) yesterday:

Last night, in a savage and entirely unprovoked series of raids, the alien Enemy attacked a wing of Naval Command ships and then went on to launch a nuclear bombing raid, completely destroying the minor civilian agricultural research plant on Hotice 1 in the Hotice system and causing terrible loss of life

His Excellency has been deeply disturbed by the ensuing scenes of appalling devastation and has sworn that those who lost their lives in this attack will not go unavenged. Accordingly, He hereby declares WAR on the Thargoid race.

Henceforth the enemy shall be sought out, hunted down and destroyed wheresoever they shall be found. His Excellency urges those unaffiliated Systems who have not yet declared their allegiance to join the side of moral ascendancy and to abjure the alien in all its ways.

There is still time to join the winning side.

WHO PAYS THE FERRYMAN?

M.C.S

Well, looks like we spoke too soon. Just when we thought that everybody was about to sit round a table with the creepy crawlies and declare peace in our time, the mean-minded offspring of Riedquatian marsh bats slink off and blow an innocent research station into a scrillion ionised particles. The ozone layer will never be the same. The eco-system of Hotice 1 is unlikely to recover. The population is in fragments, spread out in a tasteful array across the globe and all because they spent their lives dreaming up new and more lethal mini-microbes to wipe out the long-tendrilled ones.

Surprised?? We weren't.

Anyone with half an ear to the ground should have seen this one coming a long time ago. The egg-heads at the Alien Studies Institute have been telling the entire galaxy that INRA made up a really neat microbe and sent it in a parcel to Thargoids - and lo! the place where it all happens is vapourised before our very eyes. Amazing.

The real question, folks, is Who Dunnit? RIG money is on one J Saunders of the INRA counter-intelligence wing who just happens to be on vacation at the moment. Hotice isn't quite the place we'd pick to get away from it all (apart from anything else, it's horribly cold out there) but there's no accounting for taste.

Who do YOU think armed the missiles? We'll pay for a FREE FLIGHT out of the war zone for the first one to come up with a positive ID on any one of the bomber pilots involved ...

TRUCE UNDER THREAT - EDGE DECLARED AS WAR ZONE

M.C.S

The fragile truce in the Northern Edge is breaking. Fighters of the Federal-Imperial Coalition have gathered en masse in the area close to the Thargoid fleet and have begun to hunt down lone Mother ships. In addition, a single ship of unknown affiliation recently perpetrated a nuclear bombing raid on an INRA bio-genetic research station located at Hotice 1 (Hotice) with devastating results.

Negotiators dealing with the Thargoids are adamant that the aliens are, in spite of the threatened attack on their ships, entirely committed to the form and spirit of the truce. They suggest that the bombing of the research unit was the work of the INRA counter-intelligence wing and that it was designed both to destroy the evidence that would implicate INRA in the bio-genetic attack on the Thargoids in the early 3150's and to provoke a further outbreak of hostilities.

In either case, the fact remains that the truce is still under threat. BUT, we are not yet at war. It is the fervent belief of the Alliance of Independent States that the peace process should not be hampered by the iniquities of the dying political order and we urge all AIS affiliated Commanders to avoid being drawn into needless battles.

WAR

M.C.S

The war has begun. A formal declaration was made yesterday by the Imperial/Federal coalition in a statement of war broadcast to the AIS and their assumed allies, the Thargoids.

The massed navies of the opposing sides wait beyond the boundaries of inhabited space, waiting for their orders. The AIS does not want this war. We have no axe to grind, no reason to destroy millions of human lives. No wish to see half our race annihilated for the sake of petty politics. Statements have been sent to Capitol, to Mars, to Facece and to Eta Cassiopoea giving guarantees of safe passage to their ambassadors should they wish to meet and negotiate terms before the devastation begins.

Further we have made it clear that we will not launch any pre-emptive strike. It is our pledge, and that of our allies that we will not be the first aggressor. In spite of the continued INRA treachery and their attack on the Sappho's Quest, neither the AIS nor the Thargoids will attack any Federal nor Imperial target, military or otherwise. We will, however, take whatever steps necessary to defend ourselves. We advise all AIS citizens to maintain total vigilance and to report any unusual incident to their local Council offices. We request that all those with any influence in Federal and Imperial territory to exert it now.

Persuade your Regional Legislators to come to the negotiating table before hostilities escalate. It is the only hope left.

ALL OUT WAR

M.C.S

War has been declared.

Following the alien's pre-meditated attack on the Inter-Gal/Sirius Medical Research Complex, the local Federal Council and the Imperial High Legislate have issued a full declaration of war against the AIS and their allies; the Thargoid race. We wish it to be known that we do not wish this war nor the loss of life that will inevitably ensue.

Even at this late stage, we are doing what we can to negotiate with the aggressors, attempting to reach a settlement that will allow our two races, and our natural political divisions, to live side by side in harmony within the Universe. Ambassadorial craft have been sent under neutral idents to offer conditions of peace to the enemy and, whereas they have shown no inclination to negotiate prior to this, we can only hope that they are not as hell-bent on destruction as they would seem.

Bulletins will be posted when full hostilities commence but we advise all Federal citizens to maintain their war footing, to keep stocks of food and water at adequate levels and never to stray too far from an effective fall-out shelter. We have no way of knowing what weapons the enemy will use but we must assume that they will, in the least, be of similar efficacy to the current range of nuclear warheads.

Do everything you can to maintain output of essential items and do not travel beyond the Inner Core unless absolutely necessary.

EMPEROR SUES FOR PEACE

M.C.S

His Excellency, Emperor Hengist Duval, Lord of all He surveys, in consideration of the lives of His people and in the understanding of the terrible devastations of war to both sides, is making one last effort to persuade the alien Enemy to withdraw from the brink of war.

It is His belief, following deep deliberations with those most trusted in the High Legislate, that there is no possible way that the Thargoid and their treacherous allies, the AIS, could possibly hope to emerge from the forthcoming conflict with their navies, their homes or their people intact.

His Excellency is in possession of the co-ordinates of the Thargoid home system - their equivalent of Sol. If the aliens truly wish to bring devastation to our homes and our families, then they will have to consider the possibility that the Navy of the Empire can do the same in return.

The Empire is not destructive. His Excellency has no wish to bring death to those innocent of destruction. But it is His belief that the evil must be attacked at its source and He will use whatever force He feels necessary to protect His People.

Imperial Guard commanders have been issued with the necessary protective equipment and will issue it to local citizens in order of rank and worth. You will be advised individually when you are required to present yourselves for delivery.

THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH...

M.C.S

Well, it might be time to find a new religion. Alternatively those of you who have been telling the rest of us that the end was nigh... Now's the time to get on your high horses and say 'TOLD YOU SO'.

We won't love you for it. We probably won't even believe in your dogma. But at least you'll have the fun, just this once, of being right. The end of the world IS nigh.

On the other hand, if we can work out which world is going to get it in the neck and make sure we're RIGHT at the OTHER SIDE of the Galaxy, we'll be fine.

So, those of you with a hot-line to the heavens or a sure-fire contact inside the AIS, INRA or the Imperial High Legislate, now is the time to tap it for all it's worth. And we offer you a new incentive.

MAIL US with the info so that we can get the !!!! out of here before the fireworks start and we'll GIVE you our journal. Yes, all of it. Not just one lousy copy per month. You can have ownership, editorial control, the offices, the office photo-copier and the right to decide who gets whom at the annual office party.

WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR?!?! Just make sure you've got the right co-ordinates to keep our heads in one piece, that's all. Waiting to hear...

ARMAGEDDON POSTPONED

M.C.S

The Galaxy is technically at war. The Imperial/ Federal coalition has declared war on the (unconfirmed) alliance between the AIS and the Thargoid race. At the time of publication, neither side has initiated overt hostile action (if you ignore the destruction of the INRA research station) and both are making loud protestations of non-aggressive intent.

Whether there is time now for the necessary diplomatic rounds to take place before the inevitable 'Mordred Scenario' (the occasion where one warrior raises their weapon and triggers a war that was not intended by either faction) is debatable. It is our belief that limited war is inevitable but that, with suitable intervention from both sides, planetary bombardment and the wholesale destruction of civilians can be avoided. It is in the nature of the military mind to create war.

We had hoped that human evolution would eventually have reduced the desire to prove self-worth by inter-personal aggression but this would appear not to be the case. It is therefore inevitable that those who wish to fight, and who join the navies of either side out of choice, will continue to attack whatever enemy is presented. We suggest therefore, that a Limited Space War, while inconvenient to the process of trade on the fringes of the civilized zone, is inevitable and should be accepted while those who wish to continue in peace should remain in the Inner Core.

LIMITED HOSTILITIES ON OUTER EDGES

M.C.S

Diplomatic negotiations have begun on New California (Quiness) with the sole intent of preventing widespread loss of life amongst civilians in the Inner Core. It is already too late to prevent inter-naval warfare on the edges: an INRA attack fleet has destroyed a wing of AIS mixed Tiercel and Merlin fighter craft and has fired on a small group of Thargoid mother ships on the fringes of the Northern Edge.

The aliens retaliated in self-defence and are believed to have destroyed over 90% of the INRA fleet, the remaining 10% being left to return to Facece and Eta Cassiopoea with their flight recorders intact as a permanent demonstration of superior Thargoid fighting power. Additionally, in the last month, individual craft of all affiliations have reported attacks by members of the opposing side. Pilots and Commanders not directly involved with the war effort are reminded to take extreme care and to make positive identifications of adjacent ship in all cases.

Non essential flights are not recommended.

NAVIES CLASH IN EASTERN FRONTIER

M.C.S

The ships of the combined Federal and Imperial Navies have made successful sorties against Thargoid mother ships found in the poorly inhabited region beyond the Eastern Frontier. A cluster of ships were found surrounding a small planet in an unnamed system close to Gretiwa (2,11). Two ships were within the planetary atmosphere and were observed to be landing smaller craft down to the planetary surface. Naval strategists believe that the aliens may have been attempting to alter the atmosphere as a prelude to ammoniation - the Thargoid equivalent of terra formation.

Settlers in outer planets throughout the Edge are warned to report the presence of Thargoid ships close to their planet and to resist landing by whatever means possible. Ground to air missiles will be made available for minimal cost at Federal strategic centres and can be collected at any time. Federal fighters are reminded that shields should be kept to maximum charge at all times and are advised not to attack non-AIS ships unnecessarily.

Negotiators from the Federal Diplomatic Authority are taking part in an emergency summit at New California (Quiness) discussing terms for a permanent cessation of hostilities. Developments will be reported as they occur.

IMPERIAL SHIPS DESTROY THARGOID INSURGENTS

M.C.S

Ships transferred from the Second (Internal) Protectorate, in concert with a detachment of Federal Elite fighter pilots from Eta Cassiopoea, have successfully ambushed and destroyed a wing of mixed Thargoid and AIS Naval ships. In a carefully controlled action, a selected group of ships presented themselves to the enemy and then hyper spaced to safety leaving the remains of the attack wing to annihilate the opposition. The action took place on the outer reaches of the Western Rim and pilots are warned to avoid the area unless fully armed and travelling in groups of over a dozen ships.

Reports from other edge zones reveal similar successes for Imperial fighters but Naval Commanders warn that the Enemy are becoming increasingly aggressive and have begun to attack non-military convoys. Several Pirate galleons are known to have vanished from their usual hunting grounds and it is assumed that Thargoid attack ships are responsible.

In spite of the continued hostilities, His Excellency, the Seeker of Peace has dispatched His most senior advisors to New California (Quiness) to participate in the discussions taking place between those committed to peace in the Imperial and Federal Commands and those of AIS affiliation wishing to bring an alien-induced war to our Galaxy. It is His dearest wish that a way to peace may be found and He has instructed His diplomats to explore every avenue to secure safety for His people.

Those between the ranks of Lord and Viscount may now apply to their local Imperial Guard for personal safety equipment.

I WAS THAT SOLDIER...

M.C.S

Well, interesting, isn't it? Read all about it - the Navies of the Galaxy are busy trashing each other left right and centre (well, not much in the centre yet, but we can all see it coming) and the Thargoids are dying like midge-squits in a fall out zone - or not, depending on which side you're on...

We have a question. Has anybody seen a single burnt out ship? Or met a pilot who's had more than a passing skirmish with one of the tendrilled terrors.

Nope. Neither have we. Of course they ARE out there. There are pictures to prove it. We've all seen lots of shiny new Thargoid ships that look as if their ship designers have spent all those years in exile producing really neat exteriors - and, no doubt, the interiors to go with them. BUT we defy you to find ANYONE who's been in a REALLY BIG battle.

It hasn't happened, people. You're being mushrooms again. The small pink porkers are flying past the windows, the moons are turning, as we write, to an interesting shade of cobalt and we are about to be given user-definable gravity (no idea why you'd want that, but somebody just put it on their list to the solstice fairy ...)

We reckon that the fat-cats are sitting round the jacuzzi on New California eyeing up the local talent and devising the biggest scam since they scrapped two-party politics. Anyone with any idea what it is?? Mail us NOW. and we'll send you a free bag of fertiliser.

(Of course, there is always the chance that we're wrong ...)

THARGOIDS TO JOIN NEGOTIATIONS

M.C.S

A limited war continues on the Outer Edges. Pilots of both sides are returning with definite kills recorded and both navies will acknowledge, in private, to having heavy sustained losses in the first month of hostilities. The AIS would appear to have the upper hand, at least for the time being. They have, not only the support of the Thargoids, but also a number of novel weapons designed by the military engineers at the New Rossyth Shipyard which are being put through their paces in live action tests and would appear to be standing up well to the rigours of combat. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that the Federal and Imperial diplomats were keen to come to the negotiating table.

An emergency summit was convened at New California (Quiness) with senior diplomats from all three powers in attendance. A basic format has been drawn up for a negotiated settlement, however, it has become obvious to all concerned that, in the absence of a representative from the Thargoid visitors, any agreement is meaningless. It has therefore been decided that Meredith Argent (who was present at the negotiations) will request that such a representative be present at the next round of talks. The logistic problems of human/Thargoid negotiation are not insignificant but it has been done once before and, provided that the members of the various teams are prepared to board a Thargoid ship, should be possible in the future.

THARGOID DIPLOMACY

M.C.S

Following the successful round of negotiations on New California (Quiness), a second meeting of representatives from all three human powers is to be held on a Thargoid ship in the region close to the Alioth (0,4). The Thargoids have given promises of safe conduct to all concerned and have guaranteed that the conditions on board the ship will be suitable for the human emissaries. It is their wish that they be involved in the full process of a negotiated peace and that we find a way to settle such political and species differences as have in the past blocked the way to peace.

Our different biologies (the Thargoids evolved in a low temperature, ammonia based environment) are such that face to face negotiation will be impossible, however, they have technology that will allow a satisfactory degree of interaction.

Given the previous experiences of both [MiR(PnorNPC) and Meredith Argent, there is an adequate precedent to believe that we are on the verge of the first inter-species peace treaty ever signed.

ALIENS ENGINEER MEETING

M.C.S

For the first time in the history of the Galaxy, human ambassadors from both the Federation and the Empire will meet representatives of an alien race aboard a ship converted to serve the needs of both species. Full guarantees of safe passage were given to all concerned and there is thought to have been an exchange of hostages to ensure that the representatives come to no harm during the meeting.

All communications will take place on a specifically altered Thargoid ship in deep space to the North of the Edge. The ultimate aim is to find common ground within which it will be possible for both political sides and both species to live amicably within the Galaxy. The immediate aim is a cessation of the war that has been taking place on the Edge zones and that is threatening to engulf the Inner Core. As a gesture of goodwill, all Federal Naval Commanders have been ordered to withdraw from the battle zones and given orders not to fire unless attacked. This temporary cease-fire will remain in place until such time as negotiations are either complete or are known to have broken down.

Individual Commanders are requested to do nothing that will exacerbate and already tense situation.

EMPEROR TO GREET THE ALIENS

M.C.S

His Excellency the Warrior of the People and the Purveyor of Peace has accepted an invitation to meet with the aliens. As a unique gesture of His heartfelt desire to avoid another Intra-galactic War, His Excellency is prepared to risk his own life inn conversation with the enemy.

For the first time in Imperial history, a member of the Royal Household will step on board an alien ship, accept alien hospitality and give time to the consideration of alien views. It is His intention to offer the alien trading rights within the Empire and, as a gesture of goodwill, he has taken with Him a number of Imperial ships laden with the best that the Empire (and therefore the Galaxy) can produce.

Five members of the High Legislate will accompany His Excellency, together with a number of academicians from the Imperial University, all of whom are well versed in the ways of the alien and all of whom have had experience of conveying the intricacies of human culture, philosophy and culture to those with no previous understanding. In understanding of the enormity of the events taking place, the fighter pilots of the Imperial Navy have been ordered to cease their continual attacks on the enemy and to maintain safe positions until such time as His Excellency revokes or amends the order.

All individual Imperial fighters are also ordered to honour His Excellency's truce. Failure to do so will be considered treason.

RUNNING SCARED

M.C.S

So - our friends with the twirly tendrils have offered to make a ship with a nice, breathable, oxygen atmosphere and warmer-than-liquid-ammonia interior fittings. They've sent out gold-edged invitations to everyone who is anyone in the super-stratosphere of Inter-System Diplomacy (which is to say they've looked at the guest list of the Hilt-Inn at Edenside, New California and printed out the names of everyone who's stayed there for more than a week per year for the last decade) and they're searching around for the Pure-Cold Crater Juice and the fish spawn to make them all feel right at home.

If they've any sense, they'll build an interior therma-pool and have some DreamWare on tap just to make them feel as if they're real Diplomats. Rumour has it that His Effulgence will be there to get his two-credit's worth but we'll believe that one when we see the vids - and probably not even then (how many decoy Emperors are there??? If anyone knows the REAL number, do tell ...).

Wilder rumours say he's out to get his grubby paws on a trading monopoly for the Empire but, of course, we know he's too broad-minded to do a thing like that. At any rate, the fat-cats are having a wild party and we may even see an end to the war they've been wringing their hands about for so long now.

Is anyone giving good odds on the chances of THIS truce lasting??

AMBASSADORIAL MISSION

M.C.S

The Federal and Imperial Ambassadors of State have joined Meredith Argent and Kit Silver in the Thargo-human ship that has been stationed on the fringes of the Northern Edge since the visiting Thargoid fleet first arrived in close proximity to human space. The negotiations at Quiness succeeded in reducing the ferocity of the space war taking place on the outer Edges if not halting it entirely (it is in circumstances like this that the absolute failure of either set of Authorities to control their individual Commanders becomes most evident.

However, the latest truce remains intact in spirit, if not in form.) The meeting is the first ever to take place between the aliens and those of the Federal and Imperial High Commands who gave the repeated orders for their destruction over the years. There is bound to be a degree of acrimony in the early stages. Nevertheless, the Thargoid commanders have shown every willingness to forgive and forget and a Federal spokes being promised a 'full and frank' exchange of views. We therefore feel optimistic that there can be some meeting of minds and that a compromise settlement can be found which will allow all four political/species groupings to live together in reasonable harmony.

In the meantime, [MiR(PnorNPC) and Meredith Argent are the only two humans to have full trading rights granted. Neither of them has revealed the location of the alien home systems and hence no other human, even supposing they felt inclined to take the risk, will be able to instigate direct trading. The potential for profiteering is, of course, enormous. It remains to be seen whether either Commander will take advantage of the situation.

NEGOTIATIONS SUCCESSFUL

M.C.S

Negotiations were completed recently between the representatives of the Thargoid race, the AIS, the Federation and the Empire. The terms of the agreement allow Thargoids to inhabit areas adjacent to human space with the specific proviso that they avoid ammoniating human-populated planets and with a concurrent agreement that no more ammonia-based planets will be terra-formed by any member of any system or Corporation.

Areas of high Thargoid population will be deemed to be under their control and will pay such taxes as are required for proper policing and local amenities. Similarly, any Thargoid-populated planet within and otherwise human system will be subject to the local laws as if human-based. Trading links have yet to be hammered out in any detail but there will provision will be made for alien interaction at priority trading sites throughout the Galaxy and Thargoids will be permitted to trade as if human at these sites. The possibility of human traders entering Thargoid-stations is under review.

Representatives of all three human political factions have signed non-aggression treaties and the Federal/Imperial coalition is expected to dissolve in the absence of a common enemy. All pilots are warned that to attack a Thargoid ship is fatal. They have reserved the right to return fire if under threat.

TRADING RIGHTS ESTABLISHED

M.C.S

The six Federal Ambassadors of State have returned safely from the Thargoid ship following the lengthy round of talks concerning the outcome of the recent Galactic War. The truce has now been transferred to a 'peace state' and Commanders previously affiliated to the Navy are warned that old alliances may now only be maintained at the discretion of those directly involved and may be over-ridden by their commanding officers. In addition, it is to be made clear to pilots of all levels that the Thargoid no longer constitutes the Enemy and is not to be attacked without reason. For obvious reasons, all sides have reserved the right to return fire if attacked.

All Commanders are requested to bear in mind that the aliens constitute a new trading partner and that all past grievances, however painful on a personal level, should be buried in the interests of Inter-species harmony. Agreements have further been made that no ammonia-based planets will be terra formed and that systems containing such planets will be left for Thargoid colonisation. Additionally, any attempt by a Thargoid Ship to initiate cooling or ammoniation of a planet with a predominantly oxygen atmosphere should be reported to the High Council in order that the necessary steps may be taken.

Trading details will be specified at a future date.

EMPEROR ACHIEVES DIPLOMATIC COUP

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Supreme Merchant, has achieved the greatest ever diplomatic coup in the history of the Galaxy. As so often before, actions speak louder than words and the supreme skill of the fighter pilots of the Imperial Protectorates complemented the oratory skill of His Excellency and the combination of the two together succeeded in bringing the aliens to the negotiating table. As a result, Imperial traders will have a monopoly on Thargoid goods, including cultural artefacts, technological developments and ships parts. Specific translators will be installed at key Imperial trading posts and the aliens will begin shipping goods as soon as preparations are complete.

In return, His Excellency has offered full access to the wealth of Imperial shipyard technology. There is also an agreement permitting the alien to alter the atmosphere on a number of outer planets currently under Imperial control in order that there may be Thargoid-compatible worlds in close enough proximity to the heart of the Empire to enhance trading.

His Excellency has therefore let it be known that the Thargoid are now our trading partners and that any Imperial Commander known to have attacked a Thargoid ship will be court -martialled for High Treason against the Person of the Emperor.

WHO GETS THE GOLDEN GOOSE??

M.C.S

It's the Midas touch. The Cresus factor. The smell of newly laundered credit lingering in the nostrils. The one thing that cheers politicians, demagogues and dictators more than the sight of their Navies lined up for battle is the thought of the all that lovely money. Having their ships trashed obviously brought them all to their senses and one can safely assume that the level headed-tendrilled ones had a truly mind-boggling display of goodies ready when the fat-cats boarded the ship.

Imagine the scene: You are lounging by a fake pool, just like the one you left behind on dear old New California. The water's warm, the air is heavy with the lingering scent of someone else's pheromones and the Pure-Cold is ... pure and cold. A nice-minded Thargoid hands you a new design of Dream-Cube and suddenly, before your very mind's eye, there's an apparition.

It's yourself, transformed to be MD of the biggest Thargoid Emporium the Galaxy has ever seen. Thargoid technology beyond your wildest imaginings is flowing through your warehouses and out to the waiting arms of the Galaxy. Who needs Goldskin when there's Thargo-gold around? Who wants a Riedquatian mousemat coat when you could spend your hard-earned dosh on a genuine Tharg-human translator that fits the palm of your hand? Who is about to become the richest being in the Universe. (Yes, we know - it's the Tharg who sells you this lot, but do you think that's in the dream?? Dream on, gnat brain.)

So they couldn't wait to put their paw prints on the dotted line and suddenly we're all friends together (again). But how long do we think it's going to last? About as long as it takes to ship the first consignment of goodies. Then there'll be chaos ...

Time to hide again, people. Find yourselves a bunker and don't pay for ANYTHING that hasn't been authenticated.

NAVAL WAR TO TRADE WAR?

M.C.S

The recent negotiations completed on the Thargoid ambassadorial ship would appear, in the first instance, to have been successful. All parties have returned to their political bases with firm agreements of peace and inter-species trading links. All have given personal guarantees (for what they are worth) of non-aggression and it is reasonable to assume that the Navies of the respective sides will have their orders amended accordingly. Whether individual traders, pirates, couriers and bounty hunters consider it worth honouring the agreements of others remains to be seen and it is likely that the Thargoids will have to assume at least the same degree of aggression as is currently prevalent in the outer, lightly policed, zones. Having said that, recent experience would suggest that to attack a Thargoid mother-ship in anything less than a 'Quest' class fighter would be suicide and Meredith Argent has shown no sign of relaxing the moratorium on further Quest production.

The most likely bone of contention in the near future is likely to be the ratification of the trading agreements. Already, the various sides are claiming monopolies and exclusive trade deals, none of which have any bearing on fact. The disparity will not come to light until the first trans-species trading post has been established. At that point, we may well find the old enmities surfacing once again.

SAUNDERS IDENTIFIED AS KAMIKAZE PILOT

M.C.S

Commander J Saunders of the INRA Counter Intelligence wing has been informally identified as one of the two pilots responsible for the suicidal attack on the Sappho's Quest during the final negotiations with the alien leaders. A pilot in one of the adjacent ship of the diplomatic convoy has informed News reporters that the leading support ship flared a message on all wavebands declaring the pilot to be Saunders and stating in no uncertain terms that the missile attack on the Sappho's Quest was part of a personal vendetta against Meredith Argent. In view of this, the Knighthood conferred on Saunders as a posthumous gesture by the Imperial High Legislate is a seriously loaded gesture, one not in any way mitigated by the withdrawal of all legal charges against Argent arising from the destruction of the NRS shipyards at the height of the recent War.

Representations have been received by the AAAI from the Federal and Imperial High Commands requesting that all charges being pursued by Argent's lawyers against INRA and its operatives be similarly dropped. The NRS management are considering the request and will respond in due course. It is likely that their decision will be influenced by the outcome of the forthcoming round of talks to finalise the location of multi-species trading posts.

INRA SUIT DROPPED AS GOODWILL GESTURE

M.C.S

As part of the on-going declaration of truce between the previously warring factions, the INRA High Command have issued instructions to the legal department of the Federal Institute of Law on Mars (Sol) requesting that they cease prosecution and withdraw all charges forthwith. Professor Arcadia of the Litigation and Jurisprudence Department has let it be known through the usual channels that the department believe the case to be sound and believe that there should be an opportunity for relatives of the late Commander Saunders to reclaim the moral high ground. It is possible that some of Saunders' remaining relatives may bring a civil action but in the meantime, all charges have been dropped. It is believed that the legal council for the opposition are now considering withdrawing all counter charges and that they are prepared to pay reparative damages for punitive slander to those closest to Saunders and therefore most affected by the slander.

On a pleasanter note, the INRA fighter attack Wing is now acting as an escort to a number of incoming Thargoid traders in an effort to reduce the likelihood of piracy on the route in through the Northern Edge. Federal traders are reminded that all alien items will be subject to full authentication by appropriate academic departments.

INRA COMMANDER WINS POSTHUMOUS AWARD

M.C.S

Commander J Saunders, one of the last casualties of the recent Inter Galactic War, is to be given the highest possible military honour at a special ceremony held at a confidential INRA site.

The Commander will be made a SUPREME KNIGHT OF THE SHINING ARC, an award commissioned specifically by His Most Beneficent Majesty, Hengist Duval, in honour of the many supreme acts of valour performed by Commander Saunders in defence of Empire and Emperor. The Commander was leader, in the last years, of the INRA Counter Intelligence Wing, devoting everything to searching out and destroying the Enemies of the Empire wherever they were to be found. During the months leading up to the War, Commander Saunders performed many acts of personal heroism and was relentless in the search for the fugitive [MiR(PnorNPC) in the stolen Argent's Quest.

The two came into conflict many times and on more than one occasion, it was only the quality of Saunders' Escape Capsule that prevented an early and disastrous death. Sadly, it was on the final mission before the end of the war that Commander Saunders was killed in action. In a mission that is still highly confidential in nature, the pilot is believed to have made a desperate (and ultimately suicidal) attack on a known Enemy of the Empire.

It is with the greatest regret that His Excellency has to award this honour posthumously but there can be no doubt that it is well deserved.

As a gesture of the magnanimity for which His Excellency is justly famous, it has been decreed that all charges against Meredith Argent of the AAAI shall be dropped pending further inquiries.

THE END OF THE GRAVY TRAIN

M.C.S

Sad, isn't it? Makes your heart bleed buckets. All the legal eagles have dropped out of orbit and come crashing down in a heap into the sharp-edged reality the rest of us live in. No more gravy train. No more credit for sitting around and dreaming up really neat ways to be nasty to your friend and ours, Meredith Argent.

So what are they all going to do, now that the war's over and there's no-one to sue for flying in places they shouldn't?? We suggest (and this is only, allegedly, our opinion) that they should start reading up on inter-species jurisprudence. What are we going to do if we find that the Thargoids don't like us eating meat? (just an example, you understand) OR they think that the Teem boar is actually a sentient species and we shouldn't have let the Big Game Hunters of the Galaxy set up hides and hunting lodges through the verdant forests of Teem.

OR even, perhaps, they might like plants.

Ever thought what would happen if the big brother of the Arctic Forests had been around when our North American ancestors were busy hacking them down with chain saws? Big Trouble. We have absolutely no idea what the long tendrilled ones are like but, as we all know - ignorance of the law is no defence.

"I'm sorry your tendrilled-ness, I didn't know I wasn't supposed to eat the potarinas..."

"Sorry, sunshine. Not good enough. It's been on the legislation since the year 399876 TE so you should have known better. I sentence you to a thousand years as an earthworm. See how you cope with that." ZAP.

Terrifying, huh? So we'll need all the legal help we can get. And now that they've nothing better to do ...

LEGAL BATTLE DECLARED A DRAW

M.C.S

The legal crisis building between Meredith Argent, owner of AAAI and current Chair of the AIS and Commander J Saunders of the INRA Counter Intelligence wing has been dropped. According to a variety of sources, Saunders is either: dead, recuperating, out on a highly confidential mission or on holiday in Valhalla (Canhocan). You can take your pick.

At any rate, the word from on high in the Federal and Imperial camps is that they don't feel Meredith Argent is a wise target for prosecution. This is a not unreasonable suggestion, Argent remains one of the key negotiators with the aliens and, as such, is well on the way to becoming one of the single most influential beings in the Galaxy. No judge in their right mind would convict anyone with that much potential power, even if they had a hand written confession and irrefutable video evidence. In a case based largely on hearsay and innuendo, there is no rational reason for continuing.

No doubt, with the circulating rumours of Saunders' death, the authorities are hoping that the case brought by Argent against INRA will similarly be allowed to lapse. Sue and Prosperr, legal council for Meredith Argent are said to be reviewing the decision but have yet to comment.

NEW ALIEN DIPLOMATIC CENTRE

M.C.S

A new diplomatic centre is to be established in order to allow human and alien interactions to be put on a formal footing. The modified Thargoid ship has, to date, been more than adequate and human delegates have left feeling that their every need both physiological and psychological, had been met. However, there is a need for a permanent station closer to the political centre of the current human inhabited areas, A variety of sites have been suggested but the obvious current choice is Fortress Culloden on Argent's Quest (Alioth), the capital of the AIS.

Representatives from the Institute of Alien studies (Alioth) are in conversation now with those amongst the aliens who have chosen to become the human-interactors and they are developing a design for a terrestrial unit suitable for both races. In the meantime, discussions continue regarding the process of trade between us. The time lag inherent in the creation of a suitable centre is such that trade will suffer unless there is a mechanism for allowing human-alien contact. There is a current design of space station that will allow the docking of both human and alien ships and this will be brought into operation in a number of key systems.

Meanwhile, [MiR(PnorNPC) remains the only human with full access to the alien home systems and their trading and cultural goods. Reports from the NRS suggest that full use will be made of this advantage while it lasts and that the AIS expects to be a beneficiary in whatever deals are made.

THARGOIDS TO FORM BASE ON EARTH (SOL)

M.C.S

With the potential increase in trading and cultural links between the Thargoids and ourselves, it has been decided that a new base catering for Thargoid needs should be established. After much deliberation, the Thargoid leaders have expressed a wish that the base should be on Earth in the Sol system, the historic birthplace of the human race and all its current antecedents. The fact that this system is under Federal jurisdiction has not escaped the notice of the alien's political leaders - they have studied human politics in depth and are well aware of the concept of a democratic system based on adherence to capitalist values, classless society and freedom of the individual within the guidelines of the State.

The practical difficulties of building a centre that will be suitable for both human and Thargoid habitation are enormous but members of the Federal Academic teams are working round the clock to develop a system that will fulfil the needs of all. Once that is complete (and the latest estimates report that construction will begin within the year) we will be able to examine more fully the possibilities of trade between our races.

CAPITOL TO HOST THARGOID EMBASSY

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Master-Trader, Purveyor of Peace, the Universal Diplomat, in consideration of the difficulties faced by the Thargoids in their attempts to make links with the human race, has instructed the Empire's master builders to construct an Ambassadorial Palace for the Thargoid leaders adjacent to his own magnificent Citadel in the heart of Capitol's most prestigious and sought-after residential area.

His Excellency's generosity is motivated by a genuine heartfelt desire to forgive the Thargoids for their past afflictions and to demonstrate in a material way the new era of open-ness, solidarity and mutual co-operation that His Excellency and the High Council feel is appropriate in this, the dawn of a new era. It is felt that the new atmosphere of co-operation is at a fragile and delicate stage and that it should be allowed to take root and grow amongst the warm and loving atmosphere that marks the life of an Imperial citizen.

It will not have escaped the notice of the Thargoid Potentates that the Empire has a strong and just leadership and that the citizens of all Imperial worlds enjoy a robust and fulfilling life style, free from the worries of personal responsibility in matters of State.

In accordance with His desire for a just and lasting peace, His Excellency has ordered his Engineers to begin construction forthwith and to ensure completion within the year.

WHO GETS THE TENDROIDS?

M.C.S

The long tendrilled-ones are going to be given somewhere to live. We feel that they can probably build their own homes without too much of a problem, they have, after all been doing it for the last who-knows-how-many millennia without the aid of the architects and engineers who brought us such functional and visual delights as the glowing pink Citadel on Capitol, the multi-layered nightmare of a Government Administrative Office on Mars and the 'interestingly utilitarian' building that houses the nerve centre of the AIS on Argent's Claim. They are also known to be giving serious thought to the ammoniation of a number of small, non-functional planets on the outer Edges of the inhabited zones which will presumably suit them very nicely once the temperature has dropped to single figure Kelvin and the oxygen has all been cleared away. The problem seems to be that the systems they have chosen currently have no allegiance and the idea that our creepy crawly companions might not want to be part of the Federation, or swear allegiance to His Mountiness or live alongside the friends of the late Mic Turner, seems to be creating waves of panic in the political centres of the high and mighty across the Galaxy.

So - the race is on to make somewhere tendro-philic at the earliest possible opportunity. To date, the Imperial deadline is closest, the hapless engineers have to get it ready by the end of the year or find themselves rowing clinker-boats through the swamps of the Urandol - if they're lucky.

Nobody has said that it has to actually be possible for a tendrilled-pal to live in it so they may succeed at least on the surface. The Federation is putting a bit of thought into the design but have declined to ask their Hexi-ships what they really want. Meredith's friends from the Alien Institute are asking loads of questions but there's no real reason to think that they've asked them if they really want to be there.

Time will tell, as ever.

FUTURE BASIS OF TRADE

M.C.S

The frantic building programmes currently under way have a basic conceptual flaw. The underlying premise of erecting a trade centre to allow alien-human trading to take place with ease is that the aliens will actually wish to trade. To date, they have made it implicit that Thargoid goods: technology and cultural artefacts will be made available to all who want them.

What has not yet been made clear is what the aliens could possibly want in return. Our technology is not entirely suitable for life in an ammonia-based atmosphere and there appears to be little market in the alien worlds for cultural artefacts of human origin.

It is obvious that the human credit system is valueless and hence there is the possibility that within a very short space of time, we will be left with a trading void. It may be that we can yet find something of worth but it will require a far deeper understanding of the alien philosophy and culture. Otherwise, it begins to seem likely that we are in exactly the same situation as ancient, non-technical cultures on Earth with the arrival of the relatively techno-centric, white, western explorers in the second millennium.

In those cases 'trade beads' of no value at all to the incomers were given as largesse to the natives. The only thing that they had to give in return was land and it was taken whether they wanted to give it or not. There is, as yet, no suggestion that the aliens have any designs on our systems, our planets, our cities, but we have a long way to go before we can understand the motivations of those with whom we share the galaxy.

NAME CHANGE ??

M.C.S

The alien delegation currently in conversation with Kit Silver and the others from the Alien Studies Institute has begun to look at the linguistic differences between our races. The contrasts are enormous and it will be the work of several (human) lifetimes to begin to unravel the complexities of the alien communication methods. In the meantime, the aliens are looking at our language and the first aspect, as one would expect, has been to look at our nomenclature concerning them.

They are concerned with the epithet 'Thargoid' as a means of identifying their race in its entirety. The origin of the word is obscure and comes from the period, several centuries ago, when the first ammonia-world was terra-formed and the aliens initially became known within our Universe. Whatever its original meaning, the word has come to denote the 'Universal Enemy' and is widely used as a form of abuse within the human population. This is a source of some concern to the alien leaders and they are working on deriving a less derogatory variant.

Ideas welcome.

TRADE CENTRE TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN ANTARCTICA

M.C.S

The New Trade Expo to be used as a basis for human - alien co-operation is to be based in Antarctica on the southern pole of Earth, the ancestral home of human-kind. Several dozen Federal-trained architects and engineers are working round the clock to have the centre ready for an inaugural ceremony in the depth of the next Antarctic winter.

Meanwhile, cultural connections are being built with the alien. The major differences in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry between our races are the most obvious starting point and biologists from a number of Federal Academies have requested permission to board the 'mixed-species' craft currently located near the Northern Edge.

In the longer term, the more nebulous areas of cultural belief, politics and philosophy will open themselves to exploration. We fully expect to develop deep links with our galactic neighbours and advise all Federal citizens to consider taking courses in alien interaction as soon as they become widely available. The Federal Academy of the Fifth Age based on Mars (Sol) will be forming a modular home study course in the near future and details will be posted on your bulletin boards.

CAPITOL BASE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

M.C.S

Building is under way of the Alien Trading Centre next to the Imperial Citadel on Capitol. His Excellency has examined the plans in detail and, after making a number of excellent suggestions for alterations, has given His approval and has ordered work to begin. The aliens have made known their delight with the plan and are already considering a trading monopoly with the Empire as the obvious way forward in alien-human interactions.

As part of the on-going development of fraternal links, His Excellency has been giving some thought to appropriate methods of honouring our new brothers-in-space and it is His decision that they should be granted territorial rights, in conjunction with the Empire of a number of Imperial planets with atmospheres suitable for ammoniation.

These areas will be defined in the near future and Imperial citizens in the region will be informed of their new status as Thargoid colonies as appropriate.

IT'S A VIRUS ...

M.C.S

Well, we've been calling them Tendrons for years but that wasn't good enough. There is even a suggestion that our cold-loving friends may not actually have tendrils at all. Who knows. Who has actually seen one?

Nope. Not us.

All anyone has ever seen (unless they're keeping VERY quiet about it) is a message on a screen, a load of human-interactive dream ware and an awful lot of ships. Of course, your friend and ours [MiR(PnorNPC) has seen the inside of a ship but there's no indication that there was a frolicking nest of happies inside it.

We have a new theory. They don't really exist. They are, in fact an aberration of the multiple ship-board computers. How do you see them? On your view screen (computer). How do you talk to them? Through your on-board messaging system (computer). How do they show you they don't like you? They fry all your shields and then blow you to vapour - but all you know is that there's a ship shape on your screen and you die. They're a massive computer virus, people, nothing more.

All you need to do is some serious re-programming of the direct, physical kind and - no more chilled-out creepies. NO more trade either - but then we all know that's never going to happen, don't we??

'Course, we could be wrong. But it's worth a thought....

LANGUAGE AS AN EXPRESSION OF BELIEF

M.C.S

It has long been known that language follows culture and that the linguistic development of a race often moves in a step-like mode, following the military or other cultural cataclysms that afflict it. For the first time in human development, we now have the opportunity to inter-act with another species at a conscious level, to examine their world-view and to match its development against our own without the pressures of war and the oppression of the victor over the victim as an incentive.

The cultural opportunities available to us now are enormous and we urge every galactic citizen to make full use of whatever data are forthcoming. Development continues in the putative 'new trading centres' in the three political powers, however, as previously stated, we doubt whether there will be sufficient requirement for counter-trade for these to be viable.

ANOTHER SPECIES?

M.C.S

Further details of Thargoid cultural history are coming to light as the co-operative team on the trans-species ship currently sitting North of the Edge are able to communicate in more depth with our newly re-discovered galactic neighbours.

They are, as predicted by Professor Innitu, inherently peaceable although there appears to have been a long history of warfare in the period before the beginning of what it so be renamed the First Trans-Galactic Conflict (previously known as the Thargoid Wars). In an era corresponding to the second millennium and expanding into the early part of the third, the Thargoids were in a constant state of armed conflict.

What is not yet clear from the details made available is whether the war was inter or intra species - that is, whether Tharg was fighting Tharg (Different races? Different Species? Different cultures? Different politics?) for dominance of a small sector of space or whether there was another, unnamed species involved.

IF the latter was the case, then we must ask ourselves the question: do they still exist? If so, how are they? If not, how and why were they destroyed?

COMMON HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

M.C.S

Both sentient Galactic species share, it seems, a common history of violence. The difference is that whereas humanity confined itself to wiping out members of its own species in the hundreds of thousands in the name of religion and progress, the Thargoids wiped out an entire sentient species. The full details of the past are not clear yet. In fact, it is not entirely obvious whether the 'third race' is genuinely extinct or whether they have merely retreated out of range.

The Thargoid's suggestion is that the third race is aggressive in intent, that it is being held back by fear of our joint technology and that it is likely to attack once more when it believes that its own technology has progressed to the point where it would win an all-out Galactic conflict. Their fear is that if the human/android race explores far beyond the current confines of inhabited space (as is likely once alien technology becomes widely available) then we may be at risk of attack and may even provoke a 'third race' attack on our relatively unprotected sector of the Galaxy.

The alien inter-actors have been at pains to point out that they have no wish whatsoever to enter into any further conflict, with ourselves or any other sentient species and they would almost certainly avoid taking part in any such war unless their own home systems was under direct threat. That leaves us in an almost identical position to the one we were in a short time ago: there are sentients out there, we don't know where they are and we don't know what they want, but there's every chance that they will come and get us - sometime. In view of this, we advise that Federal citizens think carefully before travelling outwith the current safe zone.

EMPEROR QUERIES EMPORIUM

M.C.S

His Excellency, Hengist Duval, has ordered the closure, pending a thorough investigation, of the Danaslov Alien Emporium of Rake's Avenue, Capitol. It has come to the notice of His Majesty that the proprietors of the above named establishment were profiteering from the misfortunes of our new Allies, the Thargoids, in the sale to arts collectors of deceased members of their race.

His Excellency would, obviously, never condone such action and was much distressed by the revelation that it had been taking place for some not inconsiderable time in the streets of Capitol itself. He has instructed the Palace guard to seize all goods and has ordered the arrest for questioning of the owner: Henry Danaslov. The penalty for what is, in His Excellency's eyes, cannibalism, is death, however Imperial Law is widely famed for its justice and the case will not be prejudged.

If Henry Danaslov can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that none of the parts sold was of Thargoid origin then the penalty will be for the crime of 'passing off' which carries a commensurately lower penalty.

NO MORE TENDROID BITS

M.C.S

Those of you who paid half your worldly goods for a small bit of creepy crawly in a glass jar had better start looking hard at your investment - it might not be real.

Mr H Danaslov of 96 Rake's Avenue, Capitol is currently enjoying the hospitality of the Palace Imperial Guard and is helping them to understand how he managed to sell endless bits of tendril to the unsuspecting punter when the REAL creepies, sorry our friends the Thargoids, don't have tendrils at all.

Now there are those of us who think that pinning bits of insect up on the wall is not a particularly tasteful thing to do and that people who think bits of dead animal are worth money need more than an hour a week at the therapy office. But then, who are we to judge?? No-one at the RIG office (no-one who actually works here, anyway) has ever had the right amount of credit to hand to see if there was something real exciting about all those little mouth parts floating in their ammonia-soup. We're the kind of people that H Danaslov esq. doesn't let thru' the security doors. We don't reek of credit.

SO - Mr D is in a fix. He either sold real creepies to the Great and the Good on Capitol (when he could find them) in which case His Hugeness is going to have to apologise to his new pals - and that is not a state of mind which will leave him happy. OR, he sold them fakes in which case, he has a lot of explaining to do. Of course, he could have been doing a bit of both in which case life is likely to be very, very exciting for a very short time.

DANASLOVS ACCUSED OF FRAUD

M.C.S

'Danaslov's Alien Emporium' of Capitol (Achenar 6d), one of the most well known purveyors of alien body parts and artefacts, has closed pending an inquiry into various trading practices. The Danaslovs have run the Emporium for over four generations and are famed Galaxy-wide for their ability to procure, authenticate and market small portions of insectoid body parts, ostensibly of alien (Thargoid) origin.

In a recent police investigation, it was discovered that every single 'alien' part traced had originated in the Emporium although many had passed through several sets of hands before reaching their current owners. However, the aliens are now here in profusion and are holding comparative anatomy seminars with some of the organo-android anatomical experts who have flown out to the interspecies ship on the Northern Edge. It is clear now that they bear no resemblance at all to the artefacts being laundered through the Danaslov Emporium.

Henry Danaslov is currently helping the police with their inquiries and reports from Capitol suggest that the parts being sold originated from an alternative, ammonia-based life form existing in one of the Southern Inhabited Zone systems. The aliens have indicated their interest in the vast quantities of taxonomic literature concerning the 'other species' believing that it may hold clues to their own evolutionary history.

In the meantime, the exposure of one of the Empire's foremost cultural authorities as a fraud is causing consternation in Imperial Circles but will not necessarily drop the price of the artefacts sold. All that requires is a re-naming process and they will have a value that they would not necessarily have held otherwise. It is, after all, not considered polite to retain the embalmed heads of one's friends on a plaque above the mantelpiece.

AN END TO THE FUTURE?

M.C.S

The journey ends. The efforts of the few for the benefit of the many have been rendered null and void. The Thargoid species has been eliminated by the workings of a small core of INRA fanatics who lacked the vision to see where a Galaxy inhabited by both sentient species could go. The exact details are, as yet, unclear but Commentators close to the Imperial and Federal Commands have confirmed that [Pn of Sol was, in fact, an INRA agent, employed to gain a 'Quest' class ship from Meredith Argent in order to attack and destroy the Thargoids in their home base.

Although the INRA propaganda machine has switched into over-drive and is claiming the absolute destruction of the entire Thargoid race, the success of their mission must still be in some doubt. We do not believe that Argent and the Directors of the New Rossyth Shipyard are as naive as this would suggest and we await the return of the 'Argent's Quest to Independent Space for a full enquiry and an explanation of the extraordinary events of the past few months.

Should it be true, then we have lost the first, and possibly the only, chance for our race to build a true alliance with another sentient and technocratic species - a tragic loss to us all.

THE UNIVERSE SAVED - PEACE IS RESTORED

M.C.S

THE THREAT IS OVER. The disaster will never happen. The Thargoid menace has been annulled. Destroyed. Removed forever from the heart of our Galaxy. There are no more Thargoids and THERE WILL BE NO WAR. Citizens of Federal Space can sleep peacefully at nights, trade profitably by day and go about their lawful business secure in the knowledge that the ultimate threat to our race has been eradicated forever from the Universe.

Thanks solely to the untiring efforts of both the Research and the Reserve (Action) wings of INRA and to the unsurpassed heroism of one single pilot, the security and stability of our realm has been restored. The pilot in whose hands our welfare has rested is, as we write, returning to inhabited space and will be accorded a full Hero's welcome.

Full details of this heroic quest, including the name of the commander involved, will be released at that time. In the meanwhile, we advise all those of you who answered the call to arms and who took to your ships in preparation for the struggle to dis-arm, return to your peace-time occupations and to prepare for a celebration such as the Galaxy has never seen.

EMPEROR'S PEACE SECURE - THERE WILL BE NO WAR

M.C.S

THE WAR IS OVER. The Thargoids have been destroyed. His Excellency has released the following statement, to be posted in every Imperial living and work place:

"Citizens of the Empire. The war is over. Your Emperor and the loyal citizens of the Protectorates have worked unceasingly to protect your homes, your families and your way of life. Like the pestilence it was, the Thargoid race has been eradicated from the Galaxy. In a single dramatic action and with no thought for their own personal safety, the heroes of INRA have sought out and attacked the enemy in its own territory, destroying it utterly and forever. We can assure you now that there will never, in the future of the Empire, be another alien attack. Accordingly, the State of Emergency has been revoked and loyal Citizens are requested to return henceforth to their place of work safe in the knowledge that your Emperor continues to work tirelessly throughout the Galaxy to protect all that you hold dear."

Addendum: Citizens are informed that all those acting as 'Temporary Naval Flight Consultants' are now required to return to their former employment where they will be reinstated into the work force. A gratuity will be paid to each volunteer, the exact amount to be calculated at a future date.

ARMAGEDDON POSTPONED?

M.C.S

And Lo, did the Combined Heads of INRA huddle in a circle and stare at the Galactic map in search of The Enemy. And verily did they find him (or her, or it) sitting peaceably in her (his/its) hive, way out on the edge of nowhere with not a single bad thought in its (his/her) Central Silicone Interconnective Neural System.

And 'gotcha' thought the cunning minds of INRA, and they did smile one to another. And so did they dispatch one of their number hence to the home of the nasty Thargoid and verily did they smash them all to bits.

Smart, huh? There we all were, polishing up on our Tharg-speak and getting ready for holidays in the ammonia murk when the idealistic morons of the combined Federal and Imperial Rake-heads decided to go in for the Galaxy's most spectacular example of xenophobia ever seen. You may think they don't like the type 46 sub-delta clones much, but you ain't seen nothing yet. Sad really.

We at RIG, having swallowed the 'ultimate threat' story, chewed on it a bit and then spat it out as so much indigestible mulch, were quite looking forward to having someone else around who would appreciate the jokes. Now all we're left with is you lot and your mindless mail messages. Did you know that Zen Caderra of Somewhere-Uninspiring in the Truly Tedious system was planning on opening a Thargoid-based brothel? Do you care?

Do you think this kind of drivel is really a unique contribution to the cultural life of the galaxy? REALLY???.

Go Get a Life, people, we're all going on holiday.

WHY?

M.C.S

It is with enormous regret that we have to inform readers of the Universal Scientist of the destruction of an entire sentient species by members of the only other developed, self-aware, rational, reasoning species known in the Galaxy. Those of us committed to the expansion of human (and android) consciousness and the further development of our culture and technology had looked forward since the first rumours of the Argent-Turner project to a true meeting of minds with the aliens. Instead, small-minded xenophobia has triumphed once again and our species is yet again burdened with the shameful epithet of species genocide. The true facts will emerge with time.

As we write, the nauseating triumphalism of the Federal and Imperial propagandists is preventing a reasoned examination of events. Nevertheless, it is clear thus far that the research technologists of INRA succeeded, ultimately, in producing an 'alien specific' infective agent and that they suborned, threatened or otherwise persuaded the Commander of the Argent's Quest to deliver it directly to the Thargoid home base. Meredith Argent and the directors of AAAI are in emergency meeting at this moment but an early press release suggests that they will not allow Mic Turner's memory to be dragged through the mud in this way.

ARGENT'S QUEST IS LEGITIMATE QUARRY

M.C.S

Following the appalling display of inter-planetary jingoism by the Federal and Imperial Authorities, it is clear that [Pn, was, indeed, an agent of the xenophobes - a fanatic prepared to go to extraordinary lengths and take extreme personal risks to seek out and destroy the Thargoids in their home worlds. While the award ceremonies and celebrations took place in the Federation and the Empire, the 'Sappho's Quest recalled to Argent's Claim (Alioth) and the prospective diplomatic mission by Meredith Argent and Kit Silver cancelled.

Instead, Argent and the co-directors of the AAAI are meeting in emergency session to decide on the best course of action to destroy the 'Argent's Quest' and thereby make some redress for the appalling destruction perpetrated by the impostor. Although no firm decision has been announced, it seems likely, given the unique specifications of the 'Quest' class, that one or more of the remaining three ships will be commissioned to seek out and destroy the renegade 'Argent's Quest'.

In the meantime, pilots of Independent affiliation are reminded that this ship no longer bears the protection of the AIS and is legitimate quarry for hunters.

A bounty of $250,000 will be paid on proof of destruction. Pilots should be wary of tackling this ship in packs of less than ten attack fighters.

THE HERO RETURNS

M.C.S

[Pn of Sol, the Commander who single-handedly destroyed the entire Thargoid species has finally returned to inhabited space. Although [Pn is keeping a low personal profile, the Commander has accepted the honour of the SUPREME KNIGHT OF THE SHINING ARC - a unique medallion commissioned jointly by the Federal High Command and Imperial High Legislate and awarded to mark the supreme act of selfless bravery performed by [Pn in the service of the entire human (and android) race.

Few of us can imagine the courage, the skill, the rugged determination and the absolute dedication to a cause that drives a human being to face near certain death for the sake of the greater good. Few of us could aspire to the level of flying skill that allowed [Pn to compete against the best in the Galaxy and win the position as the pilot of the 'Argent's Quest'. Even fewer, having won the position, would have the cool nerve and steady judgement to face the indefatigable Meredith Argent and succeed in winning the trust of the NRS zealots who were attempting to bring the Thargoids into our midst.

Only one, could, having done all of that, enter the domain of the alien and return with the data needed by the INRA bio-technologists enabling them to create an agent capable of destroying the alien forever and THEN return to the nest of the enemy to deliver the coup de grace.

One Commander did all of this. [Pn you have our eternal thanks.

EMPEROR OFFERS FREEDOM TO RETURNING HERO

M.C.S

His Most Illustrious Excellency, Hengist Duval, Upholder of the Peace, Strategist par excellence, Dove of War and Destroyer of the Alien has offered the freedom of Imperial Systems to [Pn of Sol. [Pn was, until recently outlawed from all Imperial systems - an act of mis-information designed to enable the Commander to win the trust of the renegade leaders of the AAAI and the AIS who were attempting to destroy the Universe as we know it. Using a plan devised by the Emperor Himself and with the aid of matchless bravery of the INRA pilots, [Pn was able successfully to seek out, hunt down and destroy the enemy in its own territory.

In recognition of the personal sacrifice made, the Commander has been awarded the honour of the SUPREME KNIGHT OF THE SHINING ARC, a medallion designed specifically for this occasion by the Imperial Awards Committee. Further, it is His Excellency's wish that [Pn be granted an amnesty for all crimes previously committed and that the 'Argent's Quest' should be safe within Imperial Space.

All pilots of Imperial affiliation are therefore instructed not, under any circumstances, to show aggression towards the 'Quest' or its Commander. Imperial stations are instructed to offer whatever help may be required.

RIG - CHANGE OF HEART, CHANGE OF SCENE

M.C.S

Your favourite journal has seen something of a change of heart since you saw us last. Following our previous issue, the entire editorial board has moved to the beautiful sun-drenched shores of Lake Terrion on a small planet so far away from the rest of you that you won't find us even if you look. The sun is yellow, the sky is an interesting shade of lilac (moving to magenta in the evenings and early dawn) and the water's a steady degree or two below the thermo-neutral range.

It's heaven and we're keeping it to ourselves. You lot can stay in the heart of darkness and revel in victory or slump into the biggest emotional black hole the Galaxy has ever seen. The choice is yours. They're all lying to you, one way or another. We await with interest the news that the Federation and the Empire are, once again, each other's most feared and hated enemy (who would buy weapons if there wasn't someone to shoot at??) and that the AIS is leading the campaign to blow [Pn and the Argent's Quest into the middle of the next millennium.

Does it matter? No. Do we care? No. Do you?

WHY???

(Don't mail us, we aren't at the old number any more and we don't want to know what you think...)

INRA ABUSE OF BIO-TECHNOLOGY

M.C.S

Details are coming to light of the genocide committed by the INRA agents in the name of joint Federal and Imperial policy. The entire process was reprehensible in the extreme, however, it is the opinion of the 'Scientist' and our lawyers that the action of the INRA research station in particular is demonstrably outwith Inter-Galactic law.

Under pan-galactic bio-technology law, it is explicitly illegal to deliberately engineer agents that have the capacity, real or potential, to cause injury to those of human, android or other unspecified, sentient origin. The lawmakers, when they designed the regulations, had no knowledge of that Thargoid race. They did imagine, however, that there may one day emerge from the multifold systems in our Universe, a sentient species and that the appalling inherent racism of the human race would put that race in danger. So did they make the laws and so has INRA, backed by the Federal Council and the Imperial High legislate, broken them.

It is our intention to bring this flagrant breach of law to the courts and to see to it that the technology of INRA is never again used as a weapon of destruction.

'QUEST' VS. 'QUEST' THE ULTIMATE TEST

M.C.S

Following a series of meetings between Meredith Argent, the Directors of the NRS Shipyard and other member of the AIS Council, the 'Sappho's Quest' launched yesterday with Meredith Argent at the helm with the sole intent of seeking out, hunting down and destroying the renegade [Pn, currently piloting the 'Argent's Quest'. The 'Sappho's Quest' has been fitted out with the latest in the shipyard's 'search and destroy' equipment, including a locator which has the capacity to lock onto the original 'Quest' message frequency from anywhere within a local system range and to give a continual read-out of speed, acceleration and direction of travel.

In addition, the 'Sappho's Quest' has an innovative shield mode designed to deflect rather than to absorb the destructive energy of the 'Quest's' battle lasers and a number of radical new Electronic Counter Measures (ECMs), termed 'MSDs' (Missile Subordination Devices) with the capacity to selectively destroy incoming missiles and, under some circumstances to re-programme them and cause them to revert to the original sender. These, together with a number of missile and laser enhancements, the details of which are being kept under wraps by the Shipyard, bring the spec. of the 'Sappho's Quest' close to that of the mythical 'Mirage' class hunter-killers long rumoured to be under development by the Federal Navy.

INDEPENDENT VENDETTA

M.C.S

Following the heroic action be [Pn of Sol in the destruction of the Thargoids, word is emanating from the Alliance of Independent States and their associated conglomerate of rebel anarchies that Meredith Argent has taken ship in the newly launched 'Sappho's Quest' and is setting out to pursue [Pn. The information so far is that the 'Quest' has been fitted out to make it one of the most dangerous ships in space and that its Commander is hell bent on a desperate and entirely futile bid to destroy the 'Argent's Quest'.

[Pn is the greatest Commander this Galaxy has ever seen. Whatever the new equipment loaded into the 'Sappho' by the engineers at the AAAI, we feel confident that the 'Argent's Quest' is in the safest pair of hands possible. Nevertheless, we owe the survival of our civilisation to this Commander and it is up to us now to see to it that the Independent demagogues fail in their attempt to exact revenge. We therefore urge all those of Federal affiliation to support the 'Argent's Quest' and its Commander at all times and to report the position of the Sappho's Quest as and when it makes an appearance in Federal Space.

Addendum: It has come to the attention of the Federal Naval Command that the Empire may be preparing to break the existing truce between ourselves and the Imperial Navy. We therefore warn pilots of Federal affiliation that Imperial war ships are no longer allies and that should be wary of pre-emptive strikes by the Imperialists.

TRUCE BROKEN BY FEDERATION

M.C.S

It has come to the attention of the Naval High Command that ships of the Federal Navy, the Federal Merchant Fleet and sundry other ships of Federal affiliation have attacked Imperial ships in the Northern Edge, the Western Rim and a number of Inner Core systems. The truce was negotiated at the request of the Federation during the recent Thargoid Incursion at a time when the superlative skill of Imperial fighter pilots was shown in its full glory. It was the decision of the Emperor Himself to instruct Imperial Commanders to treat the Federation as our friends and to support them in their hour of need.

That hour, clearly, has past. The Empire is secure in its territory, in the superior skill of its naval pilots and the superior design of its ships. We have no need to display aggression towards any who share the Galaxy with us. Indeed, they are more deserving of our pity and it is our duty as fellow beings to guide them towards a greater understanding of the depths to which they have sunk in their single minded pursuit of wealth and power. Nevertheless, if attacked, we will defend ourselves.

All Imperial Commanders are therefore given notice that ships of Federal affiliation are no longer to be considered allies and may be attacked at will.

THE END IS NIGH....

M.C.S

Don't say we didn't tell you. When you're finally sick of the anodyne platitudes, the pitiful posturing and the righteous indignation, come and join us on our desert island. If you can find us, that is.

In the meantime, your subscription is hereby returned, with interest.

Don't watch this space.

Suggestion: If you miss us, why not get off your seat, get out there and make up your own journal. You can say what you like and have the Universe as your audience. It's good for the ego if nothing else.

GO FOR IT.

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE??

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS UNDER WAY

M.C.S

Prophit and Doom, the legal agents acting for the Universal Scientist, have brought charges against the Research department of INRA for flagrant breech of Pan-Galactic Resolution number 7900513:112b.

The Resolution clearly states that: "... no signatories or their agents will at any time create or cause to be created any infective agent that may be used as a weapon of offence or defence against another race of potentially sentient capacity."

Meredith Argent of AAAI has documentary proof, retrieved from the on-board log of the 'Argent's Quest' prior to its return to the Thargoid Home Systems, that INRA agent Commander J Saunders offered [Pn inducements to deliver an engineered, Thargoid-specific mycoid to the alien on the first leg of the trip. The mycoid is believed to have been engineered by INRA bio-technologists at the secluded biomechanic research centre on Hotice 1 (Hotice).

The prosecution advisors at Prophit and Doom have informed us that the case is water-tight and that as a totally independent body, we have the right to demand not only financial restitution for the potential loss of earnings engendered by the destruction of the alien, but also to ensure that the INRA nerve centre, located alongside the research centre on Hotice is closed permanently. It is our belief that exposure to the courts and to the Inter-Galactic media will be sufficient to render the remainder of the organisation impotent: the oxygen of publicity is highly toxic to those whose work is essentially covert.

QUEST TO GET AID

M.C.S

'Argent's Quest' still roams the Galaxy in the hands of the renegade [Pn in spite of the best efforts of Meredith Argent at the helm of the Sappho's Quest to rectify this fact. It has therefore been decided that one of the two remaining 'Quest' class ships should be fitted out and brought into active service.

Both Deven Cantry, owner of the 'Grail Quest' and the unnamed owner of the fifth ship have been approached and both are considering the possibility of returning their ship to the New Rossyth Shipyard for the duration of the hunt. If either decides to make the gesture, then the search will begin again for a pilot capable of pushing the machine to its fullest capacity. The short list of applicants for the command of the 'Argent's Quest' is being studied but it seems likely that there may have been more than one INRA mole on the list and so most, if not all of those considered last time around will be discarded.

If any reader knows of a pilot with sufficient skill to handle the 'Quest' and push it to its limits in the hunt for one ship in the vastness of space, please forward their name and CV (in full confidence) to the editorial board of the News or to the directors of the New Rossyth Shipyard. In the meantime, we ask that all AIS and Independent citizens give the fullest co-operation to Argent and the 'Sappho's Quest' in the hunt for the renegade.

IMPERIAL NAVY SHATTERS TRUCE

M.C.S

It was too good to last. The massed ships of the Imperial Naval Second (Internal) Protectorate last week attacked a small flight of courier and merchant class ships in the Eastern Frontier zone near the system of Castor. Ships in the area had been warned of a possible end to the truce following a number of unguarded statements made by members of the Imperial Diplomatic Corps.

Nevertheless, it was a cowardly and unnecessary act of aggression and will be met in due course by a retaliatory strike of suitable proportions. It is the opinion of military strategists that the Empire may be attempting to take advantage of the recent lapse in security following the defeat of the Thargoid Invaders and may be considering a pre-emptive strike against a number of small systems in the Eastern Frontier.

The Naval Command centre on Eta Cassiopoea has moved to amber alert, naval pilots are being recalled to base and all home leave has been cancelled. Commanders with Federal affiliation are requested to maintain maximum vigilance and to report any signs of Imperial aggression.

EMPIRE CALLED IN TO PRESERVE PEACE

M.C.S

The Empire has once again been requested to assist the beleaguered Government of a small system to maintain law and order amongst its citizens. The Eastern Frontier system of Castor has, for some weeks now, been in a state of turmoil. Rebels used the lapse in regulations following the post-Thargoid celebrations to make a series of armed raids on strategic Political and military centres, thus seriously endangering the stability of the region. In the interests of inter-systemic harmony therefore , the Emperor has ordered the ships of the Seventh (Far Systems) Protectorate to assist the political leadership by whatever means necessary to restore law and order. Thus far, the rebellion has been controlled and a token detachment of naval vessels remains to ensure that the curfew imposed to maintain discipline has been maintained.

Needless to say, local Federal agents have found it necessary to aid the rebels. This seems to be a knee-jerk response to every peaceful gesture on the part of the Empire and is yet another sign that the truce, so dearly bought, has been abandoned.

SCIENTIST CEASES PUBLICATION - TEMPORARILY

M.C.S

Following the legal suit brought by Prophit and Doom on behalf of the Universal Scientist against the leaders, operatives and research workers of INRA, a counter-suit has been brought charging the 'Scientist' with libel, falsification of documentation and defamation. In addition, the Pan-Galactic Revenue Division has called to insist that a full review of accounts be made following allegations from an un-named source of embezzlement on the part of the Editorial Board.

It is therefore with great regret that the 'Universal Scientist' is forced, temporarily to cease publication while all aspects of legal and financial records are reviewed and prepared for inspection. We thank you all for your loyalty and dedication and express our gratitude in advance for the avalanche of help and advice that we know will be forthcoming from out regular readership.

We look forward to returning in the near future, but in the meantime, we hereby return all outstanding subscription credit.

NEW QUEST JOINS THE HUNT

M.C.S

The fourth of the five original 'Quest' class ships built at the New Rossyth Shipyards to Mic Turner's original specifications has been commissioned to join the hunt for the renegade: [Pn and the missing 'Argent's Quest'. The new ship, named the 'Medusa's Quest' has been donated by its original unnamed owner, a close friend of both Mic Turner and Meredith Argent. Over a thousand 'Elite' pilots with clean AIS records were interviewed as possible Commanders of the new ship, nevertheless, none was capable of pushing it to its limits.

After several despondent days, the original owner was approached and has agreed to pilot the ship in person, flying under the code name 'Medusa'. With several thousand flying hours logged already, this combination of ship and Commander should prove unassailable.

Since our last issue, reliable sightings of [Pn and the 'Argent's Quest' have been flooding into the AIS command centre at New Rossyth on Argent's Claim (Alioth). The last known location was in [Cs and both of the AIS-affiliated 'Quest' class ships are en route to a safe System in the region as we publish. Other AIS Commanders are encouraged to confront the 'Argent's Quest' if sighted but are reminded that all engagements should be made in groups of ten or more ships.

Both Argent and Medusa are carrying AIS identifiers. Commanders are reminded of the absolute necessity to identify any ship prior to attack.

CIVILIAN RESEARCH STATION ATTACKED

M.C.S

A Federal civilian research station specialising in agricultural technology for under- developed Systems at Hotice 1 was attacked during the night by a single ship matching the ID of the 'Quest' class destroyers currently pursuing a vendetta against Galactic Hero [Pn. The ship ran a series of nuclear bombing runs over the research station, destroying all above-ground installations and killing the night-personnel who were engaged in essential maintenance repairs at the plant. Fortunately, the majority of the research staff were housed in sub-terrainean, nuclear-defended dormitories and all survived to be lifted off planet by the emergency services operating out of the nearby system of nearby Hocanfa.

There can be no possible excuse for so craven an attack on defenceless civilian personnel. The station has long been known for its contribution to the development of insect and fungal-resistant strains of cereal crops for use in areas of poor agricultural development. Those who worked there were dedicated research personnel who had devoted their lives solely to the reduction of poverty within the Universe. Those killed will be sadly missed and a memorial service will be held in due course. Close associates will be informed of the precise date and time via the usual channels.

It is believed that the ship responsible was acting on instructions of the AIS and diplomatic representation has been made at the highest level expressing Federal disquiet in the strongest possible terms.

MEDICAL CENTRE DESTROYED IN NUCLEAR ATTACK

M.C.S

Two 'Quest' class ships flying under the auspices of the Alliance of Independent States have yesterday attacked the Inter-Gal/Sirius Medical Research Complex located near the equator of Hotice 1. The ships, both equipped with pre-targeted nuclear missiles, scored multiple direct hits on the Complex destroying it entirely and causing unspeakable devastation to the surrounding area.

In a heartening display of mutual co-operation, the emergency services of both the Federation and the Empire arrived on the scene within hours of the raid and were able to evacuate a number of key workers together with samples of their most sensitive projects. The ferocity and unprovoked nature of this attack confirms the belief that Meredith Argent, enemy of the Empire, has embarked on a single-handed war of attrition against the most defenceless areas of society. An emergency session of the High Legislate has issued an edict outlawing Argent (flying the 'Sappho's Quest') and the co-pilot 'Medusa' commanding the 'Medusa's Quest'.

All Imperial pilots are urged to be wary of both of these ships and to engage them only if naval or other fighter support is at hand. Commanders are also reminded that the 'Argent's Quest' piloted by [Pn and currently in [Cs has been named a Friend of the Empire and is not to be attacked.

NEW QUESTS TO BE BUILT FOR ARGENT

M.C.S

The renegade [Pn is still at large in [Cs in spite of the best efforts of Argent and Medusa in their respective Quests. In view of this, the temporary management of the New Rossyth Shipyards (in the absence of Meredith Argent) has elected to commission the building of another five 'Quest' class ships, all to have the improved specifications of the latest models. In addition, engineers and designers have been working recently on further enhancements (as yet not revealed) to the basic specification, lifting this ship into a sub-class above that already in service.

At the same time, a pilot's induction course will begin for the 'Elite' pilots short-listed for the role as Commander of the Medusa's Quest, the aim being to create a cadre of superior Commanders any one of whom will be capable of taking one of the newly enhanced 'Quests' and using it to its fullest capacity. According to the NRS Company regulations, Meredith Argent is required to formally confirm the decision and an NRS Lanner has been dispatched to[Cs to locate the Sappho's Quest and obtain the necessary signature.

STOP PRESS: The defamation suit being brought against our sister journal, the Universal Scientist has taken yet another twist with the destruction by INRA agents of the INRA research base and central command centre at Hotice 1. The loss of all records will seriously hamper the investigations by the 'Scientist's legal investigators.

'QUEST' STILL MISSING

M.C.S

The 'Argent's Quest' is still missing. In spite of continued sightings, the latest placing the ship in [Cs, Commander [Pn remains incommunicado. This is, to say the least, a disquieting development for Argent and the team at the New Rossyth Shipyard. According to sources close to Argent, the agreement under which [Pn took the 'Quest' north, required the Commander to follow the route taken by Mic Turner and then to return, if at all possible, to the Shipyard on Argent's Claim with such details as may have been discovered of Turner's fate plus the status of the Thargoid stations (if they do, indeed, exist).

[Pn's failure either to return or to respond to repeated messages from Argent is taken as a direct contravention of the agreement. It is now the belief of NRS strategists that the Commander is, was or has become, an INRA operative and, as such, is a danger to Independent Systems while at the helm of the 'Quest'. Argent has returned to New Rossyth and is reported to be commissioning one of the remaining three 'Quest' class ships to act as a 'search and destroy' craft with the sole intent of seeking out the renegade pilot.

ARGENT - SURPRISE U-TURN

M.C.S

In a surprising change of heart, Meredith Argent, the Galactic Financier, owner of the New Rossyth Shipyard and recently elected Chair of the Council of the Alliance of Independent States, has named [Pn of Sol as the new Commander of the 'Argent's Quest' and has further stated that the new Commander has, effectively stolen the ship. It seems likely that the 'Quest' has, in fact, been used as a drug courier as reported in our last issue but that this was entirely the act of the new Commander and was not in any way sanctioned by Argent or the management of the New Rossyth Shipyard. Directors of the NRS have given notice that the ship is no longer flying under the protection of the AIS and that members of the AIS Search and Rescue fleet are actively hunting the ship, last seen in [Cs.

Argent is said to be arming a second 'Quest' class ship as a hunter killer - according to the NRS engineers, there is little chance of any other class of ship being able to take on the 'Argent's Quest' and survive. Federal Commanders are warned that the ship is potentially lethal and they should be wary of engaging it in combat unless in groups of six or more.

'QUEST' STOLEN BY WANTED CRIMINAL

M.C.S

His Imperial Majesty, Hengist Duval, Doyen of a Thousand Triumphant Battles has issued an arrest warrant for [MiR(PnorNPC), the Commander responsible for the theft of His Majesty's newly commissioned AAAI ship, 'Argent's Quest.' The ship was presented as a gift to His Majesty by the grateful shipyard owner Meredith Argent and was being flown to His Excellency's shipyards on Capitol when the crew were overwhelmed by a band of renegade stowaways, led by [MiR(PnorNPC), a terrorist with a string of previous convictions for vicious crimes against the citizens and property of the Empire. The automatic distress warnings were disconnected and it was several hours before the ship was reported missing and the local Naval Defence wing notified.

Riann Kinoss, the Commander of His Majesty's personal Imperial Guard has taken control of the search and has vowed to bring the fugitive to justice. All citizens of the Empire are requested to assist in the loyal endeavour of their Officers and to report any sign of the villain. A full ID will be posted on all Imperial Bulletin Boards. His Excellency has offered his support and has let it be known that any citizen making a report leading to a successful arrest will be granted due honour by the Emperor Himself.

(Citizens are reminded that failure to report any sighting is considered treason in the eyes of Imperial Law and is punishable by enforced slavery. )

ARGENT'S QUEST GOES AWOL

M.C.S

Contact has not been made. The riddle of Turner's death has not been solved. And the 'Argent's Quest' has not returned to its namesake for a pat on the back and a de-briefing. [Pn of Sol, pilot of the Galaxy's greatest ship, occupant of the Universe's hottest seat, has officially gone AWOL - and the ship's gone too. Needless to say, friend Argent is in a bit of a tizz. Memos are flying round the NRS boardroom like three-banded zeeters round a putrid Bebecian ronda-fruit and the engineers are working round the clock to turn out another Quest, bigger, faster, better than the last one. Well, at least equipped with enough fire power to blow the poor defenceless [Pn into a scrillion pica-particles.

Our hearts bleed. There you are, just taken over the most amaaaaazing ship ever seen in the history of the Galaxy -and the motherless offspring of un-divided zygotes go and make the next one better still - specially to wipe you out. Do we feel sorry for poor old [Pn??

DO YOU?? Let us know. Mail us on the usual line and tell us - do you vote for Argent (in the classically named 'Sappho's Quest') or [Pn in the old fashioned, simple 'Argent's Quest'. We'll tell you how the Universe votes in our next issue. Watch this space.

QUEST ON THE RUN

M.C.S

Sadly, our prediction in the last issue would appear to have been borne out. [Pn, the Commander of the Quest has failed to dock any of the appointed rendezvous points and has consistently refused to answer messages broadcast by Argent. It is now clear that the new Commander has become (or has always been) an agent of either Federation, Empire or the combination of the two under the auspices of INRA. It was always the avowed intention of both Argent and Turner that no 'Quest' class ship should ever be allowed to fall into the hands of those without the mental, political and emotional capacity to use it for the general good. It is their belief that neither those currently in command of the galactic powers of Federation and Empire nor the financially-led leaders of the Corporate Systems have the necessary Universal perspective to safely be permitted to retain a ship of the power of the 'Quest'.

Given this fact, Argent has returned to Argent's Claim and is fitting out one of the three remaining 'Quest' class ships to follow, find and, if necessary, destroy, the missing ship. [Pn has about a month - the length of time it will take the NRS engineers to re-fit the 'Sappho's Quest' in which to return to Alioth and hand over the 'Quest' - or face certain death at the hands of the 'Quest's ' designer and most consummate pilot, Meredith Argent.

'QUEST' VS. 'QUEST' THE ULTIMATE TEST

M.C.S

Following a series of meetings between Meredith Argent, the Directors of the NRS Shipyard and other member of the AIS Council, the 'Sappho's Quest' launched yesterday with Meredith Argent at the helm with the sole intent of seeking out, hunting down and destroying the renegade [Pn, currently piloting the 'Argent's Quest'. The 'Sappho's Quest' has been fitted out with the latest in the shipyard's 'search and destroy' equipment, including a locator which has the capacity to lock onto the original 'Quest' message frequency from anywhere within a local system range and to give a continual read-out of speed, acceleration and direction of travel.

In addition, the 'Sappho's Quest' has an innovative shield mode designed to deflect rather than to absorb the destructive energy of the 'Quest's' battle lasers and a number of radical new Electronic Counter Measures (ECMs), termed 'MSDs' (Missile Subordination Devices) with the capacity to selectively destroy incoming missiles and, under some circumstances to re-programme them and cause them to revert to the original sender. These, together with a number of missile and laser enhancements, the details of which are being kept under wraps by the Shipyard, bring the spec. of the 'Sappho's Quest' close to that of the mythical 'Mirage' class hunter-killers long rumoured to be under development by the Federal Navy.

ARGENT HUNTS 'QUEST'

M.C.S

In the wake of the disappearance of the 'Argent's Quest', Meredith Argent has taken command of the newly re-furbished 'Sappho's Quest' and is said to be heading for [Cs. Following a rapid, in-depth investigation, it is the belief of Federal strategic observers that [Pn is the innocent victim of a complex, and ultimately futile attempt by the politicians of the Alliance of Independent Systems to ferment wide-spread unrest within the inner core.

The threat of alien invasion implicit in the recent releases produced by that organ of the AIS, the Frontier News, was designed explicitly to create pan galactic terror, an imbalance in the trading index (secondary to a sudden increase in arms prices and a concomitant decrease in the cost of non-essential, peace-time goods) and ultimately to de stabilise the political structure of the Inner Core.

The action of [Pn in failing to support this endeavour can only be commended and we advise all pilots of Federal affiliation to assist the 'Argent's Quest' at every opportunity.

M.C.S

THUMBS DOWN FOR [Pn

M.C.S

Oh dear. Oh dear. Well we are a hard-hearted lot aren't we? Following last issue's request for comments on the fate of poor old [Pn, we had more mail messages in one month than most of the rest of the decade put together. We haven't been so overwhelmed since a previous editor asked you what fate you thought best for the President of the Federation. And didn't that make everybody's blood run high on the Kelvin scale??! We pride ourselves that the President of the time had left office 'for personal reasons' before the next issue was impinging itself on your brain waves.

Anyway, back to dear old [Pn and the missing Argent's Quest. We feel that there might just be the odd bit of jealousy out there. How many of you pictured yourselves at the helm of the Galaxy's greatest ship? And how many of you think that if [Pn dies a thousand slow and unpleasant deaths, that you are somehow more likely to get to drive the super-Quest? Is this reasonable? No. Is it likely to happen? No. Is it in accordance with current pop-psychology?? Yes. Sad, isn't it. All of you. Sad, small-minded individuals with a tediously improbable fantasy life and an over-dose of subliminal sadism. We can recommend a set of very reasonable therapists working out of this office - mail us now to make an appointment... And in the meantime, sharpen up on your Reality Quotient, people.

The 'Argent's Quest' will be vapour by the time you read this. The one to lust after these days is the 'Sappho'.

Think about it...

ARGENT'S QUEST - DESTRUCTION IMMINENT

M.C.S

Meredith Argent, at the helm of a fully re-equipped 'Sappho's Quest' is now in [Cs on the trail of [Pn and the missing 'Argent's Quest'. It can safely be said that the old 'Quest' will no longer be part of the picture by the next issue of Universal Scientist. The dilemma now is - whither the next 'Quest'. According to sources at the NRS, [Pn had succeeded in locating the Thargoid forward bases and, whereas no useful information has been returned, it is certain that the co-ordinates of the system are accurate. Finding details of Mic Turners death remains the stated priority of the NRS but it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a longer term aim - the location of the Thargoid home base. This is to be linked with an attempt to form diplomatic links with whatever remnants of the Thargoid species can be persuaded to enter into a dialogue. Argent and the other directors of the NRS have long been in contact with the Alien Studies Institute (Alioth) and are of the firm belief that the Thargoids will ultimately prove benevolent towards the human race.

We await the future flights of the 'Sappho's Quest' with interest - and wish its Commander a speedy return from the current, sadly necessary, mission.

'QUEST' STILL MISSING

M.C.S

The 'Argent's Quest' is missing. In spite of continued sightings, and contrary to the rumours reported in our last issue, Commander [Pn, has not yet made contact with the authorities at Alioth. This is, to say the least, a disquieting development for Argent and the team at the New Rossyth Shipyard. According to sources close to Argent, the agreement under which [Pn was granted the 'Quest' required it to be returned, if at all possible, to the Shipyard on Argent's Claim with such details as may have been discovered of Turner's fate plus news of any contact made with the Thargoids (if they do, indeed, exist and if contact had been made). [Pn's failure either to return or to respond to repeated messages from Argent is taken as a direct contravention of the agreement. NRS strategists now believe that the Commander may have become, or may always have been, an INRA operative and, as such, is a danger to Independent Systems while at the helm of the 'Quest'.

Argent has returned to New Rossyth and is reported to be arming one of the remaining three 'Quest' class ships to act as a 'search and destroy' craft with the sole intent of seeking out the renegade pilot.

'QUEST' THREAT DEFEATED - TEMPORARILY

M.C.S

Pilots of INRA, the combined Federal and Imperial Naval galactic defence force have seen serious action for the first time since the eradication of the Thargoids in 3151 CE. Elite pilots from both sides co-operated in a series of actions aimed at eliminating the threat posed by the ship 'Argent's Quest' in its self-proclaimed mission to return the Thargoid menace to human space. A series of armed confrontations took place in the uninhabited zone far beyond the Northern Edge during which it became apparent that the 'Quest' is armed and shielded beyond the capacity of any ship designed to date.

The specifications released by the AAAI are untrue in every respect and there can be no doubt that Meredith Argent and Mic Turner had been planning this exact chain of events for the past several decades. In fact, it is possible that the terra-formation and colonising projects undertaken in the Edge zones were done solely to create a base from which such a project could be launched undetected. In the event, the 'Quest' was finally overpowered by the INRA pilots and fled in to the desolate regions beyond range of the naval war-ships.

The menace has been defeated - but we must ask ourselves how long the peace will last and whether it is not now time to re-consider old wars and old allegiances.

EMPEROR HONOURS NAVAL DEAD

M.C.S

His Most Illustrious Excellency, Hengist Duval, Defender of the Peace, Chevalier of War and Upholder of the Forty Two Unbreakable Laws has attended a ceremony at the Naval Academy on Facece to honour those killed in action defending our northern frontier against the outlawed ship 'Argent's Quest'. Subsequently, His Excellency met with representatives from the High Legislate, the Protectorate Commands and the INRA Office to determine the best course of action in the face of the 'Quest' and the threatened, potentially devastating, return of the Thargoid race to Imperial Systems and trade routes. Diplomats from a number of surrounding Systems were present at the meetings and were granted an opportunity to voice their disquiet to His Majesty.

As a result, there is a tacit mutual co-operation agreement between the Empire and various unaffiliated Corporate States by which the latter should benefit from the superior protection abilities of the Imperial Navy and the Navy, in turn acquires new safe stations for re-fitting and re-fuelling. [Pn remains outlawed and any Imperial Citizen reporting a sighting of the ship will recieve the personal thanks of His Excellency.

ARGENT'S QUEST GOES AWOL

M.C.S

Contact has not been made. The riddle of Turner's death has not been solved. And the 'Argent's Quest' has not returned to its namesake for a pat on the back and a de-briefing. [Pn of Sol, pilot of the Galaxy's greatest ship, occupant of the Universe's hottest seat, has officially gone AWOL - and the ship's gone too.

Needless to say, friend Argent is in a bit of a tizz. Memos are flying round the NRS boardroom like three-banded zeeters round a putrid Bebecian ronda-fruit and the engineers are working round the clock to turn out another Quest, bigger, faster, better than the last one. Well, at least equipped with enough fire power to blow the poor defenceless [Pn into a scrillion pica-particles. Our hearts bleed. There you are, just taken over the most amazing ship ever seen in the history of the Galaxy -and the motherless offspring of un-divided zygotes go and make the next one better still - especially to wipe you out.

Do we feel sorry for poor old [Pn?? (not really)

DO YOU?? Let us know. Mail us on the usual line and tell us - do you vote for Argent (in the classically named 'Sappho's Quest') OR [Pn in the old fashioned, simple 'Argent's Quest'.

We'll tell you how the Universe votes in our next issue. Watch this space.

QUEST ON THE RUN

M.C.S

Sadly, our faith in Commander [Pn has been shaken. The Argent's Quest has been seen in the Northern Edge but has failed to dock any of the appointed rendezvous points and has consistently refused to answer messages broadcast by Argent. It is now clear that the new Commander has become (or has always been) an agent of either Federation, Empire or the combination of the two under the auspices of INRA. It was always the avowed intention of both Argent and Turner that no 'Quest' class ship should ever be allowed to fall into the hands of those without the mental, political and emotional capacity to use it for the general good. It is their belief that neither those currently in command of the galactic powers of Federation and Empire nor the financially-motivated leaders of the Corporate Systems have the necessary Universal perspective to safely be permitted to retain a ship of the power of the 'Quest'.

Given this fact, Argent has returned to Argent's Claim and is fitting out one of the three remaining 'Quest' class ships to follow, find and, if necessary, destroy, the missing ship. [Pn has about a month - the length of time it will take the NRS engineers to re-fit the 'Sappho's Quest' in which to return to Alioth and hand over the 'Quest' - or face certain death at the hands of the 'Quest's ' designer and it's pilot, Meredith Argent.

'QUEST' VS. 'QUEST' THE ULTIMATE TEST

M.C.S

Following a series of meetings between Meredith Argent, the Directors of the NRS Shipyard and other member of the AIS Council, the 'Sappho's Quest' launched yesterday with Meredith Argent at the helm with the sole intent of seeking out, hunting down and destroying the renegade [Pn, currently piloting the 'Argent's Quest'. The 'Sappho's Quest' has been fitted out with the latest in the shipyard's 'search and destroy' equipment, including a locator which has the capacity to lock onto the original 'Quest' message frequency from anywhere within a local system range and to give a continual read-out of speed, acceleration and direction of travel. In addition, the 'Sappho's Quest' has an innovative shield mode designed to deflect rather than to absorb the destructive energy of the 'Quest's' battle lasers and a number of radical new Electronic Counter Measures (ECMs), termed 'MSDs' (Missile Subordination Devices) with the capacity to selectively destroy incoming missiles and, under some circumstances to re-programme them and cause them to revert to the original sender.

These, together with a number of missile and laser enhancements, the details of which are being kept under wraps by the Shipyard, bring the spec. of the 'Sappho's Quest' close to that of the mythical 'Mirage' class hunter-killers long rumoured to be under development by the Federal Navy.

ARGENT HUNTS 'QUEST'

M.C.S

In the wake of the disappearance of the 'Argent's Quest', Meredith Argent has taken command of the newly re-furbished 'Sappho's Quest' and is said to be heading for [Cs.

Following a rapid, in-depth investigation, it is the belief of Federal strategic observers that Commander [Pn is the innocent victim of a complex, and ultimately futile attempt by the politicians of the Alliance of Independent Systems to ferment wide-spread unrest within the inner core. The threat of alien invasion implicit in the recent releases produced by that organ of the AIS, the Frontier News, was designed explicitly to create pan galactic terror, an imbalance in the trading index (secondary to a sudden increase in arms prices and a concomitant decrease in the cost of non-essential, peace-time goods) and ultimately to de stabilise the political structure of the Inner Core.

The action of [Pn in failing to support this endeavour can only be commended and we advise all pilots of Federal affiliation to assist the 'Argent's Quest' at every opportunity.

'QUEST' THREATENS IMPERIAL SECURITY

M.C.S

The ship 'Argent's Quest' is being used by the renegade [MiR(PnorNPC) to mount an expedition that defies all Imperial laws and threatens the very heart of the Empire. The ship has been engaged in combat with a number of Imperial fighters and has proven to be exceptionally well armed. Imperial pilots are warned against engaging with the ship unless supported by a number of effective co-pilots.

The ship has been denied access to all Imperial space stations and Commanders of all shipyards have been ordered to perform a citizen's arrest should the ship attempt to dock for repairs or servicing. It is the belief of His Excellency that the Commander will see reason and will surrender to the might of the Empire when the isolation of pan-Galactic outlawry becomes to great to bear.

He wishes it to be known that should [Pn surrender unconditionally and turn over the Argent's Quest to its rightful owner, His Excellency Hengist Duval, the High Legislate will be lenient in its sentencing.

THUMBS DOWN FOR [Pn

M.C.S

Oh dear. Oh dear. Well we are a hard-hearted lot aren't we? Following last issue's request for comments on the fate of poor old [Pn, we had more mail messages in one month than most of the rest of the decade put together. We haven't been so overwhelmed since a previous editor asked you what fate you thought best for the President of the Federation. And didn't that make everybody's blood run high on the Kelvin scale??! We pride ourselves that the President of the time had left office 'for personal reasons' before the next issue was impinging itself on your brain waves.

Anyway, back to dear old [Pn and the missing Argent's Quest. We feel that there might just be the odd bit of jealousy out there. How many of you pictured yourselves at the helm of the Galaxy's greatest ship? And how many of you think that if [Pn dies a thousand slow and unpleasant deaths, that you are somehow more likely to get to drive the super-Quest? Is this reasonable? No. Is it likely to happen? No. Is it in accordance with current pop-psychology?? Yes.

Sad, isn't it. All of you. Sad, small-minded individuals with a tediously improbable fantasy life and an over-dose of subliminal sadism. We can recommend a set of very reasonable therapists working out of this office - mail us now to make an appointment... And in the meantime, sharpen up on your Reality Quotient, people.

The 'Argent's Quest' will be vapour by the time you read this. The one to lust after these days is the 'Sappho'. Think about it...

ARGENT'S QUEST - DESTRUCTION IMMINENT

M.C.S

Meredith Argent, at the helm of a fully re-equipped 'Sappho's Quest' is now in [Cs on the trail of [Pn and the missing 'Argent's Quest'. It can safely be said that the old 'Quest' will no longer be part of the picture by the next issue of Universal Scientist. The dilemma now is - whither the next 'Quest'. According to sources at the NRS, [Pn had succeeded in locating the Thargoid forward bases and, whereas no useful information has been returned, it is certain that the co-ordinates of the system are accurate.

Finding details of Mic Turners death remains the stated priority of the NRS but it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a longer term aim - the location of the Thargoid home base. This is to be linked with an attempt to form diplomatic links with whatever remnants of the Thargoid species can be persuaded to enter into a dialogue.

Argent and the other directors of the NRS have long been in contact with the Alien Studies Institute (Alioth) and are of the firm belief that the Thargoids will ultimately prove benevolent towards the human race. We await the future flights of the 'Sappho's Quest' with interest - and wish its Commander a speedy return from the current, sadly necessary, mission.

NEW QUEST JOINS THE HUNT

M.C.S

The fourth of the five original 'Quest' class ships built at the New Rossyth Shipyards to Mic Turner's original specifications has been commissioned to join the hunt for the renegade: [Pn and the missing 'Argent's Quest'. The new ship, named the 'Medusa's Quest' has been donated by its owner, a close friend of both Mic Turner and Meredith Argent. Over a thousand 'Elite' pilots with clean AIS records were interviewed as possible Commanders of the new ship, nevertheless, none was capable of pushing it to its limits. After several despondent days, the original owner was approached and has agreed to pilot the ship in person, flying under the code name 'Medusa'. With several thousand flying hours logged already, this combination of ship and Commander should prove unassailable.

Since our last issue, reliable sightings of [Pn and the 'Argent's Quest' have been flooding into the AIS command centre at New Rossyth on Argent's Claim (Alioth). The last known location was in [Cs and both of the AIS-affiliated 'Quest' class ships are en route to a safe System in the region as we publish. Other AIS Commanders are encouraged to confront the 'Argent's Quest' if sighted but are reminded that all engagements should be made in groups of ten or more ships. Both Argent and Medusa are carrying AIS identifiers. Commanders are reminded of the absolute necessity to identify any ship prior to attack.

DUAL QUEST

M.C.S

There are now two Quest class ships on the trail of the much maligned Commander, [Pn and the signs suggest that the 'Argent's Quest' is unlikely to survive for any serious length of time. The failure of any shipyard to provide servicing facilitates will be its undoing whether the two hunting 'Quest's' succeed in their search or not. We believe that the Commander at the helm has been the subject of a particularly malicious conspiracy and it should have been clear at the outset that none of the Alliance leaders was to be trusted. Anyone who seriously wishes to return the Thargoids to our sector of the Galaxy is quite clearly morally bankrupt and should be treated as suspect at all times.

In view of these recent developments, it is the decision of the Federal Democratic Council that all Federal pilots be advised against trading in AIS systems and that Alliance pilots will no longer be welcome in Federal star ports without the express permission of the local authorities. At the same time, diplomatic meetings are taking place with our Imperial counterparts in an effort to improve trading relations between our two powers. It is time, in our opinion, that contact with the Empire should improve on all levels and every effort will be made to smooth the way. Federal fighter pilots are requested to refrain from using Imperial war planes as target practice and to avoid armed conflict where possible.

EMPEROR ACCEPTS NEW QUEST

M.C.S

His Excellency, the Supreme Elite Commander of the Imperial Navy has graciously accepted the offer of the ship 'Argent's Quest'. Meredith Argent, close friend of the dead explorer Mic Turner has offered the ship to His Majesty as a gesture of friendship between the AIS and the Empire and in reparation for the damage done to Imperial Naval war ships by the renegade Commander [Pn (to whom the ship was temporarily loaned). It is clear now that this was a tactical error on the part of the NRS Board of Management and that the original intention, to donate the ship to the Imperial Navy would have been of far more benefit to all concerned.

The Press officer for the High Legislate has made it clear that rumours concerning the return of the Thargoid race to our sector of the Galaxy were unfounded and that any attempt to repeat these wild accusations will be considered scare-mongering and treated as an attempt to undermine the stability of the Empire. The ship 'Argent's Quest' is still in the hands of the renegade but it is assumed that it will be returned to its rightful owners, by force if necessary, within the next month.

ODDS LOW AND FALLING

M.C.S

Well, the 'Argent's Quest' is still on the loose in spite of all attempts to blow it into a scrillion ionised particles and spread them in orbit round Alioth. How it can possible still be in the air is beyond our imagining - it must be held together by will-power and cobwebs by now. We venture to suggest that this whole thing is a marketing ploy by the New Rossyth Shipyard's marketing team.

What better publicity than to build up a ship as the one that's going to bring the Thargoid's back, get the eyes of the Galaxy wide with fear and focused on your ship and then prove that it can survive against everything the galaxy can throw at it What wouldn't you pay for a ship like that? We confidently expect that there will be a couple of dozen extra 'Quest's' on the go by the end of the year and those of you with a couple of million credits to spare can get on down there to Alioth and get your names on the list. The rest of us will go off back to bed and dream on.

Other news this issue concerns your friend and ours, Prince Harry of You-Know-Where who is still hard at it upsetting his father, his advisors, his political mentors and his pet gold-fish.

Rumour has it that the intrepid lad is about to mount an expedition of his own to Thargoid-land - in an Imperial Courier. Now you and I would think that if a ship designed over a century ago could get there, someone would have tried it already. Sadly, no-one has succeeded in explaining this to Our Harry. Logical thought sits quite low in the list of hereditary features - somewhere after the instinct for listening to good advice. Go ahead, Harry Boy, we'll keep our fingers crossed for you.

QUEST DEFIES THE ODDS - A MIRACLE OF ENGINEERING

M.C.S

The 'Argent's Quest' is proving itself to be a significant improvement in all previous engineering designs. The ship has not been serviced since it's last visit to Alioth and is nevertheless still flying - and still defying the best attempts of not just one but two other Quest class war ships to hunt it down. There could not possible be a better test of Mic Turner's designs and it is a credit to the foresight and engineering skill of this talented explorer that the ship is still space-worthy. The fact that it is in the hands of [Pn is unfortunate and will almost certainly result in the destruction of the ship, however, it is clear that the design itself is close to faultless and we can await the production version with some eagerness.

In view of these recent setbacks, the Thargoid Rehabilitation Project has been abandoned, at least in the short term and awaits the return of Meredith Argent to Alioth. It is to be hoped that a second 'Quest' could be sent on the path of the first but there may be a delay of some years to allow all of those involved to take stock and review their mistakes.

QUEST RETURNS TO BASE

M.C.S

The 'Argent's Quest' has returned to Alioth for debriefing. [Pn flew the ship into base last month following a number of broadcast requests by Argent and the team at AAAI. The ship's flight recorder has been retrieved and full examination of the collected data is expected to take some months. In the meantime, [Pn has been deemed unfit to continue at the helm and has been relieved of the 'Quest's' command with immediate effect.

Those responsible for what was clearly an error of judgement in the choice of Commander will be required to make full reports of the selection process in an effort to avoid any further such catastrophes. The integrity of the Thargoid Rehabilitation Project has been seriously damaged and it is doubtful whether there will be any serious attempt to repeat it in the foreseeable future. Instead, the engineers at the New Rossyth Shipyard will devote their energies to improving the design specifications of the Quest class ships following the rigourous testing of the last few months.

ALLIANCE RECOVERS 'QUEST'

M.C.S

The 'Argent's Quest' has returned to base at the New Rossyth Shipyard and is being decommissioned by the shipyard engineers as we publish. The Commander in charge, [Pn of Sol has been returned to duties as a courier pilot with no ceremony whatsoever and is clearly an embarrassment to those in charge at the AAAI Board, having run riot around the known galaxy with no regard whatsoever for inter galactic protocol and basic safety requirements. The fact that the ship survived to return to its home base is a credit to its designers and the New Rossyth engineers rather than the somewhat juvenile attitude of the Commander at the helm.

That said, it is clear that the threat of a Thargoid invasion is greatly reduced and Federal diplomats are en route to Alioth to discuss the permanent lifting of the threat. It is hoped that a new pan galactic Treaty can be drawn up in which the AIS will give an undertaking not to repeat their venture in return for full diplomatic recognition and an improvement of trading rights with both the Federation and the Empire.

IMPERIAL NAVY FORCES QUEST HOME

M.C.S

The superior flying power of Imperial Naval fighters has forced the renegade ship 'Argent's Quest' to return to its home base at Alioth. The terrorist [Pn has been stripped of all honours and has been ordered off-planet by the AIS high command while the ship is being prepared for its return to its rightful owner, His Excellency, the Supreme Pilot Hengist Duval. Shipyard owner Meredith Argent has issued a full apology to His Majesty and has assured Naval planners that the 'Quest' will either be returned in full working order or will be replaced Argent's own ship - the 'Sappho's Quest'. They have also entered into negotiations with Luminary Aides from the High council in order to ensure that the Damoclean Sword of a threatened Thargoid Invasion is withdrawn forever. His Excellency is prepared to offer a lucrative financial and trading package in return for a squadron of 'Quest' class ships and a guarantee from the AIS that no further attempt will be made to investigate the Thargoid home worlds. Negotiators are confident that such an agreement can be reached in the near future.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

M.C.S

It is a sad fact of life the engineers rarely make good psychologists and those who build galaxy-beating ships are not necessarily the right people to pick a galaxy-beating Commander to fly it. As you will no doubt have heard by now, Commander [Pn, the one-time Galactic superstar has come home to base, tail between legs, and is now lodged firmly in the dog house. And not a moment too soon. There are a couple of hundred million people out there, any one of whom could have flown that ship and flown it well. Most of them would have given their eye teeth, their right arms and their pet gerbil to be given the chance.

But the idiots at NRS give it to some nird who turns up with a bright smile and a fancy record and offers to go 'where no-one has gone before' just like it says in the Dream-Ware. Can you believe anyone would buy that kind of line? Get a grip. Get real.

Turn off the dreams and turn on to reality, people. Those who want a job are not necessarily those fit to do it. Remember the Presidential elections on Earth? What would the human race be like today if they had gone on handing out power to the ones with the big smiles and the credit to buy it? Makes you shudder to think... And a millennium and a half later, folk are still falling for the same smooth line.

Never mind, people. Better luck next time. If there is a next time.

WHITHER THE THARGOIDS NOW?

M.C.S

So the 'Argent's Quest' is back in base and the post-mortem has begun. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, not least amongst them, how the strategists at the AIS could possible have made such a fundamental error in their choice of Commander for what was the galaxy's most audacious voyage. We needed a Commander with skill, a cool head and, above all, the courage to carry through whatever task presented itself and we failed absolutely to find the right person. The diplomatic pressures now being applied to the AIS are not to be taken lightly and it seems likely that, at least in the current generation, a further flight will prove diplomatically impossible.

Our politicians have a certain basic integrity and it is unlikely that they will be able to avoid signing the Treaties being offered them. The welfare of Alliance citizens comes first and there are too many good offers being made for us to turn them down. SO, the five Quest class ships will almost certainly be the last to be built and the four remaining will have no-sale edicts enforced so that those with personal conquest in mind will not be able to take advantage of the overwhelming advantage Quest ownership offers.

It won't stop other ship-designers from attempting to emulate the feat, but few have the necessary resources and none have the combined skills and experience of the Turner-Argent partnership.

EMPEROR TO BAN PERFORMERS

M.C.S

His most exalted Excellency Hengist Duval, Friend on the victims of War, Hammer of the causes of War, Upholder of the Scales of Peace, Ally to the Aliens, yesterday issued an edict through the offices of the Pan Systemic Imperial Councils forbidding any future performances of [SlL1("conjuring tricks","random acts of hypnosis","gratuitous juggling","stage magic") within the range of Imperial jurisdiction until further notice. The ruling follows an unfortunate incident that has recently come to light involving the newly retired ex-Crown Prince Harald and a number of [SlL2("small white rabbits","minor articles of clothing","flaming fire clubs","double-ended throwing knives").

The Emperor (May Light forever shine on His Countenance) sat in State in a meeting of the High Legislate and was much disturbed by the reports of the activities of street performers and patchwork circuses in the outer regions. It is His Excellency's esteemed belief that upright and hard working Imperial citizens would prefer to spend their free time learning [SlL3("Alien linguistics","the full history of our past encounters with our new alien allies"," about Alien tools and technology"). Accordingly, local Civic Guard leaders have been advised of the new changes in the new standard leisure curriculum and will be provided with suitable teaching material as soon as the latest budgetary estimates have been processed.

MISSING SPACE STATION SOUGHT BY FSS

M.C.S

A newly engineered space station designed to be used by both human and alien ships has been unlawfully removed from its temporary orbit around [SyR(F edge). The station, designed by a team of Federal engineers to an alien design was due to be launched into orbit during an Intergalactic ceremony at the end of the year. Leaders from all three human Galactic Powers as well as representatives from the Alien Trading Convention were due to attend. It has been suggested that this may well be the work of the 'Peace And Light Terrorist's Foundation', said to be the perpetrators of a series of 'landmark thefts' in the recent past. A spokes being for the Union of Federal Astro-Engineers has issued a statement strenuously denying the existence of any ransom demands. Local observers have, however, suggested that senior officials have been approached and negotiations are under way. [OoL2([FmL3,[FfL3), the station's senior designer is said to be under sedation in the Psycho-therapeutic wing of the [OoL4([FmL5,[FfL5) Hospital and other members of the development team are under round-the-clock police guard.

STAR BOOT SALE SUCCESSES MULTIPLY

M.C.S

Following the stunning success of the recent Star Boot Sale on [PlR(F edge), the Lainlan team Kape and Jarnessy are to form a limited company to market the idea further. Various large corporations have been approached for sponsorship and the latest news suggests that [CoR Inc and [CrR Corp are the front runners for what has to be one of the hottest commercial acquisitions this millennium. The stunning success of the Star Boot Sales came as a surprise to us all and even our most cynical of staff members (the [SlL1("intergalactic libel","Imperial Court","Military Defence strategy","post-alien economics") reporters) have been seen foraging for bargains amongst the massed piles of paraphernalia. This reporter has so far found [SlL2("a genuine alien hemi-thorax","the Komplete Kompilation of Jjagged Bbanners Zirconium Hits","fragments of the Original Pinnacle of KumByar","two millennia of back copies of 'National Geographic' on the original CD ROM") and an original pirated copy of an early computer space game both of which are now treasured possessions, taking pride of place in my personal effects compartment at the editorial offices. Rumour has it that the intrepid duo may have yet more enterprising ideas up their sleeve to keep the intergalactic credits flowing. Watch this space.

STAR BOOT ENTERPRISES TO HIT GALACTIC STOCK EXCHANGE

M.C.S

In a surprise move to outbid all its largest rivals, [CrR Corporation has put $500,000,000 credits up front as a down payment on the latest inter galactic rising star; Star Boot Enterprises (Inc). The arrival of the aliens has nothing on this. We have our own trading standards, our own idiosyncrasies, our own needs and wants. We can generate more trade in a couple of days Star Boot Sale than the rest of the Galactic Trading Association can in a month (with the obvious exception of the arms trade and the occasional hit when a novel narcotic swamps the market). The tendrilled ones (sorry, not PC. - Our friends the newly arrived, deeply honoured and greatly to be respected visitors from across the vast acres of time and space etc. etc. ad nauseam) haven't quite caught on to the idea of the Star Boot Sale yet so we have time to fix it as a cultural necessity before they write down our defining characteristics and freeze us forever in the liquid nitrogen of an academic treatise.

Get thee hence and rummage.

Go forth and multiply thy worldy goods, yea even though thou mayest not have need of yet another copy of the Inter Galactic Retail Therapy Guide to Home-Friendly Marketing Agents and tho' thy attic may already be packed with offcuts of Riedquatian mousemats.

This is the new crusade. We have our values and they are firmly rooted in the past. We need to learn to cherish the artefacts of the past. Our culture depends on our return to real family values.

Your culture needs you. You know what you have to do ...

NEW ACADEMIC FORUM

M.C.S

Academics from Institutes, Academies and Universities in all three galactic powers have been invited to an Inter-Species Convention on the alien spaceship currently docked at [SyL1(A edge). Human speakers have been invited on a number of topics as widely divergent as [SlL2("modes of reproduction","linguistic development","Cybersex","low temperature engineering") and [SlL3("tabloid journalism between the species","mythical spacecraft up to and including the Mirage 1","trans-species eco-terrorism"). Alien lectures will be delivered on, amongst other topics: [SlL4("hexagonal mathematics","hexagonal aesthetics","the philospophy of hive culture","non-verbal communication") and [SlL5("Ant to Alien: the development of a species","'The Limitations of Light': Relativity Re-examined","Species interchange: A new look at the Paradigm Shift in experiential psychology","Challenge: the concept of the Ages").

Short communications will be presented between the main topics and static presentations are invited for the lecture area. Summaries and synopses should be available for scrutiny by [Dr(60,120). Those wishing to attend should contact the local Academic Council, Institutional Legislate or State Provost, as applicable.

ECO-TERRORISTS USE ALIENS AS FRONT FOR ATTACK

M.C.S

Eco-terrorists have launched a series of arson and explosive raids on hunting lodges and animal-based food farms throughout the civilized sectors of the galaxy. Sadly, the individuals responsible have taken it upon themselves to enrol the tacit support of our new Alien Allies - without asking their permission or informing them beforehand.

Notes left after all [NuR(3,9) raids stated that the 'Inter-Species Solidarity Group' was funded by a consortium of alien philosophers and traders to 'enable them to prevent any further species extinctions' similar to those perpetrated by human kind across the Galaxy from Tau Ceti outwards. The aliens, have, naturally, denied any affiliation with groups of any political hue within the human spectrum and are making stringent efforts to aid the police of both Federation and Empire in apprehending those responsible.

EMPEROR ORDERS ARREST OF ECO-TERRORISTS

M.C.S

His Excellency Hengist Duval, Ally to the Aliens, Terror of Terrorists, Father of Democracy, has issued a warrant for the arrest at the earliest possible opportunity of the Eco-Terrorists responsible for mass destruction in a number of Imperial Hunting Lodges scattered throughout the Empire. At least a dozen individuals flying under AIS colours are known to be responsible for a rash of raids in the last month, culminating in the recent arson attack on the Imperial Lodge on O'Rourke's Colony, Exioce. The Lodge is renowned for its scientific investigative work on the feeding habits of the Exciocan Polar Bear and it is well recognised by academics across the Galaxy that hunting the bear on foot with a pack of bear hounds and a hand-held, gas-powered harpoon launcher is the only rational, objective means of discovering what the adult animals feed on in their natural habitat. The assertions of the terrorist that the process is in any way gratifying to those involved is, of course, an insidious lie, and a treasonous libel against His Majesty who takes a personal interest in the scientific research of His academic Centres. A reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of any individuals involved and anyone who believes they may have details of the attacks should report to their local Civic Guard.

NEW SOLUTION FOR RESEARCH REDUNDANCY

M.C.S

Following the destruction of the INRA Research Base by an unknown pilot at the end of what has now become known as the Regional Diplomatic Incident, a number of research scientists have become available for 'Research Locums'. This concept, based on the array of temporary consultancies available in other fields is being proposed as the solution to the current under-employment of specialists in such fields as bio-mechanics, genetic manipulation and fungal morphology. With the current upsurge in 'alternate species interests', there is an equivalent dearth of consultants in ethno-biology and related spheres. The suggestion, therefore, is that on-the-job training should be given to those scientists whose previous research careers have been prematurely terminated allowing them to fill the existing gap in the market.

Advisors from the Thargoids have further offered that those involved could be given 'intensive induction courses' on Thargoid technology, philosphy and history to allow them fully to integrate in the new mixed species society.

TURNER'S MEMORIAL ON ALIOTH

M.C.S

A Memorial to Commander Mic Turner the inter galactic explorer, is to be created on Argent's Claim, Alioth. The account set up by Meredith Argent at the time of Turner's Requiem has attracted funds from across the full spectrum of political affiliation and personal wealth. In addition, the Thargoids have recently made a significant contribution in acknowledgement of Turner's role in the release of their People from the isolation enforced by the INRA mycoid. It is now a recognised fact that it was almost entirely thanks to Turner's skill as a ship designer and personal bravery as a pilot that made the discovery of the Thargoid Home Worlds possible. Turner's Last Will and Testament contained a clause requesting that any memorial should be of a practical and educational nature rather than simply a standing monument. The influx of credit has been such that Meredith Argent and the other executors of the Will have decided to open an Academic Institute based at Fortress Culloden, Turner's home town. It will be known as the Turner Institute for Inter - Species Investigation and it will aim to be the foremost Institution dealing with human/Thargoid affairs from culture and history to biology and current politics. The design of the building has been put out to tender and Architects from across the Universe are invited to submit designs within the next two months.

INRA DISBANDED

M.C.S

The Inter Galactic Naval Reserve Arm has been disbanded. The news comes as a natural sequel to the new entente cordiale that now exists between the human and Thargoid inhabitants of the known Galaxy. Work has begun on the detailed examination of their records from the time of its inception and it is likely that we will have to deal with a lot of skeletons in our collective closet.

INRA was created at the onset of the first Mutual Misunderstanding (previously known as the First Thargoid War). Its sole intent at the outset was to wage war and to drive the aliens from our sector of the Galaxy. When it became apparent that human technology and flying techniques were no match for the alien ships, INRA became involved in the field of biological 'defence' research and the High Command, which had been drawn from the upper echelons of the Imperial and Federal Navies, began instead to be populated by Counter Intelligence Personnel and senior research scientists - all individuals with a personal interest in maintaining covert Imperial/Federal links and with a hidden agenda that went far beyond the eradication of the alien race. Their success in driving the Thargoids from our sector of space will be a source of shame to the human race for the rest of time - but it is the effects they had on Inter galactic politics that will cause the most disturbance as it comes to light.

INRA RECORDS - THE HIDDEN YEARS

M.C.S

The examination of the INRA files continues to cause disruption within the hierarchies of all three political powers as details come to light of the covert co-operation that existed between the Federation and the Empire, particularly in their attempts to suppress the rise of the Alliance of Independent States in the early part of the thirty second century.

The mighty have fallen amongst the Popular Councils of the Federation and heads have rolled (in some cases quite literally) amongst the Civic Guard and the High Legislate in the Empire. Naturally, the President and the Emperor are both being shown to be as pure as the driven snow and can claim to have been entirely ignorant of the acts carried out by their underlings. Neither is to be believed, but little redress can be made at this stage by insisting that full justice be done. The real crises are happening in the small Systems as official after official is shown to have been in INRA pay and entire departments are discovering that the only member not selling secrets to someone was the cleaning robot in the corner.

Even those are under suspicion in some places - and, following publication of some of the more unlikely bugging techniques, even the office plants are being taken very seriously as sources of leaks. The repercussions are likely to continue for some time - in the meanwhile, the therapy trade is making a fortune helping bruised egos to come to terms with the sense of betrayal and the loss of trust.

INRA - SAUNDERS: A FANATIC WITH STYLE

M.C.S

The investigators working through the INRA files have finally reached the section referring to the work of the Counter Intelligence Wing, most specifically, the actions of the late Commander J Saunders. Saunders had flown for the Federation in battle against the aliens in the War of Mutual Misunderstanding and, after losing a close friend in an attack on an alien mother ship, had requested a transfer to INRA - then a small but select fighter squadron with a name for suicidal (but very effective) sorties against the enemy.

The new INRA Commander led a series of stunningly audacious sorties and promotion followed swiftly enabling the pilot to take part in major strategic decisions. Minutes of meetings held with senior research scientists at towards the end of the war show that it was Saunders who understood the degree to which the human forces were out-classed and who pushed the development of the anti-alien Mycoid. When the time came, it was Saunders who volunteered to lead the small group of fighter- bombers that swept down on the alien planets in the Northern Sector and seeded the mycoid across the surface, destroying the enemy ship drives. Of the two hundred ships that left to attack the planets in the two alien systems, only a handful returned.

Saunders was decorated for bravery (with good reason,) and promoted to head of the Counter Intelligence Wing with a remit to see to it that the aliens were never given the opportunity to return.

INRA - SAUNDERS vs TURNER

M.C.S

Commander J Saunders, leader of the INRA Counter Intelligence Wing has been confirmed as the pilot responsible for the death of Commander Mic Turner, explorer, ship designer and philanthropist. Turner began the search for the alien bases as far back as the early thirty two hundreds following conversations with Professor Joreb Innitu of the Department of Alien Studies at the Ghandi Institute (Alioth). Innitu believed (correctly) that the aliens were not necessarily aggressive and that peaceful overtures on the part of a single human commander would be well received. Turner and Argent made it their life's work from that moment onwards to bring the aliens back to our sector of the Universe. Saunders, conversely, had a specific remit to prevent that from happening - at all costs.

Turner and Argent made no serious effort to hide their intentions and Saunders dogged their heels from the start. Turner did find the alien's base - but the INRA Counter Intelligence Wing, led by Saunders in person, intercepted the 'Quest' en route back to the AAAI's northernmost base at Tecumseh (Miandin).

We have no exact details of the dogfight that followed but, of the sixteen attack craft in the C.I. wing, only Saunders returned. Mic Turner's ship was also destroyed during combat and the explorer took to the Escape Capsule. Jo Merion, the Search and Rescue pilot launched as soon as the distress signal was received and located the capsule within a remarkably short time span. Tragically, Turner was already dead at the time of pick-up although the arrest of Merion and the confiscation of the Capsule delayed the release of the news sufficiently long to give Saunders time to return to base and pre-empt an Inter galactic diplomatic crisis.

INRA: SAUNDERS' SWAN SONG - 1

M.C.S

The final fate of Commander Saunders, Elite pilot of the INRA Counter Intelligence Wing, has come to light as the last revelation of the investigators working through the past INRA records. In the final phases of the Regional Diplomatic Incident (also known as the second Thargoid War), ambassadors from all parties were engaged in frantic negotiations to avoid the onset of a full-blown Galactic war that would have ripped apart the cultural fabric of the entire human race. Minor engagements occurred at that time between factions loyal to one of three sides and Saunders was responsible for maintaining a constant watch on the progress of negotiations.

There is a belief that members of the INRA High Command, now all dead, wished the War to escalate (in Saunders case, a personal hatred of the alien appears to have been the primary motive) and that they evolved a separate strategy specifically aimed at breaking the truce between the parties.

Our next article will examine the means by which this was very nearly successful.

INRA: SAUNDERS' SWAN SONG - 2

M.C.S

In our recent report on the INRA strategy files, we stated that Commander Saunders and the members of the Counter Intelligence Wing's High Command, intended to break the evolving truce growing between the alien Leaders and the human delegation. As part of this plan, Saunders used a cover identity to earn a position as part of the protection fleet escorting Meredith Argent and Kit Silver in the 'Sappho's Quest'.

During the final approach on the alien diplomatic fleet, Saunders launched a completely suicidal attack on the leading alien mother ship. Had the commander of the 'Sappho's Quest' been slightly slower, the Thargoid fighters would have been forced to defend themselves and their trust in the human race would have been irreparably damaged. In the event, Saunders' ships was destroyed by a salvo of nuclear missiles from the 'Quest' and the aliens were finally convinced of Argent's commitment to peace.

It was the end of a courageous, if misguided life, and we believe that, in the new spirit of co-operation some kind of memorial should be created in commemoration of the Commander's tenacity of spirit.

GRANT'S CLAIM REACHES OVER-FLOW

M.C.S

The Prison colony on Grant's Claim (Ross 128), otherwise known as 'The Warren', has reached its maximum overflow limit following a sudden rise in the rate of personal assaults in a number of Inner Core systems. The opening of the INRA files has revealed that large numbers of previously trusted personnel were, in fact, in the pay of the INRA Internal Surveillance Units and had been spying on their contemporaries and colleagues for decades. A close reading of the files has revealed that a number of unexplained deaths in the past were the result of INRA-inspired assassinations. Consequently, many of the alleged informants have been the subject of revenge attacks, some of them fatal, by bereaved relatives and friends of those assassinated. The FSS and the Imperial Guard have drafted in extra support on some worlds and are offering round-the -clock police protection to some of the better-known informants. The Courts have been saturated and are handing down custodial sentences with an alacrity that some Existential Rights lawyers find extremely disturbing, particularly now that 'The Warren' is full and there is a suggestion that a re-introduction of capital punishment would help solve the problem. Alternative suggestions include the sale of detainees to the aliens as research specimens or the creation of new prison colonies on some of the radio-active moons previously used as nuclear decontamination units.

RISING CRIME AND RISING VALUES

M.C.S

The civilised world has, once again, reached a moment of crisis. We are, in case you hadn't noticed, in a new era of humanoid (think about it) solidarity. We love those we used to hate (Oh, yes, you do. Don't argue with your elders and betters) and we are never going to be nasty to each other again (watch out for those low flying porcines ...) We have even, disbanded our secretest of secret organisations and published its secretest files for public consumption.

Classic Dreamware has nothing on this, guys. Come on down to your local civic defence office and find out all about the way your best mate has been shopping you to the pigs for years. Of course, nobody would be nasty enough to doctor the files or to cast nasturtiums whereon they may not heretofore have taken root. Not at all. We're all too nice for that, all of a sudden.

Which is why, you see, we also, rather suddenly, have prisons full to bursting with a number of you folks who never carried a bad thought in your brains but got unaccountably upset when informed of your ex-lover's infidelity with the surrogate-android-spy next door.

Shame on you. You ought to be immune to such things by now. We are, after all, an advanced (and therefore highly cynical) civilisation. Whatever would our new mates the Tendroids think of us if they new about all the petty squabbles? Tut. Grow up and get a life people.

Who said that INRA was dead?

Do you ENJOY being manipulated?

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT - THE ANSWER TO TRAFFIC OFFENCES

M.C.S

We have the answer. It was obvious all along. There are way too many folks languishing in 'The Warren', using up Federal funding and doing nothing more useful with their lives except experiencing hell, regretting their past and planning ways to break out (only a stab in the dark, that last one, they might be planning on staying inside - you never know).

So - too many people, too little credit, not enough space. Is the answer to stop sending perfectly harmless humanoids to prison?? Of course not. We should top the lot and bury them in a nuclear fuel dump where they won't be in anybody else's way. Obvious. Why on earth we didn't think of it before is a mystery. Our ancestors did it and nobody complained too much. They spent years voting it out of the legislation and then even more years voting it back on when their penal system proved to be a dismal failure.

Of course there were the odd feeble minds who thought that society was the problem and that shooting individuals wouldn't help but they were first against the wall so they didn't bother anybody much. So - we propose the same now.

Bring back the chair for everything from speeding upwards and see what happens to our overstocked prisons.

BREAKOUT FROM GRANT'S CLAIM

M.C.S

A mass breakout has taken place from 'The Warren' on Grant's Claim (Ross 128). This, supposedly impregnable prison colony has reached maximum capacity and the administration had lodged several complaints to the Authorities stating that the unit had reached flash point and that the critical mass of prisoners was such that a break-out attempt was almost inevitable. The trigger factor appears to have been the suggestion that Capital punishment be re-introduced retrospectively for all life sentences as a means of reducing the over crowding.

This, obviously impractical suggestion was under review only as a routine measure with no serious attempt to impose it. Nevertheless, the fact that it was about to go before the Popular Council was sufficient to stimulate the prisoners to attempt to leave.

Altogether, 768 prisoners have 'jumped ship'. Searches of their cells following the break revealed that the over-stocking had resulted in a reduction in security and that the prison visitors had been able to bring in explosives, armaments, ropes and spare clothes as well as details of an escape plan involving as many as a dozen passenger ships which had been booked to lift the prisoners off planet. The prison authorities were taken completely by surprise and gave very little resistance - for which reason, most of the guards were left alive.

Questions remain as to the official policy that allowed this situation to occur and there have been calls for the resignation of the Representatives responsible. So far, the Council has given no response.

NUCLEAR DUMPS - THE SOLUTION

M.C.S

Following our stunning success in proposing the re-introduction of capital punishment (and thank you for your comments on that, it was astonishing how many of you thought it was a good idea), we have a new solution to the age-old problem of nuclear fuel dumps. The problem has been with us since the early days of radio-activity.

As soon as the white-coated loons realised that it wasn't nice to have around, they began to devise methods of locking it up for the duration. For the duration of their life spans anyway.

Sadly, around the middle of the third millennium, the dumps began to leak and, for a while, old Mother Earth became a seriously dodgy place to stay.

Happily, the place was decontaminated and the collection of ions transferred to some of the outer moons around out-of-the-way places like Tau Ceti. It appears that environmental groups are now complaining that even this isn't safe and they want the stuff removed before our new pals the Tendroids (who seem to be acquiring the eco-friendly label without any real reason) come along and see what we've done to our environment and get shirty about it.

No chance. They're too sensible for that.

But, never fear. We at RIG have the answer all the same. We don't need to remove the hot stuff, we just have to rename the places. If the old name's gone, then it doesn't exist. And if the stuff isn't officially transferred to the new place, then it isn't there.

Gone! Easy! (they did this too on Earth and no-one made a murmur for CENTURIES!).

Any other problems out there? Let us know - we have the answers.

THARGOIDS SHOW INTEREST IN ICE WORLDS

M.C.S

The Thargoids have requested permission to send a scientific delegation to investigate the ice world Merlin. Apparently, their researchers believe that there may be similarities between the sub-polar eco-system of Merlin and certain local ecosystems which have evolved on their ammonia-based planets.

The temperature gradients involved in each case is different but some of the core principles are similar. Arrangements are being made to accommodate the mother ship and attendants in a variation of the local space station and human scientists from the Sirocco Institute will be in attendance to help answer whatever questions the visitors may have and to provide samples from some of the less accessible sites.

The visit is planned for the winter months when the conditions are coldest and the ice is at its most stable.

Fishing will be suspended for the duration of the visit to avoid possible offence to the Visitors.

CYBER PRODUCTION PLANT MOVING

S.O.

In order to dispel ill - founded rumours of selective 'termination', the Imperial Cybernet Co-operative wishes to make it clear that the removal of production units from the Olcanzian Cyber-vox plant during the last fortnight was merely part of the long-term Cyber-production efficiency drive. The local Commander of the Imperial Guard has issued an edict forbidding citizens to repeat suggestions that there may be any reason other than those directly linked to the welfare of the Empire. Citizens are reminded that the beneficence of their Emperor requires a continued effort to reduce the insidious assault of Federal scare tactics.

CYBER VOX TO CLOSE

S.O.

Contrary to the response made in the Imperial Herald on the selective termination programme by the Imperial Cybernet Cooperative exclusively revealed in our last issue, Frontier News has gathered a collaborative report from an undisclosed source within the Olcanze system confirming that not only is the rumoured programme well under way but that this is part of a larger scheme to close the Cyber-vox plant in favour of a more productive site on Candaess. Our source reports that, of the units mysteriously withdrawn from the production site in Olcanze, 12 of the 17 were fitted with an unauthorised circuit implant. Unfortunately our source was unable to be more specific on the precise consequences of these implants or by whom they were fitted... Watch this space!

THE ULTIMATE BEING

S.O.

The pace is hotting up in the Quest for the Ultimate Being, - the leader Noslos, has recently left the asteriod belt in the Southern Inhabited Zone and is consequently, a full 19 stages ahead of Stentorian, champion of Gastric 2. That Stentorian maintains this position is a tribute champion status, as his run has been dogged by disaster and mishap. This has naturally led some Gastric supporters to cry 'sabotage!' and has renewed the debate amongst promoters and commentators about the question of further regulation of the Contest of the Gods, as it is popularly called.

THE ULTIMATE BEING 2

S.O.

In a statement issued today one of the Federation's four Quest promoters, Sponduliks Gratsie, said:

"My position in the debate has long been established: it was ever the popular call for a contest which could be called 'ultimate'. A contest which tested the participants to the limits of their physical skills and resourcefulness and beyond the confines of a single atmosphere. We gave the crowds what they wanted, with the single proviso, in the best traditions of sport and moral decency, being that the contestants could not deliberately destroy one another; the crowd wants a winner not a blood-bath. So my reply to the wingeing anoraks is 'stop wingeing!' and use your brains to develop a more reliable flon suit for your competitors!"

THE ULTIMATE BEING 3

S.O.

News of the remaining 5 contestants in the 'Quest' ; Grimaldisson is in third, 2 stages ahead of Crangshav T in the sulphuric bogs on Taylor's Colony, (Tau Ceti), their pace has so far been slow - they will have to pick up a bit if they are to avoid the onset of the new season silicene storms. Wentzel is holed up and awaiting back-up, having crash-landed on an Altair moon and Cronzie and Feizweiller are locked in their own contest - with no hope of catching the leaders, poor nambies - in a battle over fifth place on the icy slopes of the Western Cape.

Finally, this week's lucky winner, in the Quest lottery, drawn by Noslos in the catacombes of Zentos holds card number TZ290893502@7B14 - Punch in and pick up your SurPrize!

renovation by innovation!

S.O.

Have you ever wanted to truly get your hands dirty as our Earth ancestors used to say? They didn't ! I hear you exclaim.

Oh yes they did! They lived surrounded by the natural elements - in fact they even used to clean themselves with water... can you imagine it!??

BUT THAT'S JUST IT - YOU CAN'T! UNTIL YOU VISIT SIMULATOWN...

So why not give your usual recreation a miss, just this once and treat yourself to an all in break in the Twentieth Century - you choose the decade and we'll provide the dwelling, the car, the children and the family pet, and the neighbours! More details in our next, riveting issue.

PAST HISTORY VACATIONS

S.O.

In our Simulatown you can choose from a number of twentieth century 'Western' locations, (Marseilles, Berlin, The Bronx, Torremolinos or Milton Keynes, to name but a few ) and you will experience what it's like to live in a dwelling which doesn't keep out the neighbours' screams, what it really meant to rear your offspring - Fathers may come to really understand the expression - changing the nappy... how the women strove to keep the living space in order and forage for food under almost insurmountable pressure... and - you will be able to give yourself, your partner, and two children of your choice, an unforgettable learning experience.

For a brochure and more information contact your local recreation bureau - Happy Holiday!

PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

S.O.

The Artualiser Philedus will be arriving from Tau Ceti today in the third leg of his spiritual passage to the Cardinal Points of the Federation. For those of you who don't already know, Philedus is planning to raise the archaic planet spirit Feminuna in a spectacular twilight show at the Athenian Fields. Ticket sales are booming as the reputation of this artist has grown over the past years. Philedus says that within a year the spiritual net of the Federation, which he maintains, he has been called upon to instate, will be completed. He hopes then to be party to the means to understanding many unexplained mysteries.

RAISING THE KING.

S.O.

The project to restore the Great Pyramid in the former state of Egypt on Earth is nearing completion. The final sections of stone facia are due to be erected in the next weeks, which means that the project should be open for public view before the end of the year. The public exhibition will chart the ancient history of the Pyramid, from its cosmic beginnings through modern ideas of its origins and purpose, its partial destruction and burial during the global war of the mid twenty-first century, to the recent reconstruction project. The project leader Lianne Dilingeris very happy with the progress made following the generous patronage of former Federation Executive Robert Lodge , without which, she says, the project would have collapsed.

CONQUER AND DIVIDE?

S.O.

Opposition to the plan to create an archaeological 'safe haven' or 'cosmic museum' for protected sites from all over Federation is growing. Several locations for the museum have been named by Global Experience Developments Inc., most of which are on desert moons involving terrific capital expenditure. Terra-formers would have to be sent in and carefully controlled atmospheric sectors established and balanced before it was even contemplated that the sites be removed and relocated. Many local pressure groups are forming in attempts to prevent the removal of local sites which they see as being the property of their locality and characterising their difference and particular identity. GEDI is naturally claiming that having the sites as part of a great collection will enable more people to gain first hand experience of places they might otherwise only dream of. Under vainglorious cries of bringing the Federation closer together and claims of 'the ultimate' recreational experience the first question most people are asking of course is, who's going to pay for all this?

SOULED OUT!

S.O.

Sorry folks, if you were planning to take in the 23rd Tau Ceti Bienniale, you've missed your chance! In a record sales storm, all the available places have been filled nine months in advance - it's going to be packed! In the biggest, liveliest and definitely most spectacular arts event in the calendar, the meeting of creative forces from all over the galaxies, the race is already on to produce the most stirring and controversial works ever. Nudity, gore, mind-control, works about purity and metamorphosis, bitter diatribes on the morality of genetic experimentation, works built by the feet of the spectators, we can expect all of this. Book early for the 24th!

ALIEN ARTEFACT FOUND IN DEEP SPACE.

T.G.

A scout class Federation ship, patrolling the outermost frontiers of the Olvebe system has just found a mystery capsule floating in space. The capsule is said to contain the perfectly preserved remains of two humanoids, dressed in alien garments. The Naval commander describes the couple as the most perfect specimens of Human kind he has ever seen. The man and woman are suspected as being clones, as they lack belly-buttons and are too perfectly formed.

Primary tests have established that one of the pair was already dead when placed in the capsule, whilst the other was apparently alive. The alien capsule of unknown date and origin is not equipped with life support or engines, and at present, little else is known. The bodies are being shipped to Eta Cassiopea for further study.

ROMEO AND JULIET FOUND IN SPACE !!

T.G.

Would you Adam and Eve it, a pair of love struck stunners have been found by Federation scouts near the Olvebe system. The scantily clad pair were found locked in a macabre embrace when their alien capsule was opened. Our sources report that tests carried out have proved that only one of the pair was dead when the capsule was launched and that the other apparently chose to be hurtled into the void with their corpse-like lover.

They say that the bonds of love are strong, but these two must have been glued together by epoxoplasm!

You too could win a luxury cruise around the Olvebe system with a partner of your choice. Relive the romance of the doomed couple in our Raceaway RIG competition. Stay tuned.

IT donations on #2127 898989.

DISCREDITED TAGGERS

T.G.

There has been a rise in the number of incidents of ship tagging by the group of youngsters called the 'Discredits'. This band of affluent youths have been seen playing a dangerous game of tag' with space craft emerging out of hyper space. Incidents range from head on challenges at full speed to actual hull contact before racing off and jumping to hyperspace. Recent targets have included military vehicles and even police craft. The comment from the Imperial house is that the Emperor is NOT amused and has ordered all transgressors to be given one warning to desist and surrender before being blasted into vapour. He further orders all parents and friends who know of these youths to contact their local police or face charges of disloyalty to the Empire. Citizens are reminded that treason remains a capital offence.

FREIGHTER RESCUED IN EASTERN FRONTIER

T.G.

A deep space freighter was rescued from pirate attack today by an unknown fighter. The Freighter 'Lulobelle' carrying a valuable mineral cargo came under attack from at least four pirate craft and suffered heavy damage before being unexpectedly rescued by a non-standard space fighter. The fighter destroyed three pirates and chased the fourth into hyperspace. The mysterious pilot of the craft circled the freighter once, then disappeared as swiftly as it came. The crew of the Lulobelle failed to make any contact with the fighter and commented later that they were baffled, but extremely grateful.

SIR GALAHAD COMES TO THE RESCUE!

T.G.

A space hulk attacked by pirates was rescued today by a mystery saviour in a souped up fighter. The Lulobelle, carrying allegedly 'sensitive' materials was all but lost when an unidentified fighter appeared and blasted the pirates to fragments. In a deathly dogfight the heroic fighter destroyed all but one of the pirate ships which escaped only by fleeing into hyperspace at the last moment. Commander Harrison of the FSS Lulobelle said, "It was fantastic. Just like being rescued by a knight of archaic Earth. He made sure we were OK before vanishing off into the darkness." Both Federation and Empire star fleets have both issued statements claiming the credit for mystery fighter and his deeds.

TAU CETI RE-POPULATION

T.G.

Tau Ceti has launched its environmental revival drive this week, which coincides with the 2nd Millenial of the special preservation programme begun in 2302. The Federation environmentalists on Tau Ceti are determined to eradicate at least part of the destruction caused in the settlement of the system back in the 21st century. A new cloning method called GMR (Gene and Molecule Realignment) will be used to reintroduce some of the indigenous life forms back onto Tau Ceti but with defences against the virii and bacterium which all but destroyed the life forms in the early years of colonization. A spokesman for the Federation has called it 'A new way forward, a way of dealing with the future by solving the problems of the past.'

BUGS TO BE PUT BACK ON TAU CETI

T.G.

Federation boffins are determined to make amends for the obliteration of life on Tau Ceti by reintroducing the creatures that once lived there. Using a new cloning method the scientists on TC believe that they can recreate the original species but also make them stronger and able to withstand the bacterium that wiped them out in the first place. There has been major concern expressed over the threat to human colonists by these new super bugs. Many religious groups have warned of the dangers of playing at God and have insisted that the experiments be stopped. Organisers of the planet's 9th centenary celebrations have listened to all concerned parties and have expressed their assurances over the safety of the whole matter.

STAR KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN.

T.G.

The caped crusader of the space lanes has reappeared in dramatic style this week with his astounding rescue of a disabled craft heading out into uncharted space. Not only did the hyperspace hero take the craft in tow, but he also fought off an attack by space pirates, determined on salvage. The ship tried vainly to make contact with our valiant solar warrior, but again he refused to answer. All of us here at RIG are giving the mysterious warrior our full support and say: 'Go get 'em star knight'.

HONOURED CADETS

T.G.

A group of Imperial Navy cadets were today rescued by a member of the experimental branch of the Empire's star fleet. The pilot, who cannot be named for reasons of interstellar security, rescued the stricken craft after a malfunction in the guidance computer sent it hurtling off into unknown space. Whilst the Imperial rescuer took the craft in tow it was attacked by space pirates and despite its crippled burden, it successfully fought off the attack and brought the Naval craft safely back to Olphize. The Emperor himself has declared that he will personally decorate the young hero on Empire Day later this year.

Viewing attendance is mandatory.

OLF TRYGVASSON DISAPPEARS.

T.G.

Wily old inventor Olf Trygvasson has vanished, reports our man on Essurge. He was allegedly working on an extradimensional space/time travel machine when he mysteriously vanished sometime last week. His workshop revealed little evidence as to his whereabouts, except for a strange dull-metal doorway set in the centre of the room. Scientists at the DAMAR corporation are examining his notes and some experts have suggested that Olf had indeed perfected his device but has been unable to return. Further news will be reported as it happens.

INTERSTELLAR CRUSADE.

T.G.

A fundamental terrorist group called the Followers of the One Moon. Have begun a series of devastating attacks on random shipping and space port targets in the Eastern Rim. They have called for the dismantling of all the bases on Sol's moon, claiming it to be a divine and living being. The terrorists also demand a similar evacuation of all the galaxy's moon bases as it sees these moons as children of the One Moon. The Federation has responded by calling the group a bunch of 'deranged and highly dangerous lunatics with no more respect for human life than a female Dolanguanu in the rutting season.' The sect have yet to reply.

CLUES TO TRYGVASSON MYSTERY.

T.G.

Spokesmen at the DAMAR corporation have issued a statement declaring Olf Trygvasson's extra-dimensional travel experiment a theoretical feasibility. Close examination of his notes have revealed that he did indeed send himself through the dimensional portal which he reputedly created after forty years of research. The DAMAR corporation are now seeking a volunteer to go in after the Professor on a rescue mission, to first ascertain if the dimensional travel is actually possible and secondly to see if the Professor is still alive.

DAMAR are offering a 500,000 credit pay incentive to any volunteer brave enough to follow Olf into the portal.

Applicants should contact DAMAR 010101 for details.

FAMINE REPORTS OVER-EXAGGERATED.

T.G.

The alleged famine on Delta Pavonis that was already supposed to have claimed thousands of settlers lives has been greatly exaggerated by scaremongerers and journalists say Federation sources. Admiral Patton has issued a statement that although pirate attacks and crop failures have induced some shortages, they do not pose a serious threat to the community on DP. Hundreds of angry free traders however are up in arms after a disastrous attempt to cash in on the crisis. Many had travelled with vast cargo's of foodstuffs which they had hoped to sell at exorbitant prices in the DP market place. The Admiral has assured them that all foodstuffs are appreciated and will be bought but at current market prices only. So the message to all would be profiteers is 'don't bother!'

ALIEN CIVILISATION FOUND ON HOEDA

T.G.

Archaelogists have found evidence of a vast complex of caves and tunnels that bear all the hallmarks of a sophisticated civilisation. The huge hive-like structure is buried deep underground and has been blighted by massive seismic disturbances. So far no real artefacts or traces of Alien habitation have been found, but some tunnels do bear the faint remains of pictograms and glyphs which scientists are at present trying to decipher. Chief Archaeologist Rupert Schielleman has called it a monumentous discovery and says it is just a matter of time before some important Alien artefacts or representations of the life forms that once inhabited the structure are found. The Government of Hoeda have issued an assurance that there is no danger of contamination or Zoomorphic assaults. The estimated age of the complex is some 4000 years old.

NEW THEORY ON RISING AGGRESSIVE TENDENCY IN MANKIND.

T.G.

OLASK Independent research labs have discovered that man's neo-cortex is shrinking and the resultant loss of cerebral accommodation is the cause of the rising trend of violence. Doctor Heimlich Strange believes that mankind has an 80% NC and can comfortably cope with a proximity of approx. 150 persons, whereas most primates have only 20-40% NC and have a proximity threshold of 8-12. With the disintegration of the NC area our tolerance for cramped habituation is reduced and violent claustrophobic tendencies emerge. Though the reduction in NC is assuredly slow, both Empire and Federation administrations are looking into the research with interest.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY.

T.G.

Invitations have gone out today inviting the greatest of the world's personalities, thinkers, statesmen and visionaries to share in the Emperors Birthday celebration. The festivities are planned to begin on the Spring solstice and continue for two weeks. Great events and tournaments are planned and intergalactic holidays have been announced. The galaxy wide singing of the Happy Birthday salute has been arranged for 12 noon on the 21st and everybody is expected to participate. The Emperor himself will listen to the praise, in the great Duval liberty park near the imperial residences. We here at IH give our own salutations too.

Long live the Emperor!

THOUGHT POLICE AT EMPERORS BIRTHDAY PARTY

T.G.

Fed sources within the Empire have reported that Psi-wardens will be positioned at special gateways at all the celebration centers on Capitol for Duval's birthday. The crowds will be monitored as they pass through the gates to pick up on any anti-Imperial feeling and dissent. The full Psi force will be employed to cover the galaxy wide celebrations, in what the latest confidential messages describe as merely attempts to secure against assassination or mischief. Federation foreign office regulator Emerson Willnot has called the news 'symbolic of the paranoia and lack of personal freedom within the Empire today.'

MUTATIONS ON THE RISE.

T.G.

News is coming in that a proportion of the colonists on Frontier outposts in the Southern Inhabited Zone are suffering from mutations and malformations. New born infants have been born with a variety of disfigurements ranging from skin pigments to limb abnormality. Long term settlers too have become affected with many suffering mutations to their genetic makeup as they go about their daily lives. Soloman Burke, a representative of the affected mutant community says: "Something is messing with our DNA structures and throwing up abnormalities. Yesterday I developed the beginnings of all-over body fur, many people's skin is changing colour. it's got to be stopped." Scientists are being sent to the outposts to run tests to seek the cause of the mutations, but meanwhile the Government statement is to no be unduly worried.

Well I'm sure we can all sleep more soundly for that advice.

Right Mr Burke?

EMPEROR ORDERS DESTRUCTION OF VILE INSECTS.

T.G.

The Emperor has issued an order for the eradication of the Zimbalaen beetle on the grounds of Royal effrontery. The Emperor was reportedly stung by a Zimbalaen during an important state speech and was beside himself with rage. Despite the intense pain, the Emperor carried bravely on with scarcely a falter in his stride, such is the character of our noble leader. The Emperor now orders that all non-essential research be switched to developing an insecticide which will destroy the insect utterly, an act which our leader deems necessary for intergalactic security and safety.

By order of the Emperor.

HOLO PULLED OFF

T.G.

The smash Holovision shows 'Crazy Colonists' and 'Spot the Alien' have been taken off the air after complaints of allegedly hideous xenophobia and simple poor taste. A spokesperson for the Galactic viewers association stated that such shows were harmful for interplanetary relations and exacerbated colonial tensions by their vid-enhanced ridiculing of the indigenous inhabitants. The show's producer JS Beagle, has listened to the complaints but still argues that it's all harmless fun, in the best tradition of Holovid entertainment. Mr Beagle may however pull both series at the end of this season to make way for his new blockbuster series 'Did They Make It?' where contestants are invited to gamble on the outcome of real life filmed space craft crashes. Mr Beagle gives his usual assurance for quality, taste and of course...fun!

MYCOID ON MOON

T.G.

A new terror biological agent has been discovered among many Federation and Independent space craft and stations. The mystery organism, thought to be of mycoidal origin, attacks sporadically and affects all known plastics. The mycoid first appeared on a remote moon base in the Aackin System, where it first ate through a chair in the command console of a passing courier ship. From there it swiftly spread to infect all the plastic switches, controls and surfaces in the post. The station was evacuated when it was discovered that the majority of the sealing ducts were of a plastic composite. Some of the Mycoid must have been brought on board the escape ships as further outbreaks of infection have been reported in other sectors and the original ships have all been forced into major overhauls due to system failures. The agent does have an apparent life cycle however, and apparently only 'eats' during a relatively infrequent virulent phase, returning afterward to a near dormant state. Scientists will investigate the outbreak in the near future but are first looking to modify their life support suits, with the replacement of all plastic parts.

KILLER IN YOUR PLASTIC!

T.G.

Confidential papers leaked from the Federation head office have told of a mystery fungus that eats plastic and has already claimed one moon-base and the lives of a dozen crew. The fungus then spread from the base by the panic stricken survivors fleeing in tainted space craft. The bug which attacks all known plastics, has little or no effect on humans, but can apparently be carried by us. Androids, hazard workers in survival suits, and those with bio implants have the most to fear and are cautioned to take extra care. The good news for environmentalists however is that at long last we've found something to destroy the styrophome packaging cases used for the kiddie- burgers. Trust your raceaway RIG say, always look for the bright side in every story.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ETERNALLY OPTIMISTIC gorgeous and well-built ANDROID seeks similar for mutual fun amidst the palm fields of Canarbe. Federalists only. No anarchists or eugenicists.

LOVEABLE BOHEMIAN with an eye for the high life seeks SHIPS COMMANDER to take me away from all this.

ME: attractive, athletic, spectacular, expensive tastes.

YOU: anyone, anyplace, anytime as long as you have a fast ship and know how to use it. All mail answered.

CREATIVE ATTRACTIVE intelligent, intellectual with triple honours degree in multiple layer astronomy, ether-ware and marketing seeks stunningly attractive, willing counterpart to explore the galaxy.

WRITTEN OFF WRECK on the Outer Edge with ageing Cobra and no cash for a re-fit seeks someone with credit to fund one last trip beyond the Limits. If you want to go places no one has been before, mail me. I'll drive if you'll navigate.

COCKTAILS

ANARCHAL GLOOM

per glass:

  • 1 large Merrinol Cherry
  • 1 part Anarchal Gin
  • 3 parts ripe IndigoFruit juice
  • ice - to taste

Dispense gin over ice. Add Indigo fruit juice. Garnish with Merrinol Cherry and small flying Cobra.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

HELP! Deeply reverent human seeks commitment forever with the right person. A wish to stay together for eternity is all it takes. Mail me and I'll call right back.

DO YOU COLLECT Old Gold Dreamware? Do you sleep night after night, running through the Golden Oldies, wallowing in nostalgia for the days when there was Only One Earth? Then we are meant for each other! Come share a dream with me...

WITTY UNPRETENTIOUS staggeringly bright ANDROID with an IQ that would fill your data banks seeks PARTNER to fill that Void together. Send me a read-out of your cerebral statistics and we could be joined in the mind by tonight.

COCKTAILS

ZEROX

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 part Dubrek's Wine
  • 2 parts Anarchic gin
  • 1 slice SourFruit, 1 slice Sunfruit
  • 1 sprig Mentholeaf

Put ice in tall glass. Add Dubreck's and Gin. Stir vigorously. Add Fruit slices and Mentholeaf. Strain and dispense.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

WHO CARES what everybody else thinks? HUMAN seeks ANDROID to share the things they always said we couldn't do. Nothing is beyond the power of the ever-seeking mind. Join me and we'll knock down every boundary.

EXPLORE THE WORLDS with Commander who wants that little bit more. If you're as tired of simple star-hopping as I am, bring your Interstellar Passport and join me en route to riches that last beyond waking. Only true Adventurers need apply.

UNASHAMED OLD FOGEY looking for person of Imperial tendencies to share the important things in life: I can provide the T 2 9 9 9 Illusial Wine if you can bring the smoked Kethen Roe.

COCKTAILS

LIGHTENING STRIKE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • splash of Grenadine
  • 3 parts Anarchal Gin
  • 1 part fresh Sunjuice
  • 1 part fresh Sourjuice
  • soda water to taste
  • Put ice cubes in cocktail shaker

Dispense fruit juices, grenadine and Anarchal Gin over ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into tall glass, add soda water and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

PSYCHOLOGIST (mixed andro-human) seeks active subject for investigation, perhaps persuasion, possibly even seduction. Keep the life histories short. Mail me now.

GO FISH! Vibrant, inspirational professional, seeks emotionally and spiritually literate soulmate with no existing attachments to share the magic of life. Mail today, no holo required, just a smile. Go ahead - make my week.

DNA-LINE 20 9: 5 8 8 6:7 5 2, induced on Urandol late in the clone cycle wants to meet other, of earlier manufacture to share the experiences of the past.

FOLLOW THE OLD ROAD Come and join me on the heather heaths of Aeneth. Enjoy the sound of hoof beats on the tracks between the settlements. Anarchist, tired of technology, seeks companion to share the ultimate anti-tech lifestyle in the Highland Idyll. Don't come if you think you need your wrist-corder and your cyclo-gem.

COCKTAILS

RABID ANARCHIST

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 part Anarchal gin
  • 1 part Indigofruit Juice
  • 2 - 3 drops Bittersun

Place ice in glass. Add Bittersun. Pour in Anarchal gin and IndigoFruit Juice. Stir gently.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY with unlimited potential for life-time's reward. ANDROID with re-renewed life-span circuits looking for new-ish offering with a zest for exploring life. Interest in didactic exchange an advantage.

TRADER with qualification in human interaction and relation-sales seeks companion for trading partnership, possibly more Evidence of sales skills essential. No Anarchists.

CREATIVE ADVENTUROUS anarchist with undying hatred of technology and Police states mentality seeks friend to explore all possibilities, inner and outer.

STR ONLY Happy, untrammelled, devious young-old explorer seeks friend for short term relationship. Come spend a Cycle or two with me and we'll part as friends.

COCKTAILS

REACTIONARY ACTION

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 2 parts Anarchal Gin
  • 2 part Sunfruit Liqueur
  • 1 part Sourfruit juice ( plus slice of fruit)

Place ice cubes in shaker. Dispense Hydri bitters, Sourfruit juice and Sunfruit Liqueur over ice. Add Anarchal Gin. Agitate vigorously. Strain and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

WHO NEEDS Life time's commitment? You are what you are. Live your life for its own sake - it may be the only one you get. If this is you, join me and we'll share a moment where our paths cross.

CAT LOVER seeks Feline Fan to share a trip to the Fashi Shrine and Living Cat Monument on Fashi-ret. If you have a friend who could cat sit for six dozen happy mogs, it would help...

BROADMINDED IMPERIALIST looking to try something new seeks Anarchist with no hang-ups to see what happens when the chips are down.

DREAM-WEAVERS mail me now and we'll dance the dreams into reality.

COCKTAILS

ARCHAIC EARTH

per glass:

  • 1 tetrahedron sucrose
  • 4 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 part Earth Scotch
  • 1 slice Sourfruit
  • 1 Indigofruit

Place tatrahedron in glass and add Hydri Btters. Add sucrose syrup and swirl round glass. Add ice cubes, layer on Scotch. Add fruit as garnish.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

STAR-DANCING ANDROID seeks co-enchantment with fresh, newly serviced, Theta model to share the Galactic magic.

MEDICAL TECHNICIAN with coronary ultrasongraphic speciality co-opted on Federal Navy seeks fellow Server to share long flights between battles.

PROGRAMMER seeks real human being to bring excitement, light and a GSOH to the lonely existence. Don't they all?

HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC elderly Human seeks Friend of either build, preferably crumbling at the edges to stare at the sunset on the long summer evenings. Peaceful and non-invasive interaction only.

COCKTAILS

BITTER BOA

per glass:

  • 4 ice cubes
  • 6 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 part Sucrose syrup
  • 3 parts Caledonian Scotch

Place ice in glass. Swirl in Bitters. Add Scotch, stir hard and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

CODE 30 7: 4 4 7 9:0 5 5, developed Andceefa, original cycle stock, now on Veliaze with own living quarters seeks friend to remember the past.

BE WHO YOU ARE unserviced, original stock, survivor of the Core Wars seeks similar to walk proudly into the future.

ARTISTIC CREATIVE ANARCHIST graduate of Setorin School of Sculpture seeks relaxed, broadminded home-mate to help the creativity flow free.

UNINHIBITED LIFE-LOVING Human seeks partner, long or short-term with overwhelming, obsessional interest in toes, teeth and poetry.

HEDONIST seeks same to fulfil both our potentials.

HAVE YOU THE FAITH? Fanatical follower of the teachings of the glorious Ade-Mohl seeks friend with similar beliefs to make pilgrimage to The Source. With the whole Universe against us, what is there to lose...?

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ANDROID/HUMAN/BOTH? If you can't tell the difference either, we need each other. Join me at the start of a new life on voyage to the colony of Demerit where the organic-mechanic dialogue is seen as the meaningless trivia it has always been.

UNUSUAL ARCHAEOLOGIST, seeks companion to travel to the outer edges in search of possible alternative Civilisations. If you can read, write and pilot a Ship beyond the places anyone has ever been, call me, I need you...

IMPERIAL CONSULATE with exotic taste requires Federal friend for fun and frolics on next visit to edge world. All letters treated in strictest confidence.

LONELY SPACE TRAFFIC CONTROLLER locked in loveless long-term-relationship requires confidante in similar straits to alleviate the tedium of the long hours between shifts. Confidentiality guaranteed.

CLONE: 0 8 6: 1 1 3 8: 6 9 6, SAFELY FEDERALIST seeks identical to share new-found freedom.

COCKTAILS

SPITTING COBRA

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • juice Sour Fruit
  • 1 part Sucrose syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 parts StarPort
  • 3 parts Earth Scotch

Put iced in a shaker. Pour on the SourFruit juice, sucrose, StarPort, Scotch and egg white. Agitate, strain and serve in short glass.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

EXCITING, ADVENTUROUS and looking for short term fun? Anarchic poet with stunningly short hair and tendency to break into verse seeks willing listener for mutual appreciation.

BULLETIN BOARD SUPERVISOR with terminal brain-drain looks for stimulating new diversions to break the monotony of the ether-ware. Come and share my view-screen and the hours in between.

ADVERTISING MANAGER. If you're into compact adverts and individualistic style structures with exactly the right amount of customer appeal, I'm here to evaluate your relationship appreciation scores.

ANDROID seeks same. Epsilon model 2 20 1: 90 from Edge Wars on Andceeth, many recent upgrades, seeks compatible model for friendship and maybe more. No hemi-organics.

TIME TO MOVE ON? Stuck in the same LTR and ready to break free? Me too. Federal, largely organic, cosmopolitan tastes and need to travel beyond the Core, seeks friend to share new horizons.

WILD AND WEST of the sun. Crazy anarchist with neat collection of old music and new prose looking for sporting companion to enjoy the finer things of life. I'm moving north to the High Lands of Alba. Coming with me?

COCKTAILS

FROG'S BACK

per glass:

  • crushed ice
  • 1 dozen Menthol leaves
  • 1 part sucrose syrup
  • 3 parts Earth Scotch

Put menthol leaves in glass with half of the sucrose syrup. Crush leaves into syrup to release menthol. Pack ice into glass with remaining syrup. Add Scotch and rock with care. Place sprigs on menthol on top of ice.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

EXPLORER. Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Looking for something new to stretch the boundaries, just because they're there. Join me?

NEW TO THIS? If you've never tired this before either then you're the ANDROID for me. Shy and retiring model with genuine sensitivity seeks new friend. No cynics, no dead-beats.

PIRATE INSTINCTS , ship and treasure trove to match. Outlawed in every part of the Universe and still fighting on. If you dream of adventure, adrenaline , star-fighting and glory AND you care nothing for the rules of the Galactic Lawyers, then you're the one for me. Companion-in-arms required to face every challenge and keep smiling. No wimps.

STARSHIP COMMANDER with roving eye and restless soul seeks partner to share the voyages between the stars. Physical intimacy, social intercourse and psychic communion all on offer for the right person.

REFORMED COMMITMENT-PHOBE with new ideals seeks partner to attempt the impossible. I'll commit to you if you'll commit to me. Interest in back copies of Jameson's Intergalactic Starships an advantage. Hologram essential.

ANDROID with late Ayolex fittings , spent several years in therapy now seeking soul mate to share the last few centuries of retirement. Android or hemi-mechanic preferred but anything considered. All mail answered.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE in Federal Territory. It IS possible. All you need is faith, drive, optimism and the right partner to share the dream-ware. If you want to do something a little different without leaving the Core, talk to me and we can find what else we have in common.

INTERGALACTIC LEGAL EAGLE with too many credits, too much time and too little to spend it on needs supportive, athletic, adventurous friend(s) to share the space between the Suits.

LOUSY SENSE OF HUMOUR? Me too. Break free of the ad-time stereotype and join me in a little plain, unadulterated hedonism in the space between the worlds. If you're at least partially human ( or can fake it convincingly) and are looking for commitment-free fun with a like-minded fellow-being then send me a mail. Only interesting letters answered.

TERMINALLY OPTIMISTIC anarchist with no poetic tendencies whatsoever but a huge collection of late third millennium music, seeks artistic friend to share moments of lyrical ecstacy.

CORPORATE IDEALIST with a view to the future seeks companion for progenation and more. I have the relevant stocks if you can provide the PEPs and Policies...

FORGOTTEN THE QUESTION? I have the answer (...and it isn't what you thought it was...) Only love and permanent romance can provide the key to the meaning of the Universe and I have an infinite supply of both. Mail me - the answer to everything you ever wanted.

COCKTAILS

ADVERTISING SLOGAN

per glass:

  • 6 small ice cubes
  • 1 slice Sourfruit
  • 2 parts Solar Rum
  • 3 parts Licenced Cola

Place ice in tall glass. Add Rum and Cola. Stir with just the right amount of twirl and add a tasteful twist of Sourfruit. Serve to Corporate customers with suitable credit ratings.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

CUDDLY ANTI-ROMANTIC, one of life's arm-chair spectators with no interest at all in anything beyond Universally Wonderful Food, Quinessian Champagne and Silk seeks companion to spread the delight. All mail answered WITHOUT hologram.

SUN-DIVER with own ship and sixteen direct scores on current rating needs companion to share the glory. If you've never dived, this is your chance.

COME HUNTING in Aymiay. Big game hunter with an eye for a neat catch seeks companion for this trip only. Guaranteed NO permanence. Late model Androids considered. Hologram essential.

SERIAL MONOGAMIST seeks the next in the series.

ME: tall, supple, slender, spectacular with own eyes, hair and positive credit rating in all four Quarters. Interests: winter sports, underwater living, moonraking.

YOU: dazzling, delightful, daring and keen to join in.

ROVING JOURNALIST with beat up Vintage Cobra and cool shades looking for travelling companion to share the next big scoop. If you can handle badly made tea, don't mind being polite to politicians and like the idea of making love in a hammock, send me a hologram.

DEDICATED ORNITHOLOGIST planning the trip of a lifetime to seventeen Outer Edge Systems - fully kitted Anaconda with all observation hides and infra-red telescopic equipment. All that's missing is another being to share it all with. If you go ape over the Wailing Swans of Cygni and weak-kneed at the sight of the Midget Burrowing Owls of Olwain, mail me (with hologram) and tell me your ticks.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

AVID DREAMWARE fan, extensive collection of the latest etherware technology looking for late-night companion with alternative day-time interests.

MUSEUM CLERK with really interesting lifestyle and absolutely fascinating personality seeks irrationally attractive companion to take me away from all this.

FOREVER YOUNG? Permanent adolescent with juvenile sense of humour and series of irrational cult attachments seeks equally puerile travelling companion for biking trips between the stars.

THERAPY JUNKY? If you've got every publication on creating the perfect relationship, read them all and thrown them into the waste disposal unit, come and join me in a life without theory. No more analysis. Just think of the freedom. Only genuinely therapy-free mail answered.

NO FRILLS, no hidden extras. Plain old Eagle Pilot, recently bereaved, recently retired seeks new friend to watch the suns set over the horizons of your choice. Humans of advancing years only, please.

COCKTAILS

TOAD'S EYE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 measure Sucrose syrup
  • juice of 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • juice of 1 fresh Sunfruit
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 2 parts Solar or Crystal Rum
  • 3 parts soda water
  • 1 sprig fresh mentholeaf

Place ice in tall glass. Dispense in freshly squeezed fruit juices. Sprinkle bitters over ice. Add sucrose syrup and Rum. Tilt and swing gently. Add soda to taste. Decorate with fresh fruit slices.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

MARKETING MANAGER of a seriously big Intergalactic Development Corporation looking for new diversions between meetings. Come and share the high life. Materialists only. Hologram essential.

VIRTUAL REALITY isn't what it used to be. This reality is better, especially if you have someone really exciting to share it with. Come up and see my selection of 4-D graphics over a small chipped vessel of Tiolcean tea and we'll see who's reality is the more fun.

FORTUNE FROWNS on the feeble. Conversely, if, like me, you are bright, active, attractive and ready for a new start in a new System with a new friend, then mail me, with Hologram, mine available by return.

IMPERIAL INDUSTRIALIST seeks life partner from Inner Core colony. Must be medically and psychologically fit for life on a mining planet with abiding interest in Imperial history a pre-requisite. No Federalists. DNA testing mandatory.

COCKTAILS

IDENTITY CRISIS

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup
  • 1 part Anarchal gin
  • 2 parts Doom Rum
  • dry ginger ale
  • 1 slice fresh Sourfruit

Place ice in cocktail shaker. Add Gin, sucrose syrup amd Rum. Shake and strain into glass. Top up with ginger ale. Decorate with Sourfruit slice.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

SYSTEMATIC CHARISMA and devastating charm. Ex- sun diver with scars to prove it and no more need for adrenaline seeks new companion to share a more leisurely lifestyle on the Outer edges. Could consider anarchic lifestyle for the right being.

SHIPS ENGINEER with routine day and semi-routine nights seeks wild young thing to add a touch of spice to life.

FREED SLAVE, in therapy with full transference to several professionals seeks non-professional companion to begin experiments in intimacy. Relaxed, sympathetic android or human. No Imperialists. No pirates. All suitable mail answered.

DECREPIT ANDROID with no new parts whatsoever wants similar friendly heap of junk to rot away the hours together.

DESPERATELY SEEKING STARGAZER needs new stimulation to make sense of all of this. Do you run through your dreams with no-one to guide you too? Do you want a sane, reliable friend who shares the same aspirations? Do you want to meet me? Send a holo with your mail.

SOUL-SICK FEDERALIST Do you loathe the pusillanimous ravings of the Protectorate. Never want to hear another rant about the nasty Imperialists? Don't believe the Anarchists are as dangerous as they make out? Join me and we'll break free together.

COCKTAILS

ADDER BITE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup
  • 4 drops Hydri bitters
  • juice of 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 3 parts Crystal Rum
  • 1 egg white
  • soda water

Whisk egg white until stiff. Put ice cubes in cocktail shaker. Sprinkle bitters over ice. Add fruit juice, sucrose, Rum and egg white. Agitate vigourously and dispense unstrained into tall glass. Top up with soda water. Serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

FANCY HAVING A GO at being a real live human being when you've made it through therapy? Come help me in the search for meaning and entertainment in the life after the analysis-tank. All reasonable mail answered.

TOAD SEEKS TENDER HEART to complete the transformation to real live person. Android or human considered. No bars to the possibilities. All you need is the will to love...

TIRED OF LIFE? If you've ever stood on the edge of the waste disposal unit and seriously considered pressing the key, you know how it feels. Why go on? Perhaps we can find the answer together.

WHO AM I? Where am I? Who said so? Why? Answer: I'm a lithe, athletic, fun-loving Corporate statistics student heading for a degree in Marketing analysis and a second Diploma in Archaic Music Making on Exiagre. I said so and I can make it happen because it's my dream for life. If you'd like to help make the fantasy real, bring your stunning physique, your razor-sharp mind and your spectacular sense of humour to the Starport on Ex for a raving night out. Mail with a hologram for date and time.

TREE CREEPER. My garden is a lifetime's work. Every acid-loving, sun-seeking arboreal species known to the galactic Come and sit in the shade of the Bebecon Ash or dip your toes in the pool beneath the Phiinex Hazel. All you need is an appreciation of the sensuality of trees. Mail me your holo and I'll send you mine.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ECO-TERRORIST in-the-making with ideals intact seeks committed companion for Kamikaze training mission.

IMPERIAL MERCENARY seeks short term companion for off duty recreation.

REVEL IN THE CELTIC PAST in the community of Aeneth. Bring your broad sword, your shield, a hunting knife and be prepared to live without ANY of the technological life support systems (beyond the Statutory Minimum) Human/android equally welcome.

MAGNIFICENTLY BEAUTIFUL human with flair for the exotic seeks genuinely gorgeous, tall, successful, articulate mate for mutual co-operation.

CARING BALANCED professional with own home on Outer Core system offers compassion and understanding to stable personality with minimal hang-ups.

COCKTAILS

ENGINE FIZZ

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup
  • juice 1 fresh Sunfruit and 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 part thin cream
  • 3 parts Solar Rum

Place ice in shaker. Add fruit juices, rum, cream and sucrose syrup. Shake and strain into tall glass. Top up with soda water.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

LOYAL PASSIONATE reporter for Intergalactic Media craves unconditional love and affection from the right person. All mail answered with hologram.

HAPPY TALKATIVE fascinating ANDROID needs willing ear ready to be fascinated. Late Lambda models, preferably with no remaining loyalty to the Empire.

LONG TERM COMPANION sought by human. Fed up of serial STRs. No hang-ups re organic/mechanic. Anything will do if prepared to consider longevity of relationship. Me: attractive, lively, skiing freak. You: similar. Hologram and mail number by return.

SUN AND SUN Bring your ultra-block, your coolest shades and your most interesting leisure-ware for a Cycle or two on a mystery sun spot. Humans preferred.

CREATIVE REBEL with artistic licence craves companion to share the joys of 4-D sculpture and long lyric poetry.

LIVELY POSITIVE balanced personality sought by human who's fed up with the endless rounds of negative intimacy. Join me in the experiment of life - no boundaries - no hang-ups.

COCKTAILS

COMMANDER'S PUNCH

per glass:

  • cracked ice
  • juice 2 fresh Sourfruit
  • slices of sourfruit
  • juice 1 fresh Sunfruit
  • slices of sunfruit
  • 1 part Carribbean fruit juice
  • 1 wedge Carribbean fruit
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 part Solar Rum
  • 3 parts Doom Rum
  • ground nutmeg

Dispense all fruit juices and bitters into glass.

Add Rums and fresh fruit.

Stir and reduce temperature to zero Centigrade.

Fill glass with cracked ice, Pour on punch and fruit.

Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Don't just make a glass - make a bath tub full.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

MIDDLE AGED AND PROUD If you KNOW that all human life begins at 60, send me your hologram and we'll talk over a long, cool Sunburst under the moons. Human 60 - 80 looking for similar (semi-organics considered) Mail with holo or upgrade specs.

NOSTALGIC IMPERIALIST seeks similar with happy memories of the worlds as they used to be. No anti-slavers or android-rights activists.

RENAISSANCE POET with soul craves close companion to share the solitary splendours of Aegis.

SENSUOUS HUMOROUS human sought by ageing android to finally explore the edges of all the worlds. If you've done everything else, and still not found eternal happiness, send me an entertaining message and we may get together.

ASAP GSOH LTR offered by bright, attentive professional (federalist) with multiple homes and no-one in most of them. If you fancy sharing space and time in the federal system of your choice send me a holo and we'll talk.

SERIOUS NON-MONOGAMOUS relationship offered to anyone out there with an average sense of humour, no nasty habits and a manageable therapy bill.

COCKTAILS

LEGAL TENDER

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 slice fresh Sourfruit
  • 3 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 1 part Alban Liqueur

Put ice into jug. Add Burnt Wine and Alban Liqueur. Stir and strain. Add sourfruit slice. Serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

WICKEDLY ATTRACTIVE magic wielder seeks fighter to storm the strongholds of the Universes.

ASSASSIN with warped sense of humour seeks partner to plot with. If you always thought cloak and dagger work was inspiring, this is your big chance. Tell me your ideal target and we'll see what we have in common. Very few messages answered. All read.

DEEP TN' MEANINGFUL long term partner sought by semi-organic with lo-tech small holding on Ioexho. This is organic farming in the raw. Real live animals for methane production and real live cereals for protein (!). Get your wellies, get on the holo and think about it...

OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST with amazing range of hill-walking gear seeks trekking companion for expedition to the steppes of Daarze. If you can walk all day and sleep in a tent all night without wingeing, this could be the trip and I could be the being for you. At the very least, we'll know by the end.

COCKTAILS

NAVAL LAW

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • juice 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 measure Indigo Fruit syrup
  • 1 part apple liqueur
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine

Place ice in jug. Add sourfruit juice, Apple liqueur and Burnt Wine. Stir, strain and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

AMBITIOUS ADVERTISING executive sought by small time crook with big ideas. If you think you can sell the masses anything at all, any time, any day and want an unending stream of useful ideas, I'm yours...

MINDLESS MORON with no sense of adventure, a scatological sense of humour and very boring range of hobbies craves partner to bring the flair back into life. All holos replayed forever, might answer some of them.

GIN DRINKING HEDONIST with all kinds of addictions craves companion to help straighten out one or two of them. Android or human. Not fussy.

EDUCATED, PERCEPTIVE well-travelled ANDROID with enhanced sensitivity circuits looking for andro-human with whom to share the finer things in both.

COCKTAILS

DEEP TROUBLE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • juice 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 part Sunfruit Liqueur
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine

Place ice cubes in jug. Add sourfruit juice, Sunfruit Liqueur and Burnt Wine. Stir, strain and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

COMPUTER ANDROID with brain the size of a small white dwarf and personality to match seeks companion to randomise future co-efficients.

FRIENDLY LAID-BACK Andro-human with corporate leanings and immense credit rating seeks short term enlivening partner to while away the par-secs between trading deals.

LAW CLERK seeks ANDROID too being out the human side of existence. Send me a holo and a read-out of your latest enhancements. You can't possibly be less sensitive than the people I work with...

EMOTIONALLY LITERATE, intelligent, broad-minded individual sought by sane, lively, dynamic professional to share the excitement in life. West of Sol. No Imperialists. All other mail answered.

URSA MINOR. Home-loving individual with roots in the bear finally ready to settle down and looking for a friend in retirement. Join me on the balcony and remember your glorious past. Humans only. No anarchists or others of similar nature.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

AGEING HUMAN ( 90+) with wide-ranging interests and no serious hang-ups sought by younger andro-organic, sensitive, sensuous, good credit rating and regular updates to all non-organic parts.

LEO, CAPRICORN RISING and passionate interest in Archaic Earth Lore. If this is less than Achenaran to you, mail me with your date, time and place of birth (System, planet and location to nearest grid points). If we look compatible, I'll mail you back.

NO HOLOGRAM required. Personality more important than looks. The plastic surgeons and gene engineers can't change the person inside. Me: dynamic, exciting, sporty and ready to take a Cycle off to explore the Edge. You: enough fun to make the hyper space less tedious. Mail me, don't send a holo, it doesn't matter...

CLOSE TO THE EDGE? If you've found life in the Core as uninspiring as I have, come and join me on the Edge. I'm moving from Federal Core territory to An Independent Edge System (which one is yet to be decided and you can have an input). If we meet now, we can decide mutual compatibility. Mail with holo answered.

COCKTAILS

DAISY CHAIN

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 slice fresh Sunfruit
  • juice 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 2 slices Sourfruit
  • 1 measure IndigoFruit
  • 1 Merrinol Cherry
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine

Put ice inshaker. Pour on fruit juices and Sirian Brandy. Agitate vigourously. Dispense into short glass.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

DEEPLY UNSTABLE, emotionally traumatised human with endless hassles from previously terminated relationships seeks similar to renew a sense of trust. Tentative enquiries only. Holo irrelevant.

TALL, LITHE, INSPIRING and in need of a little TLC. Reasonable SOH assured along with no terminal illnesses and low-ish therapy bills. Own home on mid-Core Independent System ready to share on semi-temporary basis with the right being. Human or andro-human preferred.

RETIRED MINER Andceefa. Three offspring, none resident on this system. No lasting relationship ties. Looking for basic, uncomplicated co-habitator with strong Imperial connections.

SIMPLE, OLD-FASHIONED lover sought for simple, old-fashioned being. If you too believe that the current absence of morality is the core to the problems of the Galaxy and dream of the gender-linked roles of the past, send me your holo and we can talk it over by candle light.

COCKTAILS

DALLIANCE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • juice 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 5 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • Quinnessian Champagne

Place ice in shaker. Pour on Sourfruit juice, bitters and Sirian Brandy. Agitate hard, strain and dispense into glass. Topup with Quinnessian Champagne.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

BACK TO BASICS. The Galaxy is on the downhill slide to soul-less destruction and the quadrilateral political structure with the complete absence of any moral code is responsible. Right? So we'll make our own codes and evolve our own rules. Join me in a move to the past where humans were human and androids were nowhere.

NOSTALGIA TRIPS unlimited. If you crave the stereotypic role-play of the last two millennia, if you understand the real nature of the organo-human imbalance and don't mind the restraints of intellect versus emotion, mail me and we'll make it work again.

HARD DRIVEN corporate executive, mobile, peripatetic, currently east of Sol but prepared to travel, needs warmth and comfort to reduce the strain of constant inter-corporate war. Holo less important than sympathetic letter.

ARTICULATE ROMANTIC with soul and time to spare seeks skiing partner for trips to the Winter playgrounds. If you can leap the moguls AND mix a decent cocktail (simultaneously) then you're the one for me. Come for a test run and we'll find out if we fit.

COCKTAILS

YOU MUST BE YOLKING

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup
  • 3 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • ground black pepper

Place ice in shaker. Pour on egg yolk, sucrose and Sirian Burnt Wine. Sprinkle on ground black pepper. Agitate, strain and dispense into short glass.

PERSONALS ADS

M.C.S

EASILY SEDUCED but hard to hold onto. Human sought by organo-human (all the bits that count are organic). I need someone more exciting than average, with a sense of soul, a solid credit rating and a tolerance of creative non-monogamy. All mail answered with holo.

EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE and proud... but willing to reform for the right being, human or andro-human. Me: fit, athletic, supple and sound in soul and mind. Everything else is dodgy but then I have yet to meet a full-blooded human who wasn't seriously difficult. Maybe you're the one?

CUDDLY GASTRONOME with no sense of scale seeks similar chunky co-mastigator to enjoy the higher calories of life. Organics only. (Sorry.)

ULTIMATE CANDIDATE for serious romance and a long term partnership. Human - young at heart and rashly prone to making commitments. If you think you want someone to worship you're every movement, not to appear too threatening in the mental or physical fields, forget it. Otherwise, contact me. No Imperialists.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

UNHAPPILY ALLIED Android with inescapable commitments seeks similar in Independent world, East of Sol to re-discover the challenges of life. Theta model with no recent upgrades.

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM only from other andro-humans with the latest multiple organ replacements. If you've just discovered the joy of a new cerebrum, come and join me so we can explore the new horizons.

ANIMAL-LOVER with newly stocked earth-like planet seeks friend(s) to share the wonders of the wild life. Full technological assistance in watching/hunting. Limited numbers allowed to land. Most interesting mail and holo gets reply.

IRREVERENT IRASCIBLE anarchically inclined ageing human seeks compatible companion to explore the last few hidden corners of life in the remaining years. Mail only. Holo not required.

MATURE WELL-BALANCED human with small but significant modifications in the relevant department(s) seeks lithe, athletic and experimental partner for short-term hedonistic explorations. No Imperialist. All mail answered with holo.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ANDROID AND PROUD Original model beta with alterations to everything but Psycho-Mental Implementations seeks authentic original to share the joyful experience of genuine Androidian culture. We are in danger of being assimilated. Don't let it happen to you too. No new upgrades, please.

EXPLORATIONS UNLIMITED Join me for the experience of a lifetime. I'm off to explore Edge jungle worlds where no sentient species has ever set foot - that we know of... I need a bright, articulate, fearless companion who will boldly go where no one has gone before... Mail me by the end of the Cycle.

FEELING LUCKY? Me too. Mail me with your holo and we'll go gambling together in the Dens of Ioexho. I have the credits, this time, to make it work. All I need is someone to share the proceeds. Mail me your biggest risk. I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours...

TOTAL BODY REFIT and ready to go. Only survivor of the Outer Core's worst mining explosion anywhere needs lots of TLC to help re-habilitate into the routine of life above ground. If you're feeling the need to care for someone, I'm the one. Mail me soon.

TIRED OF LIVING the low life? Visit me on my Outer Core system and together we'll plan the future of civilisation. Who needs technology when all you're doing is buying your way into a well delayed grave?

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

TWILIGHT YEARS. Early old age (late seventies) with own home on the fringes of the Edge in a low population system with endless free, open spaces. Last life companion walked into the sunset last cycle. Someone amenable to sharing walks, cats and twilights would be welcome.

TRAVESTY OF TIME. Logically minded, heart-warming aged human with no long term partnership views the future philosophically and would appreciate mind-mate of same culture and age group to share it with. No therapy-addicts or therapists please.

CONSIDER THE OPTIONS and then choose me. Early third age human ( seventy plus) with active sporting life, ardent skier, sub-aqua, sun-diving (when finances permit) and planet-hopping seeks similar to share the adventures. Holo with mail, please.

SIDEWINDER pilot with shares in multiple ventures is looking for Companion in Fortune to push the boundaries of all that's possible. Come pirating with me? AMAWH (no Imperialists)

COURSES IN MIRACLES? Read the Book? Seen the Vid? Had the Dream? Now meet the being who can make it all happen for you. Active, vibrant. alive and aware seeking spiritually balanced soul-mate to see the reality in the Universe. Sorry, no androids.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

LIFE AFTER COMMANDERSHIP? Retired commander (organo-android) with serious amounts of cash to spend and a lifetime to spend it is looking for like-minded friend to share tales of the past and plans for the future.

HAD ENOUGH OF THE HIGH LIFE? Join me in an escape from the stars to the edge of nowhere. Inner Core inhabitant setting sail in the immediate future for the anti-tech life. Join me in an Archaic Bronze Age lifestyle re-creation. No extraneous luxuries. No unnecessary junk. Join me? Mail sent within next Cycle will be answered.

SPIRITUALLY AMBITIOUS, mentally stunning and emotionally stable. Well, maybe not. But will give serious consideration to almost all of the above given encouragement by the right person. Human or android, not fussy.

HUMAN OR ANDROID? Mixed origin, mainly android with no hang-ups about date, type or upgrades seeks open-minded fellow traveller to broaden the horizons.

DELICATELY DEVIOUS, deliciously dainty and dramatically daring being of mixed origin but with human heart and soul seeks similar to derange the daylight hours and draw out the nights.

COCKTAILS

SNOWY MORNING

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 1 part white creme de menthe

Place ice in shaker. Pour onn creme de menthe and brandy. Shake, strain and dispense into cold glass.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

SPLASH OUT ON A MAIL and tell me all about yourself. Me: not too tall, not too bright but endless emotional resources. You: not too serious, not too arrogant and willing to explore the worlds.

INSPIRED INTELLECTUAL with moderately over-sized ego seeks appropriate soul-mate to prevent further untoward expansion.

CREATIVE ANDROID Yes, we do exist. Soulful, poetic upgrade from early theta model. Self-written software and auto-created hardware support to produce near-dreaming soul-space. I need understanding (poetic) friend(s) to see what happens next.

3-D CHESS Android with passion for puzzles needs similar with Ultra-logic upgrades to challenge for eternity. If you've never been beaten, log on and send your ten best opening moves. NO ORGANICS THANK YOU

DREAM-HANGOVER Multiple appearances in Dream-Ware have left me drained of soul. If you're feeling able to give time, space and non-commercial dream-time to a worn out ex-dreamer, mail me. Organics preferred.

COCKTAILS

COOL SILK SHEETS

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup
  • 1 part thin cream
  • 1 slice fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 part creme de cacao
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine

Put ice in shaker. Pour on bitters, sucrose , cream, creme de cacao and Sirian Burnt Wine. Agitate vigourously. Strain and dispense into short glass. Garnish with twist of Sourfruit.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

PROPAGANDA TOO MUCH? Inspired, organo-android with a hankering to experience the novelties of the Universe is about to travel to the Achanarian Sentient Re-creation. If you're feeling fed up with the propaganda and want to do something real, come with me and help make the Core a better place.

BETA AND PROUD Not a single upgrade and still going strong, Would appreciate non-scene company to share the experience of a unique existence. Own home on isolated Outer core system. Only Beta model non-upgrades need apply.

EXPLORERS ANONYMOUS Ever wondered what there is out there in all those light years of empty space? Take a look at those star maps that tell you just how much HUGE unknowable blackness there still is out there. Join a group of twelve looking for that extra one to make the magic number so that we can set off for the wide black yonder with the blessings of the gods...

NOTHING IS IRREVOCABLE or is it...? I find myself locked into a long term partnership with no obvious (legal) way out. Unwilling to look for the illegal alternatives but would like to find someone in similar situation to plan the odd night of peace and quiet.

SEAMLESS ADD-ONS Try me and see if you can see the joins... Late Epsilon model with multiple improvements ready for full inspection by interested parties. Soulful, emotional stability assured and life-long guarantees. Mail me with all your specs for a rapid response.

TRAPPED? Human in late second age (sixties) still caught in irrevocable long-term partnership seeks organic or semi-organic partner in similar dire straits to share the few free hours. Western Inner Core Federal System. Suitable mail only answered.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ALL I NEED is emotional integrity and a partner prepared to give me space to live. Human preferred but not fussy as long as you can fulfil the above criteria. Mail me. No holo required.

GENERAL LICENCE to explore and expand. I have the ship and the credits. I need/want the person to make all the dreams come true. Mail with holo essential. Interesting messages answered.

WHY HAVE A HOLO when the real thing is to hand? I have the fastest ship in known space and the fuel to reach the outer edge. All you have to do is to convince me you're worth it and I can be on your doorstep faster than you could ever believe. Mail with holo. No androids.

NEW PERSPECTIVES on an old Universe. Worn out Imperial Commander with new insights into the way of the world seeks similar converts to review the past and prepare for a different future. No anarchists (yet). Sorry.

CAST IN CONCRETE and cemented in place. Chunky old space Captain with years of active service still to go needs novelty homeshare for the times on land. Not the type to have a friend in every port, just need one to keep me going.

ANIMAL LOVER seeks to start sanctuary for mal-treated quadrupeds of ruminant and monogastric extraction. Credit and emotional support required from like-minded individual, preferably with substantial amounts of grazing land available. Mail me soon.

COCKTAILS

DEVASTATION

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 part Indigofruit syrup
  • 1 part fresh Sunfruit juice
  • 1 part Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 3 part Anarchal Gin

Place ice in shaker. Add fruit syrup and juice, Sirian Burn Wine and Anarchal Gin. Agitate and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

CATASTROPHE ON LEGS? Have you spent your life feeling one below the limit? Never quite made it to top credits, never got the right amount of street cred with the people who really count? Write to me and we'll make it different.

THIS IS THE ANSWER to every question you ever had. Mail me and we'll make the wheels turn for free. I have the credits, the charisma and a krait. Come and see... you might enjoy it. Organics only please.

ARCHITECT with credit in every system, buildings in the four corners of the Core and a lot of time to spare between law suits looking for amusement, entertainment and sensitivity from organo-android with recent cerebral upgrades. Mail with Holo and upgrade specs please.

TERRIFIC MODERN individual, Federal and proud of it, no silicon implants, no upgrades and a stable profession (financial services) seeks fun-loving, attractive, like-minded friend(s) to share it all with.

STOP PRESS late edition but with all moving parts in full working order... Only defect, chronic loneliness. Why not mail me with the recommended treatment.

COCKTAILS

CLEARLY COOL

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • juice 1 fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 1 measure Indigofruit Syrup

Place ice in shaker. Add fruit juices, sucrose, egg white and Sirian Burnt Wine. Agitate vigourously. Strain and dispense into short glass.

PERSONALS ADS

M.C.S

TEST DRIVE ONE TODAY Fleet owner with plenty of ship power to spare needs willing, open, broad-minded mate to enter into long term Hire Purchase contract. Ship of your choice as added inducement.

SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL connoisseur of all fine arts, attractive, funny, athletic and in need of new stimulation. If you have an independent fortune, your own ship and are in it just for the kicks, you're the one. Mail me your credit rating with the Holo. No anarchists.

EASY GOING... easy doing almost anything as long as it's fun. Hedonist with no sense of perspective and a threadbare credit rating needs new companion to prove them all wrong. Mail me quick before failing finances force me off-line.

QUIRKY BIZARRE anarchically inclined creative writer with no publications to date seeks friend in the publishing trade to promote mutual interests.

INDEPENDENT INTELLIGENT attractive, witty organo-android with masses of charisma looking for heart-mate (short term only) to explore some time out.

FATED TO TRAVEL alone? Nothing is ever pre-destined. Meet me and we'll prove it. Me: averagely attractive, sound credit rating and open mind. You: all the above plus a lot of time to spare.

NEVER GIVE IN to the vagaries of fate. If you've been dealt a duff hand up Ttill now, mail me and we'll give ourselves a fist full of aces. AMAWH Androids considered if you believe in chance.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

VAGUELY INTERESTING and moderately inspiring human with no unusual interests and an aversion to Dreamware seeks human or android to fill in the gaps.

OUTGOING COSMOPOLITAN intelligent and emotionally literate ANDROID seeks human to show me what feeling really is.

I'VE MADE ALL THE MISTAKES, now it's time to do things for real. If you feel the same, this is your opportunity to open new doors and make everything different.

PATHFINDER seeks friend to share the new walkways of life. Mail me and we'll build our own compass together.

CUBIC CENTIMETRE OF CHANCE? This is yours. Mail me (human, middle aged, traveller in the regions of the Otherworld. No hallucinogens - ever) if this makes sense.

CREATIVE INDIVIDUALIST quiet, intense and poetic with strong anarchic inclinations, locked in the short term on Federal system seeks friend to help make life seem less restricted.

CAST ADRIFT in the seas of unknowing. Floundering out of my depth and in need of a life-harness. If you think you have one and want to come close enough to throw, mail me.

COCKTAILS

FLIP TOP

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 1 measure sucrose syrup

Place ice in shaker, Add whole egg, sucrose and Burnt Wine. Agitate, strain and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

REFINED CULTURED android with interests in all of the Silicon Culture Composites seeks co-thinker to improve the quality of time.

COMMITTED RELIGIOUS devotee. Archaic, monotheistic, patriarchal sect with followers spread throughout known space. If you know what it is and don't mind the censure, mail me and we can Believe together.

COLLEGE LECTURER: neuro-dynamics and the silicon interface, with plenty of time to spare outwith teaching commitments looking for bright, articulate, aware graduate to share the mind-space and feel the freedom of the worlds. Anarchists only.

HOLIDAY ROMANCE? Why not plan it in advance. I'm going sun-diving and I'll pay for you to come with me. Human or android, not fussy as long as you're open-minded and fun to be with. No long term commitment offered.

RESPONSE-ABILITY? Responsible relationship sought by early middle-aged human. Interests include munroe-bagging ( 3,000 to date) and high-altitude ballooning. If you think you'd like to join me, send mail and holo.

CULTURED, ILLUMINATED cerebrally active andro-human with exalted professional position and excessive social round seeks friend to make the evenings go more smoothly.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

INDEPENDENT MEANS? Me too. Life-long income from multiple system real-estate, no obvious profession, endless spare time. You: similarly endowed, similarly bored. Join me and we'll search the stars for new inspiration.

DRASTIC ACTION Human, active, alive, aware, clean, no previous problems relating suddenly finds desperation in singlehood. This is a last resort. If you have never replied to one of these either, mail me and see if we have anything else in common.

IRRATIONALLY INCLINED bizarre, unique, inspiring, effervescent, and open to good/interesting offers. No long term commitments, thank you. Anything else considered. AMAWH.

SUNNY, CHAOTIC adventuresome and looking for a companion to travel to the Outer edge. Mail me quick while I'm still here to take advantage of the offers...

KAPPA MODEL android with some organic components. New research subject trying to come to terms with the differences between the types. If you feel the same and want to share concepts, mail me with your upgrades.

NO POLITICAL inclinations whatsoever, seeks friend to escape the endless brainwashing. If you can't remember the last time you dreamt a techo-Dream and don't ever believe a word Tthey' say, mail me and we'll organise our own Resistance.

ELEGANT FELINE acrobat with prehensile toes and fascinating agility needs new companion with high artistic tolerance to assist in administration of show and take part in the relaxation afterwards. Only spectacular mail answered.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

PACIFIST, ANTIPOLITICAL anarchist with ideas for stopping all wars for the rest of time needs well-off, well-motivated companion to help make the dream come true.

STARVING ARTIST seeks muse or equivalent with own garret and supply of high-calorie food. If you don't mind poems dedicated to your navel, mail me and I'll write an endless supply.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT to go on dreaming Dreams when there is a Galaxy out there to explore. Mail me and help me to prove it.

EXCITING EXTROVERT - enthralling, enticing and bored to bits. Lonely ANDRO-HUMAN with carefully programmed sense of humour needs new friend to make it worth not taking an axe to the circuit boards. Only semi-organics (unless you think you can cope with the complexes)

REPELLENT SLIMY bigot with foul personal habits and appallingly bad sense of humour (also incorrigible liar) seeks similarly revolting companion to frighten the neighbours. Only truly ghastly holos will earn a reply. No Imperials. Anybody else welcome.

THERAPIST'S NIGHTMARE no hang-ups, no complexes, no rampant political beliefs, no raging political bigotry. How can any one this normal survive in the Universe today? If you too are baffled, mail me and we can discuss the possibilities.

COCKTAILS

FALLOUT

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • Juice 1 fresh Sourfruit & 2 fresh Sunfruit
  • 2 parts Crimson Wine
  • 3 parts Sirian Burnt Wine
  • 1 Merrinol cherry
  • Fruit to garnish

Place ice in jug. Add Bitters, fruit juices and Sirian burnt wine. Stir until cold. Pour unstrained into tall glass, decorate with fruit and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

HOPEFUL ADVERTISER; professional, aesthetic, attractive, adventurous with dream s of a small holding in the outer edge seeks similar to make dreams happen.

IDIOT OPTIMIST who has never tried this before is looking for that special someone who will make it all alright. Human or android, not fussy. Just as long as you're attractive!

MANIAC WITH MONEY to spare (and no sense) needs friend with sense (of fun) but no money to help to spend it all. Anytime, any place, any where. Send a good holo to get a reply.

SUB-TERRANIAN player seeks playmate. Caver with a whole galaxy to explore needs companion. Me: wild, manic, no adrenal responses. You: similar and with totally way out sense of adventure. Send me a list of your caving firsts and I'll send you mine.

CLIMBER NEEDS PARTNER to explore the mountain ranges of Phiinex. Ropes and oxygen cylinders only. If you rely on modern technology, don't bother to reply. Otherwise, send me a holo and tell me how you'd do the west face of the Ice Knife.

COCKTAILS

COPORATE LICENCE

per glass:

  • 3 cubes ice
  • 1 slice fresh Sourfruit
  • 1 part Crystal Spirit
  • Licenced Cola

Place ice in tall glass. Add Crystal Spirit and Cola to taste. Decorate with slice of sourfruit.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

TOTALLY UNATTRACTIVE from a psychological viewpoint but quite nice really. If that's you too, we need to meet. Don't bother with a holo. Just send interesting mail.

GOOD OLD-FASHIONED letter-writer seeks correspondents to share the nostalgia of the Old Worlds. If you enjoy sending fifteen page epistles to friends and neighbours, send one to me and I promise a reply. And later, we can meet...

BIBLIOPHILE with the best collection of first editions this side of Sol needs friends who aren't bored mindless by the mere thought of old paper and black-on-white print. Talk to me - if you exist...

PEDANT needs protecting from the unruly ways of the worlds. If you enjoy a mind that thinks fine detail matters and appreciate being reminded of your failings on a minute by minute basis, you could be the one for me. Androids welcome. No Federalists, anarchists or others with long hair.

UNASHAMED FOLKY: unhygenic facial hair, oddly inefficient footwear, totally predictable dancing habits and a finger permanently lodged in one ear - but HAPPY. You too? Call me, wherever you are and we'll form a group, have a sesh and drive the neighbours WILD.

COCKTAILS

MUFFLED AXE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 part Anarchal Gin
  • 3 parts Earth Scotch

Place ice in glass. Add Bitters, Gin and Scotch, stir and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

GRECIAN URGES? If you worship Alexander, revere the Sacred Band of Sparta and model your life on Achilles and Patrochles, join us in the re-creation of a classic haven on an outer edge world. Technology as appropriate - the feel and ethos are more important than absolute authenticity. Call for more details. Be aware that your knowledge of the Classics will be tested.

MEDIA-BASED PROFESSIONAL with long series of dream-ware hits and a number of basic video titles seeks new writers with fresh ideas to bring in the millions. I have the time, the cash and the facilities for turning your ideas into world-stoppers. All I need is the originality. Call me with synopsis (and holo).

METEOROLOGIST from Inner Core system who thinks that predicting the weather is a piece of cake compared to predicting people. If you can do the latter, I can do the former and together we can make the most of the sunshine. AMAWH.

DEEPLY DISILLUSIONED dutiful, devoted deviant determinedly desires delightful delinquent. Don't delay! (Desperate).

COMFORTABLE SHOES?! Me too. Young, vibrant, alive, aesthetic, based Inner Core Federal System but happy to travel. You: all the above , ready for fun and SINGLE. AMAWH

COCKTAILS

PIRATE'S BANE

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • SunFruit juice
  • 1 part Doom Rum
  • 3 parts Earth Scotch

Place ice in glass. Dispense on Rum and Scotch. Stir, strain and serve.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

DOES YOUR therapist despair? Mine gave up on me years ago and I'm still alive, well and solvent. If you too think the dependency is ludicrous, drop me a line, holo not that important for now. Outer Core. No Imperialists.

POLITICAL ACTIVIST with deeply held pro-eco feelings seeks friends to form small elite group for active service. All answers treated in greatest confidence. Send me your CV and a contact number. No androids - sorry - it's nothing personal.

DOES THE HIERARCHY drive you mad? Do you want to do something, anything to change the status quo? Then this is your chance. Mail me and we'll arrange the revolution together. You get to nominate who's first against the wall...

HEATSTROKE in Andqueth? Refugee from searing heat and insane religious dictatorship seeks similar lost soul to help rehabilitate somewhere cool and free. Ideas for who, when and where (and what to do when we get there...)

DEEP SEA DIVER with all the gear needs at least one friend with no fear of: jellyfish, sea mammals, large and poisonous fish or death to join me in the expedition of the millennium in the deep sea trenches of Endain. Send CV, diving log and holo for speedy reply. Groups welcome.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

NETWORK NIRD new to the Outer Core seeks others for peri-network heaven. If you never leave your terminal, have no idea what time, day or month it is and subsist on saccharin flavoured metabolic enhancers, we need to talk ...Jtell me what you do in your off-line time and I'll tell you anything you want to hear.

RETIRED ASSASSIN with exemplary table manners, presentable social habits and no homicidal inclinations whatsoever requires assistance in making the change to a low-adrenaline existence. No Androids or Imperials thank you. Other ex-service personnel welcome.

EMOTIONALLY LITERATE long term lover required for wild, aloof, anti-conventional semi-organic. All you need is the will to make it work, at least for a while. Call me with holo.

RECOVERING GAMBLER requires understanding and sympathetic friend to sub the odd thousand credits and help keep the heavies at bay on the odd binge. Also must be prepared to hear endless stories of Tthe one that got away' when in remission. The payoff? Immense riches - one day.

DOG-LOVER with house full of killer canines requires psychological help. (Also someone prepared to spend hours cleaning runs, chopping food and being dragged along the ground on the end of a bit of string.) Any takers?

COCKTAILS

SILVER ANARCHY

per glass:

  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 part fresh Sourjuice
  • 5cc sucrose solution
  • 3 parts Anarchal Gin
  • 1 egg white
  • soda water

Dispense ice cubes into cocktail shaker

Add sugar, Sourjuice, gin and egg white to ice. Agitate vigorously, dispense unstrained into glass and top up with soda water.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

ARROGANT CONCEITED slob with utterly unreconstructed outlook needs co-dependent wimp to frighten off the therapists.

READY FOR LOVE? If you've read everything written about the perils of falling in love and still want to give it a go, send me holo. If I don't like the look, I'll pass you on to a friend...

DESPERATELY SEEKING SOMEONE not that bothered who tho' prefer carbon base to silicon and emotions to logic circuits. Gender, race, age immaterial, all I need is passion, compassion, strength ,wit and integrity. Send me a mail.

RANDOM CHANCE? or a calculated, rational selection from the millions of alternatives. I'm human, whole, hearty , intelligent and rich. What else do you need? For a list of the other amazing qualities on offer, mail me with your number.

WRINKLY AND PROUD. Elderly human, enormous stock of stories about how much better it was in the old days, plus long list of irritating mannerisms seeks friend to love, lust and enjoy. Call me soon. Age immaterial.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

LIFE SURVIVOR. Have lived this long and suddenly find myself single, alone and lonely. Feels very odd. If you'd like to help correct the condition, mail me. Anyone, anywhere considered though Inner Core preferred.

MEDICAL INTERN with half hour off every other month would like a friend (or two) to help make it more fun. If you don't have any chronic diseases you wanted to discuss, mail me.

KESTA FROM OLWAIN - met you at Pride, June 3 2 5 1 on the dance floor of the Black Beacon. Lost your mail code and regretted it ever since. Please get in touch and leave a contact address. Mel (from Bedaho).

COCKTAILS

GIN CREAM FIZZ

per glass:

  • 1 egg white
  • 4 - 5 ice cubes
  • 3 parts Anarchal Gin
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters
  • 1 part fresh Sourjuice
  • 1 part thin cream
  • optional soda water

put ice cubes in cocktail shaker

dispense in lemon juice, cream and gin

Add egg white and Hydri Bitters

Agitate vigorously. Do not strain.

Dispense into glass and top up with soda water.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

STICK INSECT with awkwardly proportioned limbic structure, small head, lanky limbs and ascetic torso offers shy smiles, stilted conversation and no self-awareness to anyone prepared to dole out instructions on human living.

SEMI HOUSE-TRAINED undomesticated individual with minimal social conscience requires friend to fill in the gaps in existence - or teach me how to do it. This one needs a holo - I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS semi-android with intellect circuits all intact, fed up of being cultivated for physique alone, seeks blind, insensate celibate (or close equivalent) to re-dress the balance.

QUIRKY, ECCENTRIC, MANIC home wine-maker, DIY enthusiast with endless toys, able to achieve almost any desired result needs co-enthusiast to while away the hours in the play room.

MAD INVENTOR with home full of useless innovations, garden full of rubbish and garden shed full of things that will be really useful one day, seeks retentively-minded friend to help create a filing system. Tell me where you'd file the Geniovian Arctorasaur and you've got the job ( subject to mutual approval).

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

DO YOU HAVE FAIRIES at the bottom of your garden?? NO?? You've never lived. Then you need the professionals, Fairies-R-Us to replace the sparkle in your life. Good rates. Individual or group visitations. Own toadstools provided.

DESPERATELY SEEKING something to life me out of the oblivion of Oltiqu. Human with limited capacity for steaming jungles seeks well-off friend in dry, arid location to alter the horizons of life. Mail me with your address. Gender, looks, interests unimportant.

NEW PERSPECTIVES needed. Life is dull. Yesterday was dull. Tomorrow will be duller. Day after will be dullest and probably the last - UNLESS someone REALLY INTERESTING comes along to lift me out of the pit. I need you. If you need me, you're not the right one. Interested??

CAN YOU FACE the challenge of life on the Edge? Ethceda - the ultimate star port. Nothing out there but blackness and bad guys. I'm going in a month or so to get away from it all. If you want to come, mail me with your vital statistics, credit rating and ship number ASAP.

COCKTAILS

KILLER COBRA

per glass:

  • 2 parts Anarchal Gin
  • 2 parts dry Veareth Liquor
  • 3 drops Hydri Bitters

Rinse glass with Bitters. Pour in Gin and layer over with Veareth Liquor. Stir gently.

PERSONAL ADS

M.C.S

COME IN FROM THE COLD? Anyone else lodged at sub-zero temperatures, tired of ice-floes and snowy wastes. Join me on the holiday of a life-time in the jungles of Canarbe. Pith helmets optional. Sense of adventure mandatory. Decent credit rating useful.

SHIP BUILDER, handy with a welding iron, knows a thing or three about rivets, seeks compatible companion to while away the off-duty shifts. Inner Core but prepared to travel. No techno-nerds, No therapy freaks. Androids welcome.

COST ACCOUNTANT with too much credit and too few friends seeks companion to share the joys of open-top driving. Bring your own go-faster stripes and furry dice. Must be stunning and all organic. No slavers.

CREDIBLE CREEP with cash to count needs friend with broader interests to expand horizons. If you seen everything at least once and are not averse to talking about it, mail me a short synopsis of your latest exploits.

EVER BEEN PLAGIARISED? Hacked off scientist, the source of every good idea in the Universe, seeks compatible companion with whom to plan the ultimate revenge. If you know what it feels like to read YOUR work written up in someone else's journal, mail me and we'll nail them together.

GENE CODE 5 8 4: 300 2: 40 9, created Behoqu in the third era, seeks CLONE for fun and frolics.

COCKTAILS

SPACE DOG

per glass:

  • 6 ice-cubes
  • 1 pinch sodium chloride IGP
  • 1 part Anarchal Gin
  • 2. 5 parts BitterFruit juice

Dampen glass, dip rim in crushed NaCl

Add ice, Anarchal Gin and Bitter Fruit Juice

Swirl gently

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