Furieux was sprawled out on Shizuko’s bunk when she returned to her quarters several hours after the events in Star & Garter. His head and right arm hung limply over the edge. He looked like death itself on a bad day. It appeared that Alder had simply dumped the inebriated pilot on the bed and left. The room stank of stale liquor and she screwed up her nose at the smell, peering around and looking for any signs of disturbance; any indication as to whether Furieux had spent the last few hours in a drunken coma or if he had risen at some point, discovering that he had been locked in and making some attempt at an escape. It appeared that he had not moved all night...
A number of the galaxy’s most powerful figures have commented on the current galactic landscape, addressing issues such as the return of Thargoids and the recent discovery of outposts formerly occupied by the Intergalactic Naval Reserve Arm. At a society event in the Cubeo system, Princess Aisling Duval said: “I read the INRA records, and frankly I was sickened. How could they treat living creatures that way? I’ve heard of governments inventing threats to support their military programmes. Maybe that’s what the INRA was. A smokescreen.” Duval was ushered away from reporters by her publicist before she could say any more. Senator Denton Patreus, who has spent little time in the public eye since his defeat of the insurgent organisation Emperor’s Dawn, made the following statement on the ‘Galaxy Now’ programme: “I have reviewed much of the available intelligence on the Thargoids, and it is clear that we are facing a formidable threat. Granted, we do not know the reasons for their hostility, but in my experience such details are rarely important – what’s important is knowing where and when to strike.” “The formation of Aegis is in my view a sound strategy, and represents a sensible response to this threat. Furthermore, I know Aden Tanner well, and I wholeheartedly believe he is the right man to be guiding Aegis’s military strategy.” Li Yong-Rui, CEO of the Sirius Corporation, also offered an appraisal of the situation: “If there’s one thing these INRA logs make plain it’s that humanity is capable of defeating the Thargoids, especially when we work together. And remember, most of the galaxy is functioning exactly as it always has, despite the presence of these alien aggressors. So let’s maintain some perspective, shall we?”
With the news that the Empire has withdrawn its fleets from the Pleiades Nebula, apparently signalling the end of the Federal-Imperial cold war, former Federal president Jasmina Halsey has commented on the cessation of hostilities. Addressing a large crowd in Nerah City on Argent’s Claim, Halsey said: “Like many of you, I rejoiced when I heard the Federation had recalled its ships. But my jubilation was undercut by the knowledge that our protests and entreaties had failed to move a single Federal or Imperial vessel. Were it not for the emergence of a greater potential threat, the Empire and Federation might still be installed in the Pleiades, squabbling over barnacles. And while the impact of the conflict could have been far greater, it was still far from a bloodless war.” “I would like to believe that the Federation and Empire have learned from this experience, but I suspect they have not. But I promise you that I will continue to help those affected by such conflicts, for as long as I am able.”
Following news that the Empire and Federation have withdrawn from the Pleiades Nebula, contractors in the core systems have reported that Aegis is poised to establish a number of outposts in the region. The reports indicate that Aegis intends to establish more than twenty orbital outposts in the coming months, to support its ongoing research and defence initiative. Two of these outposts have already been built, and construction of a third is expected to begin soon. Admiral Aden Tanner, Aegis’s chief military liaison, commented briefly on the news: “In my view it is imperative that Aegis has a consolidated presence in the Pleiades, close to the centre of Thargoid activity. Fortunately our backers in the Alliance, Empire and Federation agree with me.”
A spokesperson for the Labour Union of Kauruk has announced that the organisation’s Remembrance Week has been resoundingly endorsed by the galactic community. Hundreds of pilots flocked to Moore Terminal over the past week, taking the opportunity to pay their respects to departed friends and loved ones. As the campaign drew to a close, the spokesperson released a brief statement: “We would like to thank all those who supported this initiative. We hope it gave you an opportunity not only to celebrate absent friends and family, but also to form new bonds with other members of the galactic community.” Pilots who contributed to the campaign can now collect their rewards from Moore Terminal in the Kauruk system.
The fourth phase of Aegis’ campaign to counter the Thargoid threat has come to an end. Hundreds of independent pilots supported the initiative by taking to their ships to deliver commodities to Cremona Prospect. The materials will be used to test and mass-produce a shutdown-field neutraliser, developed by engineer Elvira Martuuk, which will counter the Thargoids’ ability to disable human spacecraft. Martuuk released a brief statement to the media: “I want to thank those who hauled stuff out to Cremona Prospect. I just hope the tech I’ve developed will make a difference to the Commanders on the front lines.” Pilots who contributed to the initiative can now collect their rewards from Cremona Prospect in the Khun system.