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214
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Intergalactic News
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Fake

Fake I


‘Bugs are stupid I tell you. This is gonna be easy. They have no concept of wealth all they care about is stockpiling their mushrooms. All we gotta do is offer them some of that fungus stuff we picked up from down Madonna way and they will dump so much gold and platinum on us we are gonna be set for life.’
‘So what makes you think they even have any gold and stuff? If they don’t use it, why will they have it?’
‘Check out the readings.’
‘Yeah, so what, they live underground, doesn’t mean they have gone mining for precious mets.’
‘Not just live underground, they have been on that tiny little moon for centuries and all they have done is dig more and more tunnels, right down to and through the core. The whole place is holier than the Brotherhood. From what I can tell they use precious metals where we plastic.’
‘Still not convinced.’

The survey cruiser descended through the rarefied atmosphere of the outer moon of Rudy, coming in low, breaking as it covered the smooth surface of the world. The horizon, initially a perfect curve was interrupted at the centre by a small dark peak. This continued to grow, resolving itself into a volcano of seemingly impossible proportions. Small clouds of smoke rose from the caldera, quickly dissipating. In the time it took to arrive, it had become clear that each puff of smoke was twenty eight seconds after the preceding one.


By the time the ship was within a kilometre of the volcano it completely filled the horizon. A course alteration brought them in line with a plateau a third of the way up the volcano where they finally set down.
From the bridge the two men looked out across the plateau and towards the massive set of hanger doors built into the side of the volcano. There were however smaller entrances indicated by tracks in the dust and sand leading up to them. From one of these a small vehicle emerged and headed directly for their ship.
‘Time to go.’

They descended down to the rotating airlock adjoining the bay. These cheap designs were good at admitting only a couple of people at a time with no risk of decompression as they only had a single door and the whole airlock chamber rotated. The aliens knew the score as they had been dealing with the FET for some time.

The airlock engaged, swivelled and opened into the bay. Within the airlock chamber were two identical space suits with silvered visors. The suits had eight appendages, the upper two rising from what the humans took to be the head on account of the visor. The bottom four appendages were sturdy though the boots looked like closed interlocking claws. The remaining two appendages the team took to be the equivalent of arms.

Similtaneously they removed their helmets by splitting the front from the back, freeing their antanae. It was all that the crew could do to stop their gag reflexes as mellenia of instincts kicked in. A rasping sound from one of the aliens was translated by the ship’s com system (courtesy of previous FET explorers).

‘Taste, encounter, identify, build acceptance.’ With that it stepped forward and a proboscis half a metre long extended from a hole between its compounds eyes. The pair flinched despite having been warned that this was coming. Expecting to be slathered all over like the owner of an overly familiar canine, they were clearly surprised at the almost feather like brush lasting a fraction of a second, before the alien tongue was retracted.

‘Hi, I’m Jim, member of Frontier, Exploration and Trade, or FET as we are more commonly known, but then I guess you know that already. Anyhoo, this here’s my ship, the Turtle Dove and this here is my second, Hook. Yeah, that makes me captain. So you guys are the Hive, well it’s good to be here, I got a good feeling about this. We gonna do some fine trading, we got some excellent merchandise.’ Jim eventually ground to a halt, clearly more nervous than his earlier bravado revealed.
‘Confusion,’ the word came from the com system after a lengthy buzz. Jim and Hook looked at each other.
‘Show them some of the samples,’ instructed Jim whereupon Hook made his way across the modest bay to one of the prepared shipping containers. A quiet hiss and the lid lifted on two hydraulics.



Instantly the antennae of both aliens swung towards the container and their proboscises were out. As one they moved towards Hook, causing him to retreat to the far side of the container, partially using the lid as a shield. He need not have worried as they seemed purely interested in the contents. They buzzed, presumably excitededly and the coms spluttered a few worlds such as taste, depth, food though these were poor substitutes compared to the antics of the aliens.

The lid started to descend. Jim had stepped up unnoticed and activated the lid while the aliens remained oblivious to their presence. He had used just this tactic when dealing with the fuzzy little chaps on Dogleg. It was a great attention grabber and reinforced who the merchandise belonged to. They were so eager to have another look they were throwing stuff at him.
At the last moment, they realised what was happening and one inserted a hand into the narrowing gap to prevent it closing. Too late, there was a crunch as exoskeleton was crushed. The alien went still, both Jim and Hook moved their hands towards their side arms as a precaution.

The remaining alien extended its proboscis again to touch the container while buzzing.
‘We, feed,’ was the somewhat cryptic translation.
Jim relaxed, though cast a quick glance to the statue of the other alien before replying.
‘I get you, you want. Good, now what I want is this,’ using the hand on the other side to his gun he pulled a small disc of gold. He then did some miming of moving all the containers out of the ship and then pointing at the gold disc and a similar parody of bringing containers in.
The two aliens turned and proceeded back to the airlock. As door closed, Jim and Hook turned to each other, grins on their faces. Hook lifted his hand for a hi-five though stopped, his grin disappearing instantly. Together they stared at the arm sticking out of the lid.
Next Issue
All good things come to an end
‘I’m telling you sir, you go in there, you ain’t coming out,’ Jim was desperate.




 
News
Is open for business...
 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

”Necessity hath no law”

Lord Cromwell of the DOM slapped a fleet of privateers, on charges of "knavery", "bad manners" and "poor sportsmanship." Such offences carry the death sentence in the Dominion, a nebulous territory neither part of the Empire nor apart from it. At least thirteen Armadillo class ships, typically sold by the DOM, were destroyed at a location Cromwell was unwilling to disclose publicly. Bloodthirsty Dewiek as well as "prince of peace" Yahn Wodenzoon were quick to congratulate the DOM for their merciless carnage. It seems the consensus in the galaxy’s ruling class is that not presenting valid identification is a crime worthy of the murder of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unfortunate crewmen. This is all just another indicator that the political elite are far removed from the lives of ordinary people who are seen as little more than meat inventory. It is telling so-called “man of the people and the downtrodden” Wodenzoon so readily aligns himself with this grisly concord. Meanwhile, the archaic elocutionist Cromwell further establishes the recent trend of mild exertions of power by the cold-blooded DOM.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Return of the Fox

The galaxy is still digesting news of the return of Xavier Fox to the boardroom of the GTT. The ailing corporation's share price began a sharp rally after a six month downward spiral under Ike Krieger, credited with being the worst CEO in the megacorporation's history. The only surviving board member from Fox's initial tenure as CEO, and perhaps across the entire GTT board, is Antt Tilton the Research Director. The reclusive Tilton is the brains behind the ascension of GTT technology, particularly in the field of antimatter weapons and super-heavy dreadnought size ships, Tilton offers a small measure of continuity during this tumultuous time. Mr. Fox has therefore resorted to a broad appeal for new blood to join the ailing firm. So far, the result has been a number of two-dimensional "Yes" persons being promoted to the C-suite. Still, key stakeholders were upbeat with one commenting, "Fox is the man to turn this bloody disaster around. He knows how to put a great team together and where to bury the bodies of the non-performers."


 

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Over 20 years of content development
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I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic