Jul 3

Terror on Tadath

Category: News

As fellow citizens of Tadath, I know we all were keeping our attention on the growing situation in our agricultural capital, Tissyli. In the weeks that have passed since the Army was sent in to evacuate the town our local law enforcement has thoroughly checked the area and assisted in returning our citizens to their homes. It will be a long time before we know the full impact of the chemicals found, but our men and women in white will do all they can to continue to keep Tadath safe for everyone who lives here.

We will have continuing coverage on the court cases pending that involve the owners of the property where the chemicals were found.

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Jan 3

Category: News

Jul 28

Epsilon Experiences Rebellion, again.

Category: News

Recent military conflicts on Epsilon Major, the most populous planet in the system, have shortened the supply of precious ores and food to the Vast Empire’s most remote systems. The military conflicts were sparked by local militia, citing a lack of aid on the planet, when they attacked Epsilon Major’s capitol building. The capitol building was designated a “complete loss” by the Epsilon’s National Guard, and the National Guard have begun a manhunt for those militia leaders. A gift of 200,000 Imperial Credits has been offered to anyone that has valuable information pertaining to these leaders. For more information, tune into your local HoloNet channels.

The National Guard has also been drawn to three other cities on Epsilon Major—Dreavdea, Rowhand, and Crete—to quell similar uprisings. The situation in Dreavdea is by far the worst case scenario, with ¾ of the city engulfed in extreme amounts of violence, and the other ¼ being controlled by the government. An estimated thirty people have been killed so far in the uprisings. Rowhand and Crete are both split down the middle: the National Guard holding half the city, and the local forces the other. Governor-General Thessaly voiced his anger to a gathering of all military and administrative ministers in the city of Sealth, the make-shift capitol.

”Greetings everyone—I come to you bearing grave news about the violence that has engulfed the planet, being sparked by petty criminals around the country in an effort to secure more welfare and funding for the un-employed—which is already at a record high! *applause* While these leaders have been gathering their rogue, violent forces around our planet, we have been organizing a strong counteroffensive to these rebels, and we will crush their resolve until every last one of them is jailed for their crimes against humanity.”
—Governor-General Thessaly

Thessaly was flanked by his most senior government officials: Minister of Trade Jones, Minister of Defense Shanter, and the Vast Empire Liaison Officer Jackson Pierce. His speech was widely mocked by the rebel forces, but soon after the speech started rolling around the planet, so did tanks and allied forces moving into cities that had been entrenched in rebel combat. The National Guard recorded thirty seven skirmishes, all of them coming out in their favor, and also reported a minimal loss of four troops, while vanquishing three hundred and eleven rebels.

Minister of Trade Jones, who had been the most widely chastised figure in this whole scene, spoke to the Vast Empire Today recently about these military conflicts and how it was affecting trade around Epsilon Major and the Vast Empire’s outer ring. He said “This entire ordeal is regular troublemakers doing it on a national scale, and doing it violently. The precious minerals and food sources that we produced on this planet day-in and day-out seemed to have been lost on these rebels, and those resources pay for the oil, the sweat, and the ships that we fly daily on Epsilon Major. They just threw that down the gutter, and now we’ll have to shut down major parts of Epsilon’s inhabitants lives—mass transportation, roadways, we’ll have to add screening checkpoints for space travel, and we’ll have to minimize our losses in the home sector by cutting our sales in half to feed the people here on Epsilon.”

Minister Jones was relieved of his post later that day by former-Commander James Michel, Michel is expected to be inaugurated later today.

Zhar Bacredi is reporting from the Epsilon System, and has been doing research on the system for over a month and a half now. He has been given all access to the Epsilon System’s Board of Governors and most of Epsilon Major’s Ministers.

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Jul 26

Meteor Shower Occurs Near Tadath

Category: News

Tadath, Sian System

Last night, millions gathered to watch the spectacle of the meteor shower that passed near Tadath. The meteor shower began at 00:17, Galactic Standard Time, and ended at approximately 00:21. Many Tadath citizens brought their holocams, insuring that this moment would never be forgotten. And a spectacle the shower was, the oohs and the aahs of the crowd lingered long after the meteor shower had ended.

Only a few of the meteors were able to withstand the heat of re-entry, causing minimal damage to Tadath’s cities and towns. Most of the meteors that entered Tadath’s atmosphere landed in the mountains and fields. Emergency crews immediately responded to the fallen meteors and various scientists are examining the meteors.

The meteors that did not fall on Tadath did impact on Nordriss.  The impacts had very little affect on the gas giant.

Overall, the meteor shower was a sight to see and something people will remember for a long time. And you can see the footage on any amateur holovid channel throughout the galaxy.

-Paffa Duffits

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Jun 18

“Swoof” closes doors after accusations of dirty dealing

Category: News

Lotaith; Rheagent System

Local star-fighter dealer “Swoof” has removed itself from Lotaith Market Place, the center of trade for Rheagent System.  Stocks were on the rise for Swoof when accusations were made early last week that the company had issued shipments to local crime group “Dim-back,” said to be responsible for over a thousand sector felonies.  Swoof’s Spokesman, Mr. Ehell, said this about the situation:

(Translated: Originally Durese)

“Amid the controversy created by these accusations, our company has felt that it’s in the best interest of it’s stockholders, as well as all of its customers and employees, that we cease sales for the upcoming trimester.  Legal action is being taken before sales of any kind can be continued.”

When prompted by one reporter as to whether or not the accusations had any truth, the Duros replied “of course not- these are lies- they have no proof…”  Swoof will be entering legal contest with two other competing star-fighter traders- “Liggel” and “Zmmm”- both of which accused Swoof last week of “dirty dealing.”

-Carissa Toocooth (Trades and Stocks)

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Jun 18

Comet destroys Orbital 22jN; Sianat loses contact

Category: News

Tadath; Sian System

At 14:42 Galactic Standard Time, veteran communications station “Orbital 22jN” ceased signal relays with Tadath’s central communication system.  The station, responsible for 68.325% (avg. annually) of communications out of the capitol city of Sianat, was in use for 20 standard years before it met a sudden end last evening.  According to Tadath’s communications director, Icu Stilli Rsi, 22jN was struck by an undetected, un-registered comet.  The comet, nick-named “Zip,” was roughly the size of a small personal starship and was traveling at 7,251 kilometers an hour when it connected with 22jN.  “Zip,” according to a spokesman from the Central Astrological Databank [CAD], is officially the fastest of any space-rock ever detected in Sian System.
Officials are still speculating as to where precisely the rock came from.  Dr. Urum of the Lesurad Academy on Abrae (not affiliated with the Naval Academy on Abrae) speculates that the comet may have been the product of a massive volcanic eruption.

(Transalation: Originally Sullustese)

“The fact that the comet was undected tells us that it’s not orbiting around a system; probably not even a sector.  Rather, it’s possible that the comet was a projectile from a volcanic eruption.  If it were an especially ancient volcano, like those on the nearby planet of Endoven, the projectile could escape the atmosphere.”

Volcanic eruptions on Endoven have rarely resulted in space-rock, say other analyst, but they admit that the possibility exist.  The most likely volcano, they say, would be Endoven’s “Izsh Tu-an,” the mother volcano. Renu Kelch of the Naval Academy on Abrae had this to say:

(Translated: Originally Murachaun)

“It’s the only volcano that could theoretically produce space-rock.  While eruptions can happen almost daily on Endoven, most eruptions don’t have the kind of strength that Izsh Tu-an does.  Furthermore- the mother volcano has erupted at least three times in the last month.  This seems the most likely origin.”

Kelch went on to mention that, with the existance of Zip, “it’s possible that more comets of equal speed and size could be traveling in space at this very moment…”

Other theories abound, but for the meantime Sianat is only now back on-line with the rest of the system.  Details as more comes out.

-Yee Oo (Volunteer Journalist- Sianat)

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Jun 13

Reeho Birds escape from Lexil Zoo, prey on visitors

Category: News

Lotaith; Rheagent System

Early yesterday morning, visitors at the famous Lexil Zoo (named after lengedary anthroplogist, Ini-Ini-Ini-Ini Lexil the 18th) were disturbed by the sudden attack of several escaped Reeho Birds.  Reeho Birds, colorful predators from Gelgalar that usually prey upon young fat monkeys, were seen picking up visitors, flying away, and then returning minutes later for more.  In all, some seventy visitors are still missing while another 200 are injuried from various peckings, fly-bys and other near-death incidents.


“We were getting ready to give them their morning bazarre when one of the staff members realized that the main latch hadn’t been fastened all the way…  By that time it was too late though.”

Lexil Zoo has received mixed reviews from the public; praise in their treatment of the victims, but utter contempt in their timeliness and reactivity.  Many families have filed suits against the zoo, already, claiming incompetence and negligence on the part of staff and procedure, hoping for rewards in personal damages.  One of the zoo’s administrator’s tried to explain the slow reaction time in the following way:


“When some of these beasts escape, however rarely it happens, it’s usually not because of negligence, but because of something we couldn’t expect to happen.  In this case, the Reeho birds had pre-meditated the incident; several of the long, thick leaves in their habitats were found in the latch mechanism of their cage.  We could not have predicted that they would act in such a way…”

Never the less, the search continues for the survivors of the Lexil Zoo disaster; some experts suspect that the search party look toward the towers of the great capital city.  It’s likely, they say, that the victims have been placed in large nests, where they will be held captive until the birds’ eggs hatch.  Then, the experts say, they will be used as free kills so that the most birds may survive.  Rescue crews are working into the night…

-Tqi Vnoo; Junior Reporter (4 years)

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Jun 13

Naval Medics look at higher cost, lower pay

Category: News

Abrae; Vectra System

As the amount of budgetary funds are given in larger allotments every trimester to aid for the inter-galactic plague, funds have been consistently lowered in many areas: public education, species public peace projects, and even- medic compensation.

The many levels of medics in the Naval forces allows it’s members to specialize and make more money, but that overall amount has been reduced for the upcoming fiscal trimester.  Where 50,000 ICs was seen as normal compensation five galactic years ago, the total trimester compensation has fallen to 35,000 ICs.  While the fall is dramatic and has forced many in the field to cut expenses, the situation is worsened yet further by the rising cost of trade-tuition.  Apprentice-ships have risen in price as medics already in the field are forced to recoup financial losses.

From a strictly financial perspective, the market for Naval medics is expected to shrink (according to a messenger from the medical division of Abrae’s labor department).  However, dedicated species and genders of all kinds have continued to answer the call; as one rodian put it: Translated “It’s never been about the money.  If we don’t do this job- who will?”

Still, benevelont as the volunteers were, some expressed concerns about the possibility of taking on heavy loans to pay for their apprenticeships. Translated “If I have to take 200,000 ICs in loans to make 35,000 ICs a trimester…  Who do I help by going bankrupt?”  The situation remains terse, but many of the students at the medical wing on Abrae’s Naval Academy seemed hopeful.  Translated “I just hope we can get out there and do some good in the middle of all this madness…”

-Stocko Lighten; Veteran Journalist (30 years)

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Jun 13

Avoss Clarem wins election to Senate on Abrae

Category: News

Abrae; Vectra System
After a year-long battle with the Mon-Calamari incumbent, Mi-yen Cuaq, Clarem pulled off an astounding win, claiming some 80 percent of the vote.

Translated (Original Language: Bothawaui)

“We’re extremely proud to have been chosen by the great populace of lower Sector 2 for the grand senate of Abrae,” Clarem told supporters last evening.  “With your continued help, we can bring aid to victims of inter-galactic plague.”  Clarem ran on a platform of intensive support for funding to research, as well as aid in fighting the ever-present “plague,” that has affected much of the galaxy in the last several years.  The death toll is in the billions, some researchers say, but exact figures are widely argued.

Some commentators have suggested that Cuaq’s accusations against Clarem from earlier on in the race probably hurt him most.

Translated (Original Language: Mon Cal)

“Humans, like Clarem, have only one agenda: a human agenda.  If they truly wished to help out the many sick and dying, they would put aside their petty human self-importance and give equal aid to all species.”  Cuaq’s accusations were never directly addressed by Clarem, but it would appear that his lack of elaboration on the topic did not hurt him so much as it hurt his competitor.  Either way, the planet of Abrae may be in for tumultuous times as the issue of aid for the seperate species warms up…

-Lo Coa; Veteran Reporter

Mr. Coa has been an active reporter for many than two hundred years, and is well known for his accuracy and attention to detail.  You can see his editorial “Kirshing Kirkashuans” every second day of the binary week.

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Nov 30

John Williams: Thoughts and In-Concert

Category: News

For a moment last Friday night, after a discussion with a VE member, I was transported back in time to the year 1999, and for the first time in years, I re-experienced the flurry of emotions that I felt as I lived through the excitement surrounding the film Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace.  For my part, I remember that the film had been heavily advertised, Pepsi cans and snack boxes were adorned with characters from the movie and a certain sense of genuine intrigue was developing within just about everyone.  “Who’s the girl supposed to be?” Or “That must be the bad guy,” we would say, peering at photos on the back of Doritos sacks and Mountain Dew bottles.  I have particularly fond memories of watching the Rosie O’Donnel show, actually; she was one of the many who dedicated her show for a week or more to the ongoing Star Wars phenomenon.  I only had three channels at the time, so I was grateful to see my favorite topic being discussed in-detail on a daily basis.  Thanks to an appearance on said program, I would also fall deeply under the spell of Ms. Natalie Portman, an understandable crush to many; looking back, I can’t help but be in awe of the monumental steps she was making toward her own outstanding career, carried all-the-while under the wing of a powerfully successful franchise.  In the wake of the film’s excitement, some would suggest that EPI was unable to live up to the hype that advertising had created, while other professional critics decried the seemingly formulaic approach to the film.  Yet, no one could deny that Lucas had proved for everyone that he could still tell a hell of a story.

For me, however, the film has almost always been dependent upon the powerful emotions expressed (sometimes less perfectly by the actors) in the music of John Williams.  The music of Episode I is particularly special for me because it was the signature film that sparked my fascination with the SW galaxy, but no doubt that others would cite the music of the earlier films (“the Throne Room,” “The Imperial March,” “Yoda’s Theme,” “the Funeral Pyre,”) or even films unrelated to the series (the music of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, ET, Home Alone, Indiana Jones, to name a few) and all would have been equally affected.  His influence on film, and our very lives, is not unlike that of a favorite book, singer or actor.  Though seemingly distant and all-at-once unrelated, as each becomes the topic of conversation between our family and friends, we can’t help but remember those discussions (and their tributaries) with joy and a deep appreciation.  In fact, the nostalgia I feel when listening to his music is probably the recognition of said appreciation.

As I was saying, though, certain music brings those memories and feelings to life.  I was a kid when EPI came out, so “Duel of the Fates” was often the backdrop for my attempts at Darth Maul’s acrobatics (and larger scale re-enactments that are now hilarious, but definitely embarrassing), for instance.  Yet, as I look back, my favorite has to be the track that immediately follows EPI’s fight theme in the credits: “Anakin’s Theme.”  The piece, lyrical but delicately orchestrated, follows the similar “theme” concept that Williams has used for decades now.  A character’s “theme music” is, in the musical community, part of a mechanism called “leitmotif” (pronounced “light-moteef”); a concept developed by the great composer Richard Wagnar.  Williams, like Wagner, would use leitmotif to introduce and create an atmosphere around Star Wars’ central characters.  Luke, for instance, was introduced with “Luke’s Theme,” in the beginning of A New Hope.  Perhaps, though, you noticed (or atleast recognized unconsciously) that the same melody was introduced repeatedly throughout the original trilogy?  When Luke swings Leia across the chasm in the Death Star, for example, “Luke’s Theme” is heard, albeit briefly.  A certain emotion, a sense of bravery and adventure, has become interlaced with that combination of notes.  The same could be said of the “Imperial March,” which seems to crop-up when even the slightest indication is made that Darth Vader or his stormtroopers are near.

For these reasons, I believe, I’ve come to love the complexity that is “Anakin’s Theme.”  Why?  Well it represents, perhaps, the most complex character of the entire series: a boy destined for greatness, but powerful enough to destroy all that he touches.  So filled with innocence, but tempered with the possibility for utter catastrophe: he’s a gamble.  The music John Williams wrote to express this identity is, likewise, full of possibility but ringing with the over-tones of danger, a certain hesitation that exist because, if he falls, things could go worse than wrong.  Yet, the music goes even further in expressing, with particular passages and motives, Anakin’s love for his mother, and indeed, his compassion toward all beings.  As you listen to the piece, however, you feel “Anakin’s Theme,” become tainted by the lietmotif that has become so synonimous with Star Wars: again, the Imperial March.  Something so powerfully twisted and sinister that, while it inspires love and intrigue in the series, it reminds us all of the cold and mechanical, hollow evil that was Darth Vader and the Empire.

I thought about all of these things that evening, knowing full well that I would probably here none of it the following night.  I was going to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO- not so arguably the best symphony in the world) on Saturday night, but not to listen to Star Wars.  Rather, John Williams would conduct pieces from other composers alongside his own music from the first three Harry Potter films.  While I deeply appreciate the Harry Potter music as well (I have the soundtracks to the first and third movies) I couldn’t help but be disappointed in the fact that I would miss the music that was so deeply a part of me.

Saturday night, attending my first orchestral event, I filed into an elevator in down-town Chicago to take me up to the sixth floor of the Chicago Symphony Center.  As I reached the top (in a room that looked curiously like Palpatine’s Challencor quarters), my friends and I hastened to the auditorium entrance.  Making our way carefully down the rows (it felt as if falling forward would send you over the steeply lined rows and off the balcony), we took in the sounds of the orchestra as it warmed up.  Excited voices continued for some time, but finally the first chair violin stood, struck a few tuning notes, and was seated.  Then, though he was so many feet away, I could see John Williams moving from the side of the stage to his platform.  This was, by all accounts, “pretty cool.”  The music that followed was fantastic, of course, and there were even moments, after the intermission and into the Harry Potter music, where I felt I might be satisfied with the powerful emotions expressed in that music.  Yet, as the show closed, again, I couldn’t help but feel that feeling linger.  John Williams, barely definable from my high balcony seat, waved generously to the crowd, bowing first, then bowing for the orchestra, before he left….

The clapping became louder, though, and people were now standing and cheering.  I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot when Williams suddenly appeared back out on stage, waving and bowing humbly before re-taking the platform for an encore. At this point, I couldn’t help but feel my heart skip a beat.  Could it be?  I wondered!  No…  Instead, the composer, as expressively as anything else he’d conducted yet, burst into a dramatic rendition of the theme to ET.  Again, it was remarkable and thrilling on its own merits, but not what I (or apparently the rest of the crowd) wanted.  As Williams exited once again, the crowd rose to their feet yet another time, and the applause was louder than ever.  The musicians on the stage looked at one another, saying nothing before turning to the wings of the stage, looking on intently…  And then sat down.  The crowd became frenzied.

John Williams, again, entered the spot light, gliding, it seemed, on the affections of his crowd.  Standing at the support bar on his platform, he peered into the audience, teetering, it seemed, on a decision.  Then, nodding to himself, he turned (there was no flipping of pages, this had been forseen) he burst into the “Imperial March” with vigor, bouncing slightly as he swung his arms.  A brief moment of actual yelling and screaming ensued before the crowd became quiet once again so that they could feel the full impact of the music at it hit them.  For me, the effect only came when I finally took my eyes away from the orchestra; the musicians didn’t evoke any kind of emotion when it came to this music, after all.  Instead, I remembered “Anakin’s Theme,” his journey, his fall, and the horror that was Darth Vader: that’s when I got goosebumps.  The concert, for me, was over after the final chord of that piece; he played through a piece (reminiscent of Leia’s theme) from Indiana Jones and also the Sunday Night Football theme (which he played for only the second time that night), but the crowd (and I) were satisfied with the “Imperial March.”

At last, at the prompting of yet another encore, John Williams returned to the stage, but only to tilt his head to the side and lay it upon his hands: it was time for bed, he was saying.  And so, satisfied but never really satisfied, my fellow concert-goers and I left the auditorium to think about what we’d just witnessed.  From the nosebleeds, it’s hard to say that I got the full concert experience: I was there in the same room, yes, and the music was perfect: CD quality and higher at every moment.  Yet, I know that next time, Lord willing, I’ll be in the fifth row so that I can see what the musicians, and more importantly, what John Williams thinks about his music.  His thoughts, I imagine, will be written in his expressions and in the passion of his conducting.  You might say (as I recall that this was actually Thanksgiving weekend) that I’m thankful for a lot of things this year; among them family and friends, of course, but perhaps on a somewhat unconscious level, also for the connection that concert made between what I was given for fantasy as child and what I respect and love now as an adult…  in the music of John Williams.

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