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Vox Galactica’s Jade Sanderlyn discusses the successful recovery of people from the Titans and developments at the new Thargoid spire sites.

“When Aegis announced its plans to free abductees from the Thargoid motherships, I wasn’t the only one expecting the worst outcome. Turning a core mining missile into a way to extract life-support capsules from the Titans sounded extremely risky. And even if it worked, what state would these poor people be in after such a horrific experience?”

“Much to my relief, the scheme is working. Many thousands have now been brought back to civilisation, and seem to have suffered few ill-effects. Wisely, all are being kept under strict quarantine while a battery of medical tests are run on them. But I understand that, in most cases, abductees are permitted to communicate with their friends and families - most of whom never expected to hear from them again.”

“Another surprise, albeit much less welcome, were the rapid changes observed at the Thargoid barnacle matrix sites. Intense geological activity had been registered beneath the surface, but the alien growths resisted detailed analysis. Their transformation into colossal towers several kilometres high has startled the scientific community.”

“Xenologists tell me that the emergence of these Thargoid spire sites, as they’re now classified, suggest that the aliens are putting long-term plans into place. Their actual purpose is unclear, but few believe that the outcome will be beneficial for humanity.”

“Elsewhere, resistance to the aliens remains as dedicated as ever. At the time of writing, no new invasions have been reported, and the Thargoids occupy only a third of the territory previously conquered by their fleets. Scores of once-inhabited systems still need to be liberated, but the mood among anti-xeno forces is that the tide has turned in humanity’s favour.”

“This is Jade Sanderlyn reporting for Vox Galactica. Stay safe out there.”

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

Commanders have been asked to help destroy the rogue Grey Swan pilots killing civilians in the Shamash system.

Military squadrons taking part in Fleet Exercise Grey Swan became irrationally violent following an unexplained mass hysteria that swept through Garrett Orbital during a fleet training exercise. Captain Ulrich Maurer, commanding officer of the San Tu State Network megaship Khonsu Gleam, broadcast the following message:

“Shamash Future’s security forces have asked us to help stop the carnage taking place throughout this system. No medical or technological solution has been found for affected pilots, who seem reluctant to leave Shamash. Therefore, to prevent the loss of more innocent lives, there is regrettably no choice but to eliminate every ship in the Grey Swan fleet.”

“We are urgently seeking to recruit independent pilots with combat experience. Financial rewards and other incentives will be available at the Khonsu Gleam. Hopefully we can perform this unpleasant task as efficiently as possible.”

Wing Commander Mackenzie Coates was coordinating Fleet Exercise Grey Swan when a bizarre signal caused its crews to become homicidal. She told a local newsfeed:

“This is a nightmarish situation. I’m trained to deal with pirates, invaders and even Thargoids, not to hunt down my own friends and colleagues. The thought of them being turned into deranged savages… I know they wouldn’t want to live like that. But I can’t be the one to pull the trigger – there are survivors on Garrett Orbital who need my help.”

Participants are advised that the Khonsu Gleam aims to complete the combat operation by Wednesday 1st November.

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

A large naval squadron has gone rogue in the Shamash system, amid claims of widespread mental instability caused by an unknown signal.

Security forces for the Shamash Future faction were practising fleet manoeuvres, shortly before they turned their weapons against passing traffic. Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie Coates , one of the officers coordinating Fleet Exercise Grey Swan, told the media:

“All crews deployed for the exercise are now ignoring orders and attacking anything within range. The evidence we’ve gathered suggests they’re suffering from violent mania, caused by some kind of mass psychological disturbance. They are still capable of operating the ships, making them a danger to civilians.”

“Garrett Orbital outpost reported an anomalous multi-frequency signal during Grey Swan, which also broke through our primary comms network. We think it’s related to the violence Shamash is now facing, but with all the chaos we haven’t had a chance to investigate further. Garrett Orbital is now in lockdown, while security teams onboard try to contain outbreaks of aggression from affected personnel.”

A popular news program, 'Frameshift Live', was broadcasting from Garrett Orbital around the time of the fleet exercise. Disturbing footage indicates the presenters were similarly affected by this unexplained hysteria.

The San Tu State Network megaship Khonsu Gleam, present in Shamash on unrelated business, has been asked to host defensive efforts since the system lacks a starport. Captain Ulrich Maurer has agreed to remain and support Shamash Future, by organising countermeasures against the Grey Swan fleet.

Speculation have been raised that the ‘anomalous multi-frequency signal’ might be a new Thargoid weapon, or a test of experimental mind-affecting technology. However, no alien or unauthorised vessels have been detected in the system, and the signal’s origin remains unconfirmed.

Thousands of people rescued from captivity within the Thargoid motherships remain isolated under strict medical and security protocols.

Professor Alba Tesreau, head of Aegis, spoke at a press conference:

“I’m relieved to see that the sub-surface extraction missiles are proving effective, especially considering how quickly they went into production. Many pilots are using them to excavate bio-storage capsules from beneath the hulls of the Thargoid Titans.”

“Each resuscitated individual has undergone an exhaustive range of physical scans and psychological evaluations. Some are being treated for stress-related conditions and mental trauma, but otherwise they appear to be unharmed. With no clear evidence that these people have been infected or influenced by the Thargoids in some manner, Aegis has sent a number of proposals to superpower governments as they consider the next steps.”

Despite this announcement, everyone extracted from a bio-storage capsule remains under military quarantine. The Alliance, Empire, Federation and independent factions have all instructed that any citizen who was abducted by Thargoids must be kept in high-security isolation until further notice.

As discussed by reporter Ernesto Rios for Vox Galactica:

“There is widespread concern that whatever the Thargoids had planned for their human captives was set in motion before rescue efforts began. While scientific analysis of the captives disputes this notion – as all results have thus far – the returnees may face prejudice and mistrust when they are permitted to rejoin society.”

In related news, there are reports that the Thargoid barnacle matrix sites have recently undergone enormous growth, with sightings of ‘towering spires’ and similar megastructures. Aegis and other scientific bodies have sent analysis teams to all known sites to gather data.

President-elect Felicia Winters has discussed her election victory and other topics during an interview with The Federal Times.

On defeating Vice President Jerome Archer:

“One cannot dispute that Archer played his campaign straight, with none of the underhanded tricks utilised by some of his predecessors. But the election results prove that the citizens want a change from the Republican Party’s bombastic approach.”

On the priorities for her forthcoming administration:

“Our government will expand investment in the Federation’s soft infrastructure, pulling the economy’s focus away from military projects and corporate profits. Many systems are in dire need of improved healthcare, housing and work opportunities. Billions of people need temporary financial support as refugees from the Thargoid invasion. We are not the Empire – we serve our people rather than rule over them.”

On the Proactive Detection Bureau:

“My very first task in office will be to dismantle this monstrosity, ending the surveillance of private communications. The Federal Intelligence Agency is perfectly capable of protecting our people without violating their personal freedoms.”

On the Thargoid war:

“I can assure everyone that while I lack the enthusiasm for war that my predecessor demonstrated, my administration takes office with the Thargoid invasion as a top priority. Aegis has led the way in developing new anti-xeno technologies, and Federal support for the agency will continue.”

Many Federal newsfeeds congratulated Felicia Winters on her success in the election, but an editorial in Sol Today said:

“Without Zachary Hudson’s strength of will, or Jerome Archer’s dedication to security, there’s every possibility that the Federation will rot from within. You can expect to see all manner of fringe groups and minorities grab the lion’s share of funding, while freeloaders and criminals get a free pass. We predict that Winters will go down in history as one of the weakest presidents ever.”

The Federation has voted to elect Felicia Winters as its next president, with a four per cent vote majority over her rival Jerome Archer.

The current shadow president of the Liberal Party will be officially inaugurated in the new year, entering an eight-year term of office. Congressman Isolde Rochester will also be sworn in as vice president in Winters’s administration.

President Zachary Hudson will remain in power during the transition period, but will not be expected to implement any major policy changes. The Liberal Party will replace the Republican Party as the superpower’s governing authority in 3310, with Jerome Archer assuming the role of shadow president.

President-elect Winters addressed her supporters during a celebratory rally in Olympus Village on Mars:

“The people of the Federation have spoken! I thank you all for turning my party’s vision into a reality. My aim is to govern fairly for everybody, regardless of their political allegiance. Together we will create optimism where there was fear, give shelter those who are vulnerable, and improve the quality of life for each and every Federal citizen.”

Vice President Jerome Archer formally conceded the election during a session of Congress:

“My compliments to Felicia Winters, who fought a strong campaign. I look forward to taking on the role of shadow president next year, and ensuring that her government’s proposals are thoroughly scrutinised from day one.”

Former presidents Antonia Madison and Jasmina Halsey – whom Winters temporarily replaced after the Starship One disaster – offered their congratulations. Prime Minister Edmund Mahon of the Alliance, First Minister Octavia Volkov of the Marlinist Colonies, and CEO Li Yong-Rui of Sirius Corporation sent similar messages to the Winters campaign.

No formal acknowledgement was received from the Empire. However, Princess Aisling Duval joined Professor Alba Tesreau and other members of Aegis leadership to state: “We trust that President Winters will remain committed to our unified approach, ensuring the development of technology needed to secure victory in the ongoing Thargoid war.”

The Alliance is observing the Federal president election, but expects little will change in relationships between the two superpowers.

Prime Minister Edmund Mahon delivered a formal address on the topic before the Assembly:

“The Alliance continues to enjoy stable relations with the Federation. Our recent anti-xeno coalitions, including the reformation of Aegis, show how we can benefit from maintaining such cooperation. I am confident that the new president, whoever it may be, will respect the status quo.”

Councillor Nakato Kaine gave a more direct statement to the press:

“I cannot ignore how the Federation has become more authoritarian under Zachary Hudson’s Republican government. It has also coped poorly with internal pressures: the Starship One conspiracy, Jupiter Division’s attempted coup, the secession crisis triggered by the Proactive Detection Bureau’s operation… the list goes on. And yet, Federal democracy is now empowering every individual to elect their leaders. That, at least, is something we in the Alliance should admire and consider adopting.”

Vanya Driscoll, political correspondent for The Alliance Tribune, reported:

“Most Allied politicians are too diplomatic to openly express a preference between the two candidates. Privately, councillors like Kaine are hopeful of a more nuanced relationship with Winters, who lacks the hawkish rhetoric of Hudson. However, others believe that Archer’s focus on military spending and domestic security might prove more practical in the face of the Thargoid invasion.”

The latest voting polls from Federal systems show that Jerome Archer has overtaken Felicia Winters, albeit by a narrow margin. The voting window ends on the 15th, with the results verified by Monday to determine the victor of the 3309 Federal presidential election.

As the Federation readies itself for a new president, the Empire is preparing for potential changes to its relationship with its historical rival.

Last year Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval severed all official collaboration with the other superpowers, except for limited contributions to Aegis. But this does not mean the Empire is ignoring the potential impact of either Jerome Archer or Felicia Winters becoming the next Federal president.

Senator Denton Patreus remarked on the election during a military parade through the city of Port Isabelle:

“The Federation’s leaders always reinforce their popularity by framing the Empire as the ‘great enemy’. I expect Archer will have those same aggressive tendencies. In truth, I’d prefer to deal with that predictable approach, since Winters is clearly the more cunning and deceitful candidate.”

Princess Aisling Duval was asked her opinion while visiting a xenology seminar hosted by the Achenar Research Council:

“I must admit that Felicia Winters’s style of governance is more appealing, though she should be mindful of her running mate’s influence. But whoever becomes president must break the cycle of hostility between Empire and Federation. My fruitful collaboration with other Aegis delegates, and ACT’s success against the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army, is evidence of how effective inter-superpower cooperation can be.”

The election was also discussed by Cassia Carvalho, political journalist for The Imperial Herald:

“The average Imperial citizen has little interest in the Federation’s internal workings, but anxiety in the Senate is high. With the Thargoid war still raging, the prospect of a new president seeking to stamp their authority on the interstellar stage is a major concern. Conversely, some captains of industry anticipate a new era of trade with a friendlier Federation, if the Emperor can be convinced to rescind her isolationist decree.”

Voting within Federal systems has been running for 24 hours, and polling suggests Felicia Winters holds a slight lead over Jerome Archer. The election will run for another three days.

*Pilots’ Federation ALERT*

The Federation has begun voting to decide its next president, as a week of festivities in the Sol system are concluded.

Congress confirmed that any pilots who supplied rare goods for the celebratory events can collect payment from Li Qing Jao starport. All temporary system permits for Sol remain suspended for Pilots’ Federation members for a further week.

The 3309 presidential election has now officially begun. More than one trillion Federal citizens are expected to submit their votes, which will be recorded and collated over the next four days via secure digital systems.

Vice President Jerome Archer is the Republican Party candidate, who is widely perceived as the political heir to President Zachary Hudson. His running mate is Congressman Niko Shirakawa, who has strong connections within the military.

Shadow President Felicia Winters, leader of the Liberal Party, is the rival candidate and a proponent of more humanitarian-focused policies. She is on a presidential ticket with Congressman Isolde Rochester, matriarch of the famous Rochester dynasty.

Sofia Trevino, political correspondent for The Federal Times, commented:

“Following months of delay, logistical issues caused by the Thargoid war, plus the drama surrounding Zachary Rackham, voting is finally underway. Analysts believe this could be one of the closest-run elections in the Federation’s history, reflecting the polarisation that has taken place in recent years.”

“Support for the Republican Party has been bolstered by its increasingly successful handling of the Thargoid menace during the past six months. But Archer’s flagship creation, the Proactive Detection Bureau, remains highly divisive – something the Liberal Party has found success in using to frame its opponent as increasingly authoritarian. How these primary points will ultimately impact the outcome of the vote remains to be seen.”

The new president will be announced on Monday 16th October. President Hudson will remain in office as caretaker president until the official inauguration of the election winner, expected to take place in the new year.

The first humans rescued from the Thargoid motherships have started to arrive, almost all of whom have so far survived extraction.

The highly dangerous task requires using an upgraded pulse wave xeno scanner to detect human life signs on the Titans. The new sub-surface extraction missiles then target and jettison the bio-storage capsules – as the structures are officially designated – which are then recovered using a cargo scoop.

All recovered individuals are being assessed by medical specialists. The tri-superpower agency Aegis released this statement to the media:

“In each case, research teams successfully cracked open the capsules and removed the comatose person. They were suspended within a chemically complex gel, not unlike amniotic fluid, with tubes supplying breathable air and basic nutrients. Between thirty and ninety minutes later, the person wakes.”

“All recovered individuals are currently being kept in strict medical quarantine under military guard. Molecular scans are being conducted to ensure that no traces of Thargoid material remains, and a period of long-term observation now begins.”

Dr Himari Grey, an independent healthcare analyst, was permitted to observe these procedures. As part of a report in The Empirical scientific journal, she noted:

“The former abductees I have seen looked physically healthy, and returned to consciousness easily. Most remembered little about their abduction, though several mentioned an overwhelming urge to ‘escape their ship’ prior to blacking out. Some described being semi-aware of their time in stasis, saying it felt ‘like an extended dream’. Others were in a state of shock or showed signs of psychological trauma – understandably, considering the nightmarish circumstances.”

“The capsules are clearly designed to sustain oxygen-breathing life forms indefinitely, protected both from the vacuum of space and the Thargoids’ ammonia-based environment. But what the aliens intended to use these people for remains unknown.”

Aegis later stated that identities are being logged and will soon be made public, with the hope that families and friends will be able to visit.

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