CYCLE PRIORITIES




19 June 3303

A week ago, the most important event on the horizon was the Knights of Karma's appeal to construct a starport closer to their main extraction operations. Their efforts met with success, and the galactic superpowers once again called for goods to further their expansion efforts into the Pleiades. It was expected after the success of their appeals two weeks ago, but at least this time they provided more information: the Federation intends to build an asteroid base while the Empire announced its Wells-class Carrier, presumably a megaship to be based in the nebula. But last week the outlook on the horizon reached a paradigm shift.

The Thargoids have returned. Diligent readers have been aware of unknown artefacts, probes, fragments, growths, and ships encountered from the California Nebula to the Pleiades Nebula, and other distant locals. After Professor Palin's successful appeal to gather unknown ship signatures and their wake signatures, a Federation convoy collected the data and disappeared. After threatening some of those contributors and researchers, Commander Ed Lewis lead an intrepid force to recover the data on behalf of the Federation. All they discovered was wreckage. The entire convoy, both Farraguts, were dead in space, coated with a mysterious green film. The public reaction is best summed by journalist Kelvin Masters: "We need to prepare for the worst." Today, the superpowers have responded, with President Hudson claiming the Federation is ready for the Thargoids if they want a war. The Emperor's speech focused on the facts as we know them, including the Thargoid's apparent ability to remotely disable human spacecraft, but reminded the media all that humanity has achieved, despite a millennium of existential threats, human and alien. Prime Minister Mahon encouraged humanity not to leap to the presumption that this convoy was destroyed by the Thargoids, and there is no reason to assume their hostility.



Despite the star-shattering developments, criminal and political activity continues across the human bubble. Covert criminal operations against Senator Torval's sphere of corporate takeover and political alliances resulted in protests covering nearly a third of the systems pledged to the Senator. President Hudson's military takeover of Burr was thwarted last week, and so far the Utopian movement has benefitted the most from SiriusGov's investor panic. The Shield of Justice established a garrison in Kamito, and this week attempt to clear the corruption from AF Leporis while preventing the Shadow President's bribery operations from succeeding in HIP 41529. The Liberal Party's presence there would throw three systems pledged to the Emperor into contention.



Last week some covert criminal activity undermined the Shield of Justice with Waras Emperor's Grace, but it did not affect the political balance enough to damage the Emperor's political standing. After seeing what covert activity can result in recently in Utopia, SiriusGov, and Senator Torval's acquisitions, this is something that all commanders should keep an eye out for as they patrol and scout those control systems protected by the Shield of Justice. Please work with Research to coordinate your patrols and findings. Prolific interstellar criminals will show up on a systems Top 5 Bounty list, provided there are at least five commanders holding a bounty in that system. No matter how much we fortify to defend against these actions, a concerted effort can be severely damaging, especially if logistic decisions lack solid and well-sourced intelligence.



With the ongoing expansion and opposition, Research suggests a neutral system for preparation: Antliae Sector RD-T b3-3. While relatively distant from Kamadhenu, it still consolidates a sizeable population in need of security. Bujold Relay, currently administered by a dictatorship out of Benapem, is located on the fourth planet of the system, and its military economy lacks a commodities market for trade, but is easily accessible to those logistics pilots with a planetary approach suite.



Good luck and godspeed commanders.

CYCLE PRIORITIES




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