-- written by Carey Al-Jilani
-- reported by Alisen Lerta
[DGEX] 4405/8/12 27:43
Colonies across the Galactic Expansion have been attacked by stealth warships, causing extensive damage and killing over a hundred colonists. Core Governance officials say the attacks are being carried out by the Cult of M, a mysterious alliance of native civilizations, and TNP Corporation battle-fleets have been attempting to catch the raiders. A Golem speaking for the Safeguard and Security Administrate made the following statement:
"The recent and ongoing attacks by "M" starships are a clear indication of their intentions towards the Governance, and emergency measures are being taken both to repair the damage, and to prepare for an escalating conflict with this cult. I can also confirm that we have been in contact with several native civilizations which have also been attacked by the cult, and TNP Corporation is working with them to ensure that the Governance and its new allies can defend themselves efficiently and effectively."The city of Chel-Suluth on Rannoch was among the hardest hit, and is currently under attack once more. Alisen Lerta is On The Ground in Chel-Suluth.
"Chel-Suluth is in a state of shock right now, shock at the attacks, and shock at how much damage they did. I spoke to an official from Rannoch's Air and Space Traffic Administrate earlier, and she said that they did not see the raiders coming, it was completely unexpected. They weren't able to get the interceptors off the ground in time to stop the attacks, and they were destroyed on the launch pads. As a result, just about everything the raiders fired got through, and the state of Chel-Suluth shows that clearly. Behind me is the Chel-Suluth Safeguard and Security Administrate's building, and there's a hole right down the centre of it. The top three floors are wrecked as well. I wasn't allowed near the building, but a Safeguard told me that at least ten people were killed in there. I'm told they've identified more than twenty total unrecoverable deaths in the city in the last strike alone, and they don't have accurate numbers on people whose implants survived. The--ahh! It--it looks like another strike just came in, there's a fireball on the horizon. There's a Safeguard air transport lifting off just to my left, it looks like they're heading for the fireball. Yes, I see the contrail now, that was definitely an orbital strike. I'll see if I can find a Safeguard for comment."While Alisen was finding a Safeguard, we received reports of an attack on Attica, a new colony near Miranda, on the outskirts of Iron Hope's interceptor coverage. A TNS crew is en route to Attica at time of writing.
"Alisen Lerta here again for TNS. I've managed to get hold of a Safeguard who has been working in Chel-Suluth for a few days now, trying to evacuate casualties and stabilize buildings. His name is Erikks van Beemsch. Erikks, can you comment on the latest strikes, give us an overview of what's happening?"
"Yes, I think I can. There's been severe damage to a lot of the city's infrastructure, and that last hit you saw wiped out a comms relay for the southwest part of Chel-Suluth, that means the Safeguards and Enforcers there are working with tactical communications only, just their personal gear, until we can get a replacement up. The damage to the roads also means we're relying on air transport to move people and gear around, and that's making it difficult. We're getting assistance from commercial starships and shuttles too, but there's a physical limit on how much sheer numbers will help. There's also the problem that whenever a strike comes in, the starships and air transports have to clear out, or we'll get a repeat of what caused the most damage in the initial hits: starships coming down on the city. If you look to your right there, you can see a big ESI hauler that came down with a hole through the drive core, I think her name was Airedale III. She was carrying radioactive waste to dump into the sun, it made a hell of a mess when she crashed. So yeah, it's all just one big bomb crater down here, and what we Safeguards are doing is pulling all the fragments of the city out of the crater and trying to tape them back together."Residents of Rannoch will be pleased to hear that a battle fleet has been dispatched from Iron Hope to defend the planet against raiders, and the fleets already deployed are stepping up their efforts to catch the ships in flight. We've also been informed of rumours that assault fleets are moving into position to mount an offensive against 000 Palmer, one of the primary local staging systems of the Cult of M, though we couldn't confirm this.
Next up on TNS: five cheap and easy spacelines that'll take your family to the new colonies at Farpoint.
[OOC note: this post will be updated with images.]