The “Thargoid Threat” is Fake News!

The “Thargoid Threat” is Fake News!
The Galactic Enquirer. Dateline: January 4th, 3304. Agricola's Ascent, Pleiades Sector DL-Y d65.

The Agricola's Ascent orbital is crowded these days. One can’t walk anywhere without bumping into packs of feral billionaires who have flocked to the Pleiades region pursuing the latest topPercenter and Trustafarian pastime: “Hunting Thargoids.” Hundreds, perhaps thousands of these nouveau riche thrill seekers have left humanity’s boring bubble hoping to join the “elite” club of those who’ve successfully ambushed one of the peaceful alien space flowers in hopes of securing its heart for their trophy case.

Agricola's Ascent’s corridors and brandy lounges are filled with the swaggering machismo and raucous flamboyance these billionaires flaunt like a million-credit cloak. Ask them why they’re here and to their credit some will honestly reply it’s strictly for the thrill of the kill. But eight times out of ten the response will be some variant of “To save humanity from the growing xeno threat.” Those respondents are convinced their mission is truly that noble, that the reason they’re willing to sacrifice their billion-credit ships (if not their lives) in this “defense of humanity.”

But The Galactic Enquirer has uncovered highly placed sources that suggest the threat to humanity is a manufactured one. That makes many of these Dudley Do-Rights unfortunate sheeple, herded by a heretofore unimaginable galaxy-wide conspiracy.

Investigators at the Galactic Enquirer have sifted through thousands of pages of documents provided by the shadowy hackers famous for populating the GalactiLeaks Galnet site. Our intrepid journalists have uncovered secret emails documenting the manufacture of an interstellar, possibly criminal manipulation of public sentiment. And the conspirators? None other than officials at the highest levels of the Alliance, working in conjunction with Lakon Spaceways! Together they’ve seeded a campaign through the media channels of hundreds of worlds that goes far beyond the normal underhanded but legal persuasion techniques employed by common, high-value marketing campaigns.

Like with most crimes, all investigation takes is following the money.

Hundreds of the GalactiLeaks documents reveal increasingly frantic correspondence over the last eighteen months between Lakon Spaceways product development, financial, and marketing departments. These documents reveal C-level panic throughout Lakon’s highest executives. From the documents, it’s clear that early leaks citing underwhelming flight performance figures for Lakon’s massively hyped new Type-10 “Defender” resulted in an almost total evaporation of military demand for the heavy ship. Coming at a time when rumors of major market share lost to both Faulcon DeLacy and Core Dynamics for the fourth straight quarter shook investor confidence, the leaks triggered a catastrophic plunge in Lakon’s stock value. Lakon executives needed a miracle.

According to documents we discovered, company executives responded to their company’s Edsel moment by manufacturing a threat so serious, so existential, that the galaxy would become desperate for an answer. Enter the Alliance, whose own influence has steadily waned from its recent peak in 3300. As the major power driving Lakon to produce the Type-10 Defender before canceling half their contracts last year, the cash-strapped Alliance needed to cooperate with Lakon to avoid ruinous lawsuits.

For people who believe one should never let a good crisis go to waste, the sudden return of Thargoids was a godsend for Lakon. Although big, beautiful, and not hostile unless threatened or attacked, the lumbering space leviathans’ utter alien-ness made them the perfect foil for Lakon executives desperate to create a new market for their heavily armed and armored, 2250-ton, 500MM* Cr recycled space barge. [* Weight and value figures common for a Defender minimally outfitted for Thargoid hunting. –Ed.]

In the words of one Lakon Executive, from one of the discovered interoffice memos, “We need to make those weird-looking space daisies evil and threatening. There’s no other way we’ll unload all these flying pigs- er, “Defenders” [poop emoji] the damned Alliance decided not to buy! Ha! Coming up with a campaign to make floating daffodils reek of evil -- that oughta keep those marketing weasels in PR busy for the holidays!”

But the Lakon PR folks seem to have done the impossible. They’ve painted the Thargoid presence as a looming menace to our civilization. Despite resembling nothing so much as a giant flower and possessing a nature that seems nothing if not benignly inquisitive toward anything man-made, the Thargoids’ very otherness works against them. They’re so alien to us that even their sentience (and thus any possible guilt at even being able to form the hostile intentions accorded to them by Lakon Spaceway’s guerilla marketing) is still very much in question. What is known is that they’ve never initiated an attack on a human ship without that ship either firing first or at the very least aggressively infringing on the Thargoid’s immediate space.

But you don’t have to take this reporter at face value, gentle readers. Use your Randomius-given powers of logic. Ask yourself: If these aliens really posed an existential threat to humanity – or even to humans that didn’t provoke them first – would the Alliance, in conjunction with the Pilots Federation and other major powers, only award a measly two million credits as a Thargoid bounty? That’s a mere 2M credits for a kill, when defeating one involves the following hurdles and risks:

1. Pilots must foot the bill to buy and/or outfit a ship (ideally the Defender, of course!) that costs at least 500-million credits and be willing to risk the associated 25-million credit insurance deductible if they lose the ship in combat. (And note, the Thargoid hunting builds that improve one’s chances run closer to 750M or even a cool 1B credits!)
2. Pilots must foot the bill in hiring and paying a ship-launched fighter operator, without whom that pilot’s chances of survival, let alone victory, became low indeed – and pilots must do this understanding that even if they themselves make it to an escape pod, their hirelings will DIE if the pilot fails and loses his ship to the Thargoid;
3. Pilots go into their hunting knowing that even if they succeed – which most will not do at first, if ever – their ship restock and repair will almost certainly cost almost half-a-million credits (and that’s for a solo fight against the weakest of the Thargoids!).

If you’re doing the math, you’re realizing that hunting one of these dangers to humanity virtually requires a multi-billionaire to put a billion in assets (and his life) on the line, and then offers him a net profit of about a million credits. It’s a laughable amount in a galactic economy that provides entrepreneurial pilots with profits that are literally fifty times that (or more), in the same amount of time, with a lot less investment, simply for ferrying passengers to remote starports (with little or no risk).

Your realization, gentle citizens, must be: That doesn’t add up! And Lakon’s marketing slogan, developed to rally humanity’s xeno hunters (and, coincidentally, sell lots of Type-10 Defenders!) waives all that financial consideration with a simple slogan: “You don’t do it for the money; you do it for humanity.”

There’s only one solution to this puzzle: Lakon Spaceways has convinced thousands of pilots to conduct genocide against the first and only alien megafauna we’ve ever encountered, for the sole reason of selling a ship that would otherwise be a market flop.

This must not go unanswered! Humanity is better than that!
Nice bit of roleplay there, very well presented, even down to the editors sic. Fact wise and plot / lore consistency wise, you are off the scale in the wrong. Look up AEGIS Unmasked on youtube. read premonition, better yet read reclamation first then premonition, but regardless read premonition. A thargoid threat is coming, and a sinister conspiracy has known about it for a long time and been actively suppressing any data relating to it. It looks like now the thargoids are indeed being encountered those conspiritors are calling themselves AEGIS. But yeah, +1 for the effort, it was a good read :)
Nice bit of roleplay there, very well presented, even down to the editors sic. Fact wise and plot / lore consistency wise, you are off the scale in the wrong. Look up AEGIS Unmasked on youtube. read premonition, better yet read reclamation first then premonition, but regardless read premonition.

Thanks -- in fact I just finished Reclamation and have Premonition on my Kindle but haven't started it yet. I'll begin looking into AEGIS ...I'm sure there's another Enquirer article in there, somewhere! [alien]

Of course, one does not go to The Enquirer for measured rationality, does one?
Is this the same enquirer that runs "Elvis is alive" stories every other week?

Aliens are real.... I've seen 'em , I've been shot at by them and seen the remains of their previous attempt at humanity...

Right now, our brave pilots are risking a lot, learning how the aliens fight... how to defeat their weapons, what it takes to destroy 1 yes ONE thargoid ship, and what we can learn from the debris of battle.

For when the time comes, it wont be 1 ship we face, it will be dozens..... and most likely , escorting a thargoid fleet carrier.

In that time, the pilots of Agricola's ascent will be needed more than ever, to stop the alien menace, or if we cant stop them, to slow them down enough to allow the evacuation ships to leave for Colonia.

And if the brave pilots , prepared by their previous combat with the thargoids, have lay their lives on the line so that humanity can survive somewhere , then they will be regarded as the true heros of the coming war, and their sacrifice will be remembered forever.
And will, in time , be avenged

William J. Smith , Commander of the federal corvette "The B Buff", Agricola's ascent
Hello, Toffeister reporting for the Gateway Goodmorning Gateway station, The bright good morning station that's heard but never seen.
Those who have seen the latest unsubstantiated reports from the Galactic Enquirer may be interested in what the public think of the situation. So we went onto the street at Gateway station and asked them.

Teenager: Female aged 16-17 years old.
“Wat? Fargoids? Dunno nowt about that stuff, nowt I can do about it anyway is there like. So y’know whatever like, it’s nowt to do wiv me.”

Woman: Aged 40+
“ Yes, my Ron was talking to a man in the bar only last week, some guy named Steve Dore Ron Said. He reckoned that it was the Empire really with some shadowy group called EEgis attacking the Feds and blaming the Alliance. Said we’d all have to move to Colonia wherever that is, but who’s gonna pay for that I ask? Anyway, I don’t see what all the fuss is about, the politicians are always starting wars so what’s new I ask.”

Male: Aged 50+
“Yes, I’ve been following that subject, but these greenskinned aliens won’t find Gateway station so easy, we’ve organized a militia in sector4, we are ready for them. Stiff upperlip and straight backbone, that’s the ticket, show no fear doncherknow, they’ll soon go running back to where they came from with their tail between their legs what! “

Male: Aged 40+
“Huh? Thargoids? More immigrants I suppose. There’s a housing shortage and so we let more in, nothing new there is there?”

Male Trader:Aged 45+
“Yeah heard about all that damage, but here’s the thing, it’s really just a business opportunity if you look at the bright side, I mean, for the small trader it’s a gold mine. I’ve got to sell these microwave ovens, I’ve got to move these refrigerators, I mean, I’ve got to move these color TVs, all at very reasonable prices with credit terms available at Johns House of Whitegoods in sector 5A, There’s no better deal available today at Gateway station.”

Female: Aged 25+
“Ha! The peace loving Thargoids are victims of the meat eating Phallic Male dominance agenda. If gender objective vegetarian women were allowed to deal with the situation in a reasonable manner taking into account cultural diversity and gender dominance by males then this would never have happened in the first place.”

So there you have the opinions of the street here at Gateway station, back to the studio for the latest weather groundside. Toffmeister out.
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