Monday, 16 July 2012

Interstellar Dispatches 13

Originally posted by Town Criers Guild on May 30, 2008
Featured articles in this issue:

  • Hazat Claim Decisive Space Battle
  • Independence March Ends in Violence
  • Stigmata Biodiversity Audit Leaked
  • Magic Lantern Review: Horror Between the Stars
  • Agora Notices

NEWS
Hazat Claim Decisive Space Battle
ARAGON – Castle Furias – The Hazat Military Command has claimed a decisive victory over the Kurgan Fleet, our reporter can reveal. Intelligence, obtained from recently captured Kurgan officers on Hira, indicated that the Kurgans were preparing for a major space born offensive with the impending arrival of the so-called Kurgan Armada.

The Hazat Red Talon Fleet, lead by Admiral Paulus del Torro Sanchez de Aragon, bolstered by additional ships brought in from Vera Cruz lay in ambush for the Kurgan invaders and struck as the enemy fleet exited the jumpgate. Of the so-called Armada, six invading ships were destroyed and two escaped in-system and are now being hunted.

Admiral del Torro Sanchez returned to fleet headquarters on Aragon to present the hulks of six enemy ships, all raider class, to the Prize Court in person. Hailed as a hero of Hira, the Admiral was awarded the Talon of Honor medal, the Hazat’s highest military honor by Prince Juan himself.

The glory may well turn out to be premature as Hazat ground forces have been unable to secure significant territorial gains, facing heavy resistance from both Kurgan regiments and from the Hira peoples themselves. Despite heavy reporting restrictions placed upon our Guild by the Hazat Command we can reveal that communications with Hira have now been cut off for several weeks following the Admiral’s triumphant return.

A free trader captain, recently returned from Hira, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke to us of his harrowing flight to reach the safety of the jumpgate. He and his ship came under attack from Kurgan picket ships as a massive fleet numbering, quote ‘hundreds of ships’ arrived in the Hira system only a few days after the Red Talon Fleet departed the system.

Independence March Ends in Violence
RAMPART – Avaneir – A march organized through the streets of Avaneir to protest Li Halan rule and demand the reinstatement of Academician rule came to an end in bloodshed. Organizers rallied as many as ten thousand people to take up placards with anti-Li Halan slogans to demand fair voice for their objections to rule under the royal house.

Li Halan forces responded initially with restraint but when the mob toppled a statue of the planetary governor, Countess Magu Li Halan, and burned Li Halan flags in the former Academician Square, the order was given to disperse the mob. The house military responded by shooting into the crowd, killing a number of protesters. Panic spread through the crowd and a stampede left many more people dead.

The Li Halan forces were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of rioters. The mob broke up into smaller groups that looted and burned a number of buildings in central Avaneir before reinforcements arrived to contain the dissenting masses. Deploying a sonic weapon to subdue the dissidents, Baron Zhu Tang Li Halan imposed a curfew. A makeshift camp has been constructed to house the many subdued and arrested. The Muster is believed to be involved with assisting the Li Halan authorities in processing the rioters prior to repatriation.

Interstellar Dispatches has learned that the Juan Men made several arrests in the days following the riots.

Stigmata Biodiversity Audit Leaked
BYZANTIUM SECUNDUS – Port Authority – Imperial authorities are investigating how a private report intended for the eyes of His Imperial Majesty and selected members of the Imperial Court came into open circulation. The private report penned by the noble scholar Sir Willan Navus Dextrite contains his diary and journals covering ten years of research into biodiversity on Stigmata. His journals make a number of startling claims.

The report indicates that animal and plant life on Stigmata has undergone surprising changes in the period of only a single year. Both flora and fauna are growing to sizes previously unknown, usually increasing to 150% of the previous normal mass but as much as 300% in specific observed cases. Also the actual diversity of life on the world seems to have exploded; Sir Willan notes that in the last year he has personally catalogued over five hundred new species, and it seems that he is making discoveries daily.

The document goes on to speculate about the origin of these new species, considering such theorems as simple migration to genetic manipulation or even positing adjustment of the planetary orbit to bring about these observed changes. Sir Willan has requested aid from both Imperial Authorities and Guilds to identify the root cause of this diversification. The finger of suspicion would normally point towards the Symbiots, however Sir Willan specifically notes the dramatic reduction in Symbiot hostility. Citing records held by the Stigmata Garrison, the increasing jungle density is hampering its patrols and reducing the number of hostile contacts.

SOCIETY
The Town Criers Guild is proud to present a new feature. Magic Lantern Review aims to give you all the information to make an informed choice about which of the most recent productions you need to see. 

Horror Between the Stars
A Bone-Chilling Thriller of Technological Terror!
As the Engineer ship ‘The Stalwart’ is christened, the Order is proud. It is the most advanced starship to see the light of day since the time of the Second Republic. Its first mission is a routine one: travel to the jumpgate and back, a shake down cruise, to make sure all systems are functional. However, some time into the mission, Captain Derek Valiant finds inexplicable, seemingly accidental deaths everywhere he turns. Then the ship stops responding. Electrical malfunction or demonic influence? Will he find the answer before the ship leaves the system and heads into the interstellar darkness? Starring William MacSteel as Derek Valiant and Lucy Languedoc as the sultry and mysterious Miss Glimmer.

Gorambor the Vorox: “Film start out long-winded and boring with all kinds of technical stuff but gets exciting in the middle. The humans cannot see what chasing them and cannot hunt it down. Very scary for anyone who's been chased by a Ungavoroxian chameleon spider before - but on starship there is no spider-root to make predator go away! Film does end very unsatisfactory; humans do funny things with the think machine and then film ends. Gorambor wants to know what the predator looked like, because if it was chameleon spider then there’s already spider eggs on board!”

Provost Emilio Desotro of the Eskatonic Order: “Astrological warnings go unheeded by all in the latest thriller from the makers of "Dark Omen" and "Assassin in the Shadows." Pulling on overly histrionic performances by Lucy Languedoc and William MacSteel, the duet returning from last cycle's popular romantic comedy, ‘Cadavan Rendezvous’, this picture is equally as banal. The mysterious adversary is never elucidated in detail and reduced to a mere puppet of evil; nevertheless, a few chase scenes do stir the blood. The moral lesson of the picture is evident from the opening scene, in which the starship Captain rejects the sage advice of his Orthodox confessor and launches the craft on an auspicious date by the local calendar. While the theme of such hubris has been overplayed in recent months, the film does achieve one striking minutiae of originality--the stars visible from the ship's viewports resemble none in the Known Worlds, suggesting an even greater depth of isolation than that projected by The Stalwart's airlock failure. The producers should be applauded for such assiduous attention to detail, even though the film is overall a failure as a compelling drama.”

Master Engineer Edric Shurak: “Here we have a good piece of how artistic desires - whatever they may be - can be coordinated with a very correct technological background. Not only is the hypernavigation math quoted at the beginning when the course is set absolutely right (If used exactly like quoted, a ship would miss the jumpgate by 13909.8767 km, but that is minimal), but also nearly every piece of equipment used, shown or just mentioned in the HoloFile is labeled correctly and operates just as in reality. So the first part gives the viewer a stunning exact picture of the operation of a starship.

“Only the dire warnings uttered by technologically unknowing clerical persons at the beginning are not within the limits of technological possibilities, but that corresponds with the behavior of real priests, so in a socio-psychological way, that is also valuable information transmitted to the HoloFile (HF) consumer.

“But the crude perceptive and emotional behavior patterns of most HF consumers seem to enforce always the insertion of illogical escalating situations, mostly coupled with violent behavior, first exhibited by hostile life forms, then processed and multiplied by human antagonists of these life forms. That seems to be a dramatic necessity enjoyed by the average HF consumer, so it has to be accepted. And when this violent interaction is actually performed in a logical and plausible technical matter--as here--you can garner valuable and usable data from watching the file, besides the positive emotional influx you can have.

“The presentation itself follows the standard HFPS 44/6 format for visual recording and processing, so the level of optical detail is quite impressive, only the sound recording is fuzzy at some parts, where it is difficult to differentiate human panic sounds from non-defined sounds produced by hostile creatures. My person was informed that this should be an ‘artistic’ element of the File, but imprecision is never acceptable.”

Sir Hercules Erastes Xanthippe: “This 'epic' is yet another attempt at indoctrinating everybody with the unsavory gender relations that have been spreading under the current Emperor's rule. What else to expect from a man who plays several women against each other, like, indeed, he should be calling the shots in the courting game. Just why his mother allows him to treat women like that is certainly beyond me. To talk about this sorry excuse for 'entertainment', there are several problems with it. That the plotline makes no sense in military terms is one thing, but it's even worse how the 'hero' Derek Valiant treats the actual heroine. Valiant is ruled by an entirely unsavory taste for personal aggrandizement, later by his foolhardy urge to impress Miss Glimmer, who, while being wiser and certainly delectable, is reduced from heroic status to that of a swooning prop that serves only to draw attention to just how juvenile and irredeemably sexist Valiant is.

“The 'love scenes' are the most disgusting thing in this epic, with Miss Glimmer whispering nonsensical promises while Valiant treats her with a superiority complex that I found especially grating, and the consummation of their relationship that was all about 'taming' Miss Glimmer and bringing her fully onto Valiant's side, was the moment when I left the lantern show.

As requested, Horror Between the Stars was banned from public viewing in all our Moonhavens, while the House's complaints still need to be properly addressed by the epic's makers.”

AGORA NOTICES
The Town Crier's Guild takes no responsibility for Notices solicited in its reports. Dissatisfaction with product or services should be addressed to the merchant or manufacturer. If you can read these, then caveat emptor.

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Try your might on the Hammerfall Buzzer!
See the Witchie Lumpkin, demon-beast of Delphi!
Tremble before the Great White Sharkman, pulled from the waters of Madoc!
Hold on for dear life on the White-Knuckle Whirling Dervish!
Experience zero-gravity on Flight Ninety-Nine from Urth!

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Watch desperate criminals and proud warriors battle each other and the fiercest creatures the Known Worlds can offer! See Sir Victor Masseri engage in unshielded combat with Vuldrok barbarians and Ungavoroxian terrors! Who will be victorious?

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