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Blog of the Week - A Festive Update

Greetings my friends. I trust you all had a good time over Christmas and for those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you all had a relaxing time too.
To our non-human friends, I hope whatever celebrations you have either went or will go with much fun and happiness.
I send this message from my home, rather than the base as all our family are here, staying with us for the week.
I just want to let you all know that the last of the freed prisoners were safely delivered to their people and were able to spend this time with their loved ones as I had hoped.
There were some delays as I underestimated the distances between the various drop-off planets but it is now done.
As you know, the Felini were the first to be delivered. After that, my ship made her way to a Hexamon base where the reverted Hive were welcomed.
As they were transferred the Hexamon representative said something which translated as, "We are the Hexamon. We send greetings to the honourable individual known as Gaijin. We thank you for delivering these young to us and we shall see that they are looked after and are given a place in our collective. That is all."
Not much for speeches, the Hexamon, but nice folk nevertheless.

After that, the final drop-off was with the Falconians.
They were transferred safely back to their own people and were warmly welcomed as they stepped onto the Hiport elevator.
The Falconian representative thanked us for delivering their people safely back to them and then my ship came back home so that her crew could take their leave to be with THEIR families over Christmas and the holidays.

Here at home, things have been hectic but fun. Mashita wanted to cook the Christmas lunch, but in her condition I was having none of it. I hired a catering firm to cook a splendid Christmas lunch for us all the day before and my father and I served on the day.
Gifts were exchanged, silly party hats were worn and crackers were pulled.
After a fantastic feast, washed down with double helpings of Christmas Pudding and plenty of port, we all relaxed.
Mashita wasn't drinking anything because of her pregnancy, but she enjoyed the fruit punch that we had served up for the kids. (My brother's and sister's little ones.)

I'll be home until next week to celebrate the New Year. It is an old Earth custom that dates back many centuries. After which I shall be returning to the base to make sure everything is back up and running again.

I never did mention. When I first took over the base, I had a chat with the employees of the base. There were LOADS of them. I didn't realise I had taken on such a responsibility. Anyway, a makeshift stage was set-up with a microphone so that everyone could see and hear me.
I told them that only some minor changes would be made for now. The factories would be mostly shut down temporarily. The research lab's would be unaffected and would be allowed to continue uninterrupted.
I authorised construction of a couple of new facilities that I had been considering and then I asked them if there were any questions or complaints.
There was a hovering microphone which was able to travel to anyone who I chose to speak with. One man asked if the market would still be open.
I told him that - temporarily - the market was closed. I would be shipping some products to sell at other bases using my own fleet, but other than that, nothing would be coming in or going out.
Than a Hive employee raised his/her hand. The mic' translated for me. It asked if I was going to hire any new staff. It said that it enjoyed working at the base, but that everyone was overworked because there simply weren't enough personnel to COPE.
That started a few people shouting. When I finally called for silence, one man spoke up. He said there were more SECURITY personnel than there were EMPLOYEES.
I told him that that was the situation as I inherited it and that you could never be too careful when thinking about security. I told them that I would be looking to rectify the situation however by buying some Employees from different markets so that soon they would be fully staffed once more.
Other than that, it was just basic worker's gripes.

Well my friends, I've just been told that a movie is about to begin and so I bid you all adieu and wish you all a very happy New Year.
Here's to even greater profits in the year to come. This is Gaijin signing off.

 
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Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).


 
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Who is behind the AFA?

Following the large scale holiday attack by the AFA against the FET the question of who is behind the attacks has been raised once again. What is clear is that the AFA is using ships that were transferred from the GTT to the IMP. The organisation and expertise of the operation also reduces the pool of potential candidates. Few can go from commanding a handful of broadswords to half a thousand warships and significant army logistics without a long stint in one of the more combative affiliations. With the DEN’s allies the HEX in close relations with the FET and no recent history of animosity between the aliens and FET, at least since the departure of former one-eye big-bun Norozov, it would be a bizarre turn of events if they were behind these attacks. Frankly, there’s no point dancing around it. The IMP are clearly behind the AFA. The question is what can anybody do about this move of significant Imperial resources to a black-flag agency?


 
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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