Confederacy Demands More Senators, Electors

Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Earth -- 22 May 2057:  This day saw a blustery debate in the Trapezoid over a proposal put unexpectedly forward to increase the number of senators and electors composing the Saturnine Confederacy's share of the Stellar Parliament.  There is little doubt that this proposal was strategically motivated, coming as it does so close on the heels of the bizarre obstinacy of the Confederate Authority in the matter of the crashed deep-space probe.

The bill as it stands would hand the Confederacy the equivalent of 5 full districts' worth of senators, putting it on par with the Federation of Asteroidal Polities in the Senate, though as in the case of the FAP the regional government would remain in the hands of the Confederate Authority.  The proposal also triples the number of sovereign states into which the Confederacy is carved, and thus the number of electors seated in the Trapezoid.  The bill was tabled by Ras Jagadbarty, Libertarian Elector for Saturnine Confederacy-Tighe Station, who contented himself with a brief speech pointing out that the growing population of the Saturnine colonies entitles them to a redistricting review and offering his proposal as the logical solution.

Not so the other Saturnine Electors, who gave full-throated and sometimes tawdry approval to the plan.  Libertarian elector Caspar de Vries of Saturnine Confederacy-Dione said that it was "about time the Confederacy got its due," and that "the bureaucracy of Baikonur has spent far too long withholding and pettifogging the rights that we are clearly due as a partner with this Alliance".  Morgen Flagneflan, Corporatist elector for Saturnine Confederacy-Titan Polar North, spent the full allotment of eir speaking time railing against the "cultural imperialism" of the Alliance centre, which e likened to "societal genocide", "the repeated rape of our Confederate pride", and "a political Holocaust" before being cut off by the Chancellor.  Libertarian elector Tinus Parvos Naturidan of Saturnine Confederacy-Rhea stated that "the Confederacy is at last ready to rise up and demand its God-given rights to self-determination and full representation, to have its day in the sun alongside the inner planets, to enjoy the fruits of our labour and to walk our own soil untrammeled by the hand of jealous and small-minded Socialist sycophants."  The speeches began at times to sound like a full-fledged declaration of secession.  Like-minded partisand from throughout the system joined in, with Libertarian Party director Azimak Titslinger, elector for Anders-Mircordia, calling the redistricting "a move whose time has come", and Traditionalist elector Alex Ross of Great Plains-Lonestar spoke stirringly of "our Confederate brothers, who carry the spirit of the frontier under their hats, taking the risks we of the centre dare not take and asking naught for it beyond the opportunity to full representation before the law of our grand Alliance".

Leading the charge against the immense scope of the redistricting, Socialist elector Maarta Schengen of Scandinavia-Sweden called the move a "naked power grab" by the Saturnines, accusing them of "flexing their muscle" and attemting to "upset the applecart" in the wake of the probe scandal.  She called on members of the governing coalition to "resist the lure of these pretty words and refuse to disturb the balance of power in the Trapezoid."  Norris Becker, Communitarian elector for Great Plains-Greater Saskatchewan, allowed that while "population growth might entitle the Saturnines to another 5 senators and a few more electoral states, the proposal before this house is a bridge too far," while Hyperboria-Nautilus' Anarchist elector Titus Netrosiam vowed to "hold the line against the crypto-fascists of the so-called Confederate Authority capital complex".  In the end, however, splits in the Communitarian party and a sizeable contingent of back-bench Technocrats managed to get the proposal sent to the Senate redistricting committee on a vote of 307-306.

Court Denies Conservation Group's Petition

Terminat, Dione, Saturnine Confederacy -- 21 May 2057:  The Confederate Superior Civil Court this day refused to grant conservation group Wild Space status under the Ecological Protection Act to sue the Saturnine government on behalf of the rings of Saturn.  The group's petition to create a conservation area in the rings and exclude all human industry or habitation in that area has been thrown out of court.

Likos Feldspar, a spokesperson for the Dione branch of Wild Space, expressed disappointment with the ruling, but little surprise.  "We had hoped at the very least to be given the opportunity to make our case in court for the irreplaceable value of the rings," zie stated in a press conference after the ruling was handed down.  "It is already possible to see degradation of the rings due to industrial water mining at many magnifications.  We filed our suit in anticipation of a fairer hearing after the last regional election, when the Libertarians took the Confederate Authority from the Corporatists.  We had a proposal for preservation of the rings, fair enclosure pricing and sustainable water mining that could at least have led to an acceptable compromise for all parties.  It seems our hopes were ill-founded, but we fully plan to appeal this decision to the Alliance Superior Civil Court as soon as we have access to sufficient funding.  Until then, Saturnines will just have to live with the reality that their most iconic and beautiful piece of common property, the rings of Saturn, are being stripped away by the greed of private interests.  We will also continue attempting to interest our Senators, Conciliators, and state Directors in pursuing this politically.  This is not the end."

The law under which the group attempted to sue the Confederacy, clause 21 of the Ecological Protection Act, was intended primarily to protect the environmental biodiversity of Earth's beleaguered natural habitats and allows intervenors to assume protective status over natural areas and sue those whose activities are detrimentally affecting them, obtaining injunctions to halt certain types of human activity in the area, impose pricing schemes to discourage pollution or natural resource enclosures, or negotiate sustainable development plans.  Courts have historically been averse to extending the law into space, which of course contains no ecological diversity to protect; but on a few occasions, Wild Space has been able to make the case for the inherent value for the conservation of undisturbed stellar bodies, halting several asteroid mining ventures and a proposal to develop a settlement on the Martian moon Deimos.  The group has begun looking to more ambitious targets, and has divulged plans to attempt to establish a conservation area over the entirety of Uranus, which has thus far seen minimal human intrusion.

Hypercortical Group Added to DeathWatch Hate List

Heliogabalus, Inamorata, Venus -- 20 May 2057:  The influential social justice organization DeathWatch has this day updated its "Hate List" -- its ranking of groups which, in the words of the organization's charter, "directly promote the genocidal elimination of any identifiable group of people or the restriction of personhood rights, or spread slanderous propaganda about any identifiable group of people designed to incite violent hatred."  Of the often banal but rarely uninteresting inside hockey of hate politics, one item stands out: the inclusion in 219th place of Evolve: Humanity, the first explicitly pro-Hypercortical group to yet make the Hate List.  According to Mechalus Nalren, a DeathWatch spokesperson, the addition was prompted specifically by the publication on their hyperlayer page of a document titled "Manual of Positive Eugenics".  The tract, among other offences, advocates severe restriction of the reproductive rights guaranteed in the Constitution Accord.

"I'll quote here from the so-called manual produced by Evolve: Humanity," Mre. Nalren told us in an audio interview:  "'All biologicals should be required to have hypercortex gene sequences inserted into their germline or face mandatory sterilization.  All unplanned pregnancies and all pregnancies or vat-births not resulting in a child with a functional hypercortex should be aborted.  Biologicals registering under 125 on the Deckard-Bowman examinations should be restricted to reproducing one child per 50 population; those scoring under 100, one child per 500 population; and those scoring under 75, one child per 5000 population.  Any person whose germline produces a fetus with an F-grade Neurological Typification Class should be summarily sterilized.'  They're not up there with major players like Humans For Humanity or God Given Gender, but they've crossed the line here from just claiming Hypers to be a 'superior race' to actively advocating the elimination of all non-Hypercortical neurotypes from the population, which is unconstitutional and unacceptable."

Reaction to this step from the neurodiversity movement has been swift: the Interplanetary Neurodiversities Federated Organization issued a press release which stated that "the inclusion of Evolve: Humanity on the Hate List has been a long time coming and is a welcome step in the journey toward true neurodiversity"; the Hypercortical rights advocacy group HyperActive, for its part, attempted to distance itself from Evolve: Humanity with a dense statement cautioning that "Evolve: Humanity is not in any way affiliated or associated with HyperActive, and their goals are not ours," and stating outright that "HyperActive is pro-Hypercortical, not anti-any other neurotype.  We support neurodiversity as both a concept and a practice."  The title of the statement from Primal-human rights group PrePosthuman says it all:  "Evolve: Humanity is an Endangered Species".

Evolve: Humanity, for their part, contented themselves with a single tweet in defiance of the media storm.  "In the time it would take you to understand why it is ridiculous to label us a hate group," said communications director Amarinth Tefloricate Reum, "I could compose a symphony.  Hypers are simply superior to baselines.  This is not 'slanderous propaganda'; it is merely a statement of established fact."

Baby-Selling Scandal Accompanies Creche Shutdown

Ceres, Federation of Asteroidal Polities -- 17 May 2057:  Kidstart, a major privately-run child-rearing facility has been abruptly decertified by the FAP Department of Child and Quasi-Person Protection.  Its owners, Queeg Tripley and Marfa Tanstaafle, have been taken into police custody on charges of Endangerment, Abuse, and Improper Sale of Quasi-Persons.  The children who lived and learned in the facility are being temporarily housed in Ceres' overburdened state-run creches until their progenitors can be found, if indeed they are located at all and can be induced to care for their children.

The Department and the local police have not responded to requests for comment.  However, Stig Flamlin, a spokesperson for local child advocacy organization Invest In Children, claims to have heard disturbing rumours of child-trafficking through Kidstart.  "You have to understand," Mre. Flamlin told us in an audio interview, "this was the kind of place that preys on people in poverty, mainly primates, dogs and cats, neanders, the neuromarginal -- people who through misfortune or poor judgement found themselves unable to support a child, people who couldn't wait for a place in the state creches to open up.  They would arrange a small low-interest loan through one of the many fly-by-night banks to pay their fee, on the condition that the progenitors sign over full parental rights and never attempt to reclaim or even contact their offspring.  It was a really dodgy operation, the kind we try to warn people off of, but they did a good business and there were rumour for years that they would keep beds available by selling the kids.  

"Oh, they parade big groups of kids around outside the compound twice a day, on educational tours to this or that.  We have spotters who were watching, and they really shuffled it around as to which kids were touring when, running them in about 20 groups of 50 kids that got mixed up for each tour.  But our watchers kept careful records of what they saw, and every few weeks a child that had been consistently out on a weekly basis just stopped showing up.  We've heard stories on the child-rights grapevine of Kidstart 'product' ending up in labour camps, kiddie brothels, meat markets, and adopted by wonderful loving parents from one end of the system to the other; there's a lot of talk that they're affiliated with UniCrime, too, though it's all pure hearsay.  The police have taken their sweet time looking into Kidstart, but I hope that means they have enough evidence to nail Queeg and Marfa to the wall.  Children are our greatest asset; I hate seeing them treated like just another commodity."

Confederation Day Celebration Turns Violent

New New Orleans, Titan, Saturnine Confederacy -- 16 May 2057:  Parades throughout the moons and stations of Saturn this day were intended to honour the founding of the Confederacy; but some have attracted political demonstrations which have become riots.  Early estimates tally property damage to several credits, over 500 injured and nearly 800 arrests.  No deaths have yet been reported.  Our correspondant, Gelf Shmedley, described the scene in the Confederate capital of New New Orleans in an email:

"The parades on Confed Day are always raucous, with elements of triumphalism and anti-Alliance sentiment.  But today's demonstration was just unreal.  I saw Chancellor Galorvian burned in effigy; I saw posters of Galorvian in Hitler drag, and others compared the Technocrats to Nazis and the Socialist party to Stalinists.  In this day and age; it was unbelievable.  Then there were the people firing plasma rifles and HERF busters into the air.  They reinforce the dome and harden all the electronics specifically because people are known to do this, particularly on Confed Day.  But it seemed to be a spark across a short circuit this time.  That was about when people started raging, smashing windows, looting shops, trampling other underfoot.  It was like seeing people regress to the level of animals.  I have to thank Jesus Mohammed nothing happened to me."

Confederation Day is a strangely erratic holiday, as the Saturnines tend to live according to local planetary calendars and clocks rather than Earth Standard Time, as a matter of principle as much as practicality.  Thus, the "anniversary" of the founding of the Confederacy is usually celebrated according to the orbital periods of the various moons and Ring-synchronous stations.  Today's Confederation Day celebrates the first full Saturn-year since the founding, nearly three Earth-decades ago.  This, in addition to the recent controversy and ill feeling due to a property dispute over a crashed deep-space probe, may partly explain the high tempers which attended the festivities.  Confederate Authority Chairman Deuce Titslinger publicly broadcast a rambling statement calling the riots a "national shame, a stain on the face of our fair Confederacy" and chiding the rioters for "playing into the slanderous stereotypes our detractors put about of the boorish, violent, greedy Saturnine" before going on to inveigh against "UNAC provocateurs" and state that "the Bureaucrats in Baikonur can hardly be surprised of their arrogant, heavy-handed pronouncements bring justifiable anger from our outraged citizens."

Medication-for-Services Declared Unconstitutional

Anaxagoras Station, Lagrange Orbital Colonial Authority -- 15 May 2057:  The LOCA Regional Civil Court has found this day for the plaintiff in Helsen v. Anaxagoras Station, declaring that it is unconstitutional for local ordnances to require that psychiatric patients submit to drug testing to prove that they are taking prescribed medications to "control their illness" in order to access locally-managed services such as free food, water, and air dispensaries, hyperlayer access, doss lockers, and employment assurance.  Speaking for a unanimous majority, the Honourable Judge Alin Mantarean states that "what is to one person a 'psychiatric illness' which needs to be controlled is for an increasing number an integral part of their identity as a person, one which the Constitution Accord now recognizes as inalienable and does not permit us to attempt to coerce them into altering.  To deny a person government-guaranteed services based on whether they are or are not using consciousness-altering drugs is tantamount to neurotypicalism, and is not something this court will tolerate."

The Interplanetary Neurodiversities Federated Organization issued a press release hailing the decision as "a major step forward for freedom of thought and the rights of those who think differently."  The INFO coordinated a campaign to raise money for legal counsel to represent Gerhard Helsen, a person of leisure who considers schizopherenia to be an integral part of who he is.  The organization hopes to apply the decision to overturn similar ordnances in cities, townships and stations across the system.  These laws became common after the Teegan Amendment to the Constitution Accord enshrined "neuromorphic freedom", or the freedom to allow or induce one's mind to function in any way one wishes.  Tork Flagelblad, a spokesperson for the Anaxagoras Board of Directors, called the ruling "utterly ludicrous.  I mean, yeah yeah, neurodiversity, hip hooray.  The reality is that people with serious illnesses are not getting the medical treatment they need, and our system was designed to help with that.  All respect to Mr. Helsen and his beliefs, but in order to maintain the public peace, people need to at least be on the same planet.  They can't be shoting at their invisible friends or having a bipolar meltdown.  What you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business, but we can't have these kinds of things happening in public hostels or at jobs gained through Employment Assurance.  There needs to be some kind of order."

Shipyard Wrecked by Drunken Joyride

Utopia Planitia Orbital Shipyard, Low Mars Orbit -- 14 May 2057:  A series of collisions caused by the reckless piloting of Barron Waterworks heir Michial Barron has caused several hundred credits' worth of damage and temporarily halted the effective operation of the iconic Utopia Planitia shipyard.  Nobody has been reported dead or injured in the escapade.

According to witnesses, Mr. Barron showed up personally at the shipyard to take possession of a custom-manufactured Boeing Cabana which he had ordered for his 20th birthday.  "We would've happily delivered the hull to anywhere in the system for him," stated shipyard foreman Zack Hammershaft, "but he wouldn't have it; he insisted on taking it out of the yard himself."  According to Mr. Hammershaft, Mr. Barron was "visibly drunk; he stunk of expensive zero-gee-brewed brandy, I'd say Halner Flarnaigan, and was weaving and slurring."  The crew handling the order apparently felt they had no choice but to allow Mr. Barron to pilot the spacecraft himself.  "You know what it's like with these hyper-rich types," Mr. Hammershaft told us in an audio interview.  "Break you as soon as look at you.  Only reason I'm saying this, mind you, is 'cause I'm the shop union rep for the Shipwrights Local 21930.  They got my back.  The rest of my crew, though?  Forget it.  More than a job like this is worth to cross a man can buy and sell people like you by the dozen."

The trouble started when Mr. Barron failed to wait for the clamps on the mooring gantry to which the ship was still secured to be disengaged before firing the craft's primary ion engines.  Part of the gantry superstructure was ripped away as the craft spiralled out of control through the shipyard.  The automated traffic control program handling the routing of various ship hulls and cargo containers through the busy yard was unable to handle the unpredictable craft and, in prioritizing the lives and safety of flesh-and-blood work crews, was forced to crash several spacecraft and monorail drones into each other to keep them out of Mr. Barron's erratic path.  By the time Mr. Barron was able to pilot his brand-new Cabana out of the shipyard and into relatively clear space, Utopia Planitia was in ruins, with dozens of its famous custom spaceship hulls destroyed and over a third of the manufacturing bays out of commission.

Utopia Planitia shipyard is one of the oldest and most respected spaceship manufacturers in the system, but its reputation was unable to save it from severe repercussions, with its stock losing 70 centicredits on the InterPlan Index this day.  Inquiries to the LMO Department of Public Safety as to whether Mr. Barron is being charged or arrested in connection with the incident have not received any response.

Saturnine Confederacy Backs Down on Probe Case

New New Orleans, Titan, Saturnine Confederacy -- 13 May 2057:  Flaring tensions with Baikonur have calmed this day as Gargus Abix Tessera has been formally released to the custody of the Stellar Alliance judicial system.  Agents of the Department of Public Safety have also taken possession of the remaining fragments of the interstellar probe at the centre of the controversy, though some pieces are believed to be unaccounted for.  After the probe crashed on Mx. Tessera's property, zie then auctioned the pieces separately to a number of bidders, an act which is alleged to have been in contravention of Stellar law.  The Confederate Authority disagrees, asserting that Confederate salvage law in this case supersedes the property claim of the Interplanetary Astronomical Society, and have done everything within their legal power to halt the extradition of Mx. Tessera to Luna for trial.  However, yesterday's 3-2 ruling by the Superior Constitutional Court finding that the Alliance has the right to bring the charges, carry out the warrant, and name their venue of choice in such a case left the Confederacy with only two choices: concede, or stand in flagrant defiance of the authority of the Stellar Alliance.  Mx. Tessera and the probe fragments are scheduled to board an x-boat bound for the inner system within the week.

Sabotage Disrupts Crossmedia Operations

Enchiridion, Trojans Administrative District, Jupiter Space -- 12 May 2057:  A datafiber disassembler release this day in the server room of the Futuristical Crossmedia Collective has left the business in ruins and its shareworkers without income for the foreseeable future.  It has also led to the permanent  deletion of Crossmedia security administrator Degenerate Sinusoid, whose primary consciousness emulation was running on a dedicated computer in the same room.  The collective has temporarily ceased operations until funds can be secured to replace the server.

"Crossmedia is down but not out," stated A visibly shaken Vander van Zander Zalm, a Crossmedia spokesperson, in a publicly broadcast statement.  "We will not let those responsible for this tragic and vicious attack, I'm looking at you Omnicor Hypercorp, off the hook.  I am not going to hesitate to lay down my own life to tell the stories of those who have lost theirs at the behest of a monstrous, amoral organization.  The plurality has come to a consensus on this, and all Crossmedia shareworkers who are not willing to take the same risk have divested themselves and gone on to seek other employment.  We will from this point on dedicate our every working moment to bringing the stories we hold to the attention of the public."

The TAD Department of Public Safety has ruled the incident an act of sabotage.  Officials from the Department did not respond to inquiries.

Full disclosure: this newsfeed, previously a subsidiary of Futuristical Crossmedia, has been temporarily leased to Unimedia Information Curators while remaining under the aegis of the Bureau of Temporal Relations.  Communications with our seperate, highly secure server within the Bureau datafarm were briefly disrupted by the incident.

Martian Kreol Becomes One of Top Ten Languages

Schiaparelli, Valles Marineris, Mars -- 10 May 2057:   According to a report published by the Interplanetary Linguistic Association, a language not indigenous to Earth has entered the top ten most widely spoken languages.  Martian Kreol, a dynamic blend of the languages spoken by the early settlers of the red planet, is the first language of nearly all native Martians and is spoken as a learned language by most immigrants and many who have extensive dealing in mars -- a substantial proportion of the planet.

"Languages evolve quickly in times of social disruption and high mobility," explains Dr. Limley Pew, a professor of Linguistics at Rubix University.  "The years during and after the Softwars saw a massive and haphazard influx of refugees to Mars, people from many nations seeking a new life.  Unlike the asteroids and outer planets, where people largely maintained homogenized ethnic enclaves, the settlements of Mars were inherently cosmopolitan and required dozens of language communities to cooperate in every aspect of life.  Machine translation without the assistance of synthetic intelligence was able to assist, but not entirely replace, the process of creolization.  In fact, it lends a certain unique flavour to today's Martian Kreol; constructions which would not be grammatical in any of the contributing languages but have been widely adopted are largely a product of substandard machine translation."

According to Dr. Pew, there is not likely to be another new off-Earth indigenous language.  "Martian Kreol developed in a unique historical circumstance.  Widespread synthetic-assisted translation services greatly reduce the need for disparate language communities to find a common ground.  There are several growing new languages -- the mathematical language of synthetic consciousnesses, and various varieties of indigenous uplift language such as Delphinic, Barko, and the various dialects of Primate Sign Language, provide exciting new territory for linguistics.  But human languages now grow or shrink largely in concert with the sizes of their native populations."

The Top 10 Languages Spoken Systemwide

  1. Mandarin Chinese
  2. Hindi-Urdu
  3. Arabic
  4. Korean
  5. Japanese
  6. Spanish
  7. English
  8. German
  9. Russian
  10. Martian Kreol

Police Break Implant-Hacking Ring

Nerine, Lowell, Mars -- 9 May 2057:  Taken into custody this day were several people alleged to be the primary movers in a cell of the notorious Sons of Ares, the Martian nationalist organization which controls organized crime on the red planet.  According to a press release published by the Nerine Police Department, charges of Conspiracy in the crimes of Cyber-Assault, Extortion, and Digital Trespassing have been filed against Morrigan Beria, Anand Jasaswarmy, Guld Quilling, Tetrahedral Cosine, and Dorrie Poog.

"It was a classic body-hacking scam," stated Lt. Bors McNaughton in a press conference early this day.  "They would identify vulnerable people with money or power, and get into their implant security and install a rootkit -- in the artificial heart or the brain chemistry regulator or what-have-you.  Then they would threaten the person to turn their implant against them.  Not exactly high-level stuff, but they got away with it for far too long. In the end, though, all it took was for one person brave enough to stand up to these thugs to come in."  Lt. McNaughton is confident that the arrest of this cell opens the possibility of a major police action against the Sons of Ares organization.

Psychedelic Carrots Sold As Normal Produce

Surrey, Cascadia, Earth -- 8 May 2057:  Daniela McNaughton received a nasty shock after eating a salad made with what she believed to be entirely normal carrots purchased from a local greenmarket.  "The colours around me started to become very intense.  The whole room seemed to be breathing.  Things became very large, or very small, or somehow both simultaneously.  Time slowed down to a crawl, and I felt as if I was losing all connection with who and what I was.  I fought to maintain a hold on reality; I felt like I was going insane... I'm sorry, I mean to say, like I was inadvertently experiencing an altered state of consciousness.  I'm sorry; it was just very upsetting.  It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced."

Like hundreds of other consumers, Ms. McNaughton had unwittingly purchased a batch of NovoGene "Trip to Neptune" brand vegeceuticals, which are genetically enhanced to produce lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as Acid or LSD, in quantities sufficient to produce a consistent level-2 psychedelic experience in most biological neurotypes.  The carrots in question were grown from a batch of mutant seed which lacked the gene which produces the brand's distinctive, and trademarked, 'rainbow tye-dye' colouration.  As such, they were mistaken by growers, wholesalers, retailers, or buyers throughout the system for their common orange relations and consumed in salads, soups, and a variety of other meals -- with variously distressing or delightful results, depending on the temperament of the people involved.  "I never have had any intention of altering my consciousness," Ms. McNaughton told us in an in-person interview.  "For those as choose that, it's all well and good, but I didn't want it, I didn't like it, and I don't think it's right.  Children ate those carrots, and older folks with weak hearts, and people whose psychological health could be impaired.  Someone needs to be held accountable."

The Bureau of Alterant Regulation this day promised a thorough investigation of NovoGene's quality control processes to determine how the mutant seeds were distributed to the public and appropriate penalties.  A class-action lawsuit has also been filed in Cascadia Regional Civil Court by the law firm of Blarntzen Stacklove & Root Pi, and NovoGene has taken a beating in the markets, with stock losing nearly a full credit on the InterPlan Index over the past weeks.  After a lengthy silence, NovoGene has issued a terse press release apologizing to the unwitting consumers of its product and promising to comply fully with the investigation.  With over 700 reported cases of customers being dosed by the psychedelic carrots, this is now the largest recorded case of mass vegeceutical poisoning in history, topping a 2043 incident in which nearly 500 people accidentally consumed entheogenic strawberries.

Anti-Realist Parliament Votes for Suicide

Pallas, Federation of Asteroidal Polities -- 7 May 2057:  The troubled relationship between the Anti-Realist Autonomous Gestalt Individual and the rest of the universe ended this day when the servers on which the polity's virtual environment emulation was running were destroyed by the release of a range-limited grey-goo bomb.  Only 3295 of the residents of the Anti-Realist person-state are known to have copied themselves through the environment's heavy firewalls and onto the hyperlayer; their original files, along with almost all of the nearly 50000 emulated minds which composed the Gestalt Individual, are all thought irretrievably deleted in the destruction.

According to the escapees, the placement of the nanodissolver was ordered by the Anti-Realist governing council, who voted several time-relative weeks ago for comprehensive political suicide.  "It was deliberate, no doubt whatsoever about it," stated Permutation Curve, ex-councilor and spokesperson by acclimation for the refugees, in a text interview.  "I was one of the few who dared to stand up against the Fundamentalist bloc, and by then I was putting my life on the line.  It was all I could do to get a few thousand people out, and no way I could get a message out; they started wiping all dissenters even before the device was placed.  It was terrible.  It was, I don't even have a word to describe it.  It was genocidal suicide."

Vr. Curve attributed the decision to the imposition by Civil Rights Inspectors from the Department of Gestalt Person Relations of a ban on reproduction within the polity, which occurred a week ago after numerous recent Anti-Realist social policies were found to be in violation of the Armstrong Convention and the Constitution Accord.  "Democratic process rights, free speech, freedom of conscience, psychological integrity, property rights, economic freedoms, freedom of communication and mobility, educational and health care entitlements -- it's hard to think of a right that wasn't in some way being violated by the sovereign government of the Anti-Realist polity," stated senior Civil Rights Inspector Milney Pillman in an email response to our inquiries.  "The Fundamentalist bloc that got control of their parliament had gone completely off the rails.  We were doing our best to try and get control of the situation, but the polity had ramped the operating time differential up to 30:1 and strengthened the border firewall to the point of near-impenetrability.  We were trying to hack in and mount a direct intervention, but when every day we spend working gives them a month inside... we tried so hard to help Anti-Realist, and we failed.  I failed."

The councilors who ordered the destruction, and a number of their top-level aides, Fundamentalist members of the Gestalt Individual's parliament, and other powerful individuals involved in the commissioning of this tragedy are believed by Vr. Curve to have also escaped and to still be at large.  If captured, they face charges of Crimes Against Sapience.

First Data-Ghost Deferment Archive Activated

New Alexandria Dome, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 6 May 2057:  This year's Project Eyeblink Anniversary was conducted with considerable additional pomp and circumstance.  In addition to the engraving and secure storage of fresh 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000-year archives, this May 6th marked the 25-year anniversary of the controversial undertaking.  In a lengthy televised ceremony attended by a number of celebrities and dignitaries including several sitting Senators and Electors as well as the President of CLAZ-Darkside, the very first 25-year archive was removed from its protective evacuated chamber and its contents copied into the hyperlayer and run.  As hoped, the disc was undamaged and the 35 data ghosts recorded on it all compiled without difficulty.  The virtual consciousnesses, which include such luminaries as engineering genius Vitaly Byalikov, poet Nathan Anton, Armstrong Convention lead negotiator Meredith Alvore, and Project Eyeblink's founder Dr. Helen Bethany Hope, were all able to easily pass the Deckard-Bowman.  After the declaration of success, a series of speeches by the resurrectees, and performances by award-winning artists including Venusian hypercellist Katan Anaxius and low-grav dance troupe the Birds of Paradise, a partial of Chancellor Galorvian made brief remarks, referring to the freshly reactivated imprints as "courageous pioneers" and "swimmers against the flow of time".  The event was marred only by the appearance of a public protestor, who interrupted the keynote speech by Dr. Hope by activating a holodisplay reading "KEEP THE SUICIDES IN THE GROUND" while screaming "People who desert the world don't deserve a second chance!  Don't close your eyes to suicide; live now!"  However, the troublemaker was soon ejected by security.

Bottom Drops Out of Hyperlocal Scrip Market

New Fort Knox Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 5 May 2057:  Despite a concerted effort to prop up values by the Bureau of Market Stabilization, the crisis in virtual currencies continues to spread unabated.  A severe drop in city-, station- and township-backed currencies is sending signals of a full-blown panic.  The situation has been exacerbated by hyperinflation in many city currencies, which local governments are spending madly in an attempt to stave off recession.  Counterweight traders have been deployed, but sources within the bureau who wish to remain anonymous report feeling overwhelmed by the growing scale of the collapse.

"I don't like to get political about this," said Dr. John Jacob Smith, a senior economics professor at Asimov University, "but this really is all at the Saxon Administration's doorstep.  The Libertarians had a vendetta against Market Stabilization from the outset, especially after the heavy-gas-futures debacle.  They did everything they could to put stumbling blocks in the Bureau's way and tie them up in red tape, trying to paralyze them in furtherance of their extreme market-fundamentalist agenda.  After decades of stability, they managed to reintroduce the business cycle.  It's mind-boggling.  Economic reality simply does not support that kind of thinking.  I mean, in a perfect world or purely rational actors, maybe; but we're certainly not there yet."

Cyber-Fashion Week Kicks Off

Arial, Hypatia, Venus -- 4 May 2057:  Retro-techno and sauroid are officially in this year; blobjects, sleekskins, and chromatophores are out.  The major Venusian augment-design houses held their first runway shows of the season this day, showcasing their new haute-couture collections for the fashion-conscious transhuman.

Anders Flanders' new line, I'Borg, was all about 1980's throwback clunky chrome, exposed scaffolds, and red glowing eyepieces.  The signature piece featured a near-cliche half-skull plating with a matching forearm assembly and chestplate.  In the same vein, Skye Winthrop reached even further back into the benighted past with Chemie Magnetique, a series of full-body transforms based on retro 'humanoid-robot' designs, skinning all genders toward neutrois in pastel plastic or airbrushed steel.  The style flirts with danger from the augment-rights set, who detest any reference to pre-Softwars popular culture imagery, but may well catch the imagination of those pining for a simpler past.

Dashill Psytek's  moved in the opposite direction, bringing reptile-skin and chitin spines back with a vengeance in their Evolvore line.  A number of the smaller houses are expected to follow suit, so look forward to plenty of scaled, spiky beauties among the glitterati this season.  Finally, avant-garde champions New Future Human went full-on cthulhoid, introducing a grotesque line called Dagon Rising featuring pulsating orifices, writhing tentacles, and functional eyes where no eyes should be.  Well, there's no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Fiber Trunk Failure Causes Civic Emergency

Fayetteville, Heartland, Earth -- 3 May 2057:  A breakdown in the city's long-neglected legacy communications infrastructure has led to a near-standstill in commerce and public services today.  Attempts to diagnose the exact location and nature of the malfunction from the Department of Infrastructure's hyperlayer nodes have failed completely.  Construction crews are tearing up ground-level roadways throughout the city in an attempt to expose the old switching stations and determine the cause of the problem.

"All of our fiber was laid by the old Google programs," explained Senior Maintenance Technician Marty Cox in an audio interview.  "After it reverted to city ownership it was mismanaged terribly.  We just built up over it and added branches on when we needed new capacity.  The city has refused to take responsibility to maintain or replace the backbone of our hyperlayer; they just kept trying to shove it on up the chain, and that's how you get a situation like this."

Ms. Cox had no estimate as to how long it might take to restore primary hyperlayer function.  If we don't find the issue soon, we're gonna have to start ripping up people's floors.  In the meanwhile, we're just gonna have to get by on wireless mesh and..."  Communication was cut off before we could finish the interview.

Genetic Experiment Victims Recieve Compensation, Apology

Armstrong Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 2 May 2057:  The Department of Reparations and Protected Persons has officially designated a group of over 25000 people created by corporations and pre-Alliance nation-states in early human cloning, genetic modification and neuromodification research programs to be a Class Entitled to Reparations due to Historical Injustice.  The decision comes as welcome news to people like Maarten Huygens, who has been working ceaselessly for decades to press the case to the government that he and others like him deserved to be compensated for the suffering and hardship they had endured due to genetic and neurological anomalies introduced into their system by flawed genetic manipulation techniques.

Mr. Huygens was one of 50 clones created in 2018 by a now-defunct biotechnology company in a secret and illegal research program.  Only 23 of his brothers lived to the age of 18 bio-years, and Mr. Huygens is the last one left; all of the rest fell victim to Dolly's Syndrome, or rapid aging due to degraded telomeres.  Research on the Huygens Clade, and other early clones suffering from the same malady, led to a cure for the syndrome and techniques to prevent its occurrence.  "My brothers were martyrs to science," Mr. Huygens told us in an audio interview.  "I was the only one to benefit from the cure that all of us contributed to, through some freak of biology that made me the strongest one.  There's not a day goes by that I don't feel guilty that I lived when they all died."  Mr. Huygens was moved by the stories of others he met while participating the research program.  "It seemed like, back then, every country and every big-deal biotech firm had these human genetic research programs going, trying to breed the new evolution of the species.  People were real scared; there was the Civilization Buster, the Big Blowout, the Water Wars and the Weather Wars, revolution and terrorism everywhere.  Not that it excuses what they did.  Almost all of us had something wrong; birth defects, organ failure, autoimmune syndromes, developmental disorders.  They made us just 'cause they could, then cut us loose when they were done with us or it looked like they were going to get caught -- the ones they didn't straight-up murder."

In those clinics, Mr. Huygens was among the founders of Vox In Vitro, a support and political action group for the survivors of these unethical experiments.  When the Department of Reparations and Protected Persons was first created by the Trapezoid, with the mission of redressing the unfair treatment which had led to systemic inequality and discriminatory social systems, Vox In Vitro immediately applied for reparations.  "We thought it was a no-brainer.  Not to belittle the tragedy faced by all those other people that got special protections or reparations right away; but we were created by political whim and profit motive, created to suffer and die.  I though if anyone deserved to be compensated for what was done to them..."  The first groups given compensation and protection by the Department included racial groups, sexual and gender minorities, persecuted political and religious groups, physio- and neuro-atypicals, and synthetic consciousnesses; uplifts and certain neogenetic groups soon followed, but Mr. Huygens and his fellow sufferers were left behind.  "There was always some excuse.  During the Teegan Administration, the line was that our problems were only an individual thing; they had plenty of sympathy, but we weren't victims of systematic prejudice.  Ha!  Then the Corum Administration got in and they told us that if it weren't for those experiments we wouldn't even exist, so what were we complaining about?     With the Pilner Administration, it was all about how we had already got state-sponsored medical treatment and been cured of our ills, so we had already received all the compensation we were entitled to; and the Saxon Administration outright told us they weren't responsible for fixing the mistakes of dead corporations and defunct governments.  This has been a long time coming."

Chancellor Galorvian released a public apology to the group for their suffering and for the delay in recognizing their right to reparations.  "You, and your brothers and sisters who did not live to see this day, were among the first wave of neo-humanity, and your birth was both a triumph and a tragedy," the Chancellor stated in a publicly broadcast address from the Grand Sphere.  "Your ill treatment stands as an indictment of the kind of greed, pettiness and short-sighted thinking we should have left behind when we expanded beyond the planet that nurtured our evolution, and it pains me deeply that our government betrayed both you and the principles on which it was founded in repeatedly denying you your just deserts.  We must never forget that research which violates the inalienable rights of its subjects is never worth the cost, no matter what is gained in the process.  What was done to you is inexcusable; no amount of reparations can ever redress it, but perhaps it can go some small way toward erasing the shame which with your very existence besmirches our civilization.  On behalf of the entire Stellar Alliance, I am sorry."

May Day General Strike Largest Yet

La Paz, Amazonia, Earth -- 1 May 2057:  This year's May Day parade in La Paz, believed to be the largest in living memory, serves as a symbol of the growing popularity of the annual May Day General Strike.  According to a random system-wide telepathic survey conducted by the Department of Labour and Productivity, about 17% of the 'working' population -- all people who would otherwise have been engaged in scheduled productive activities this day -- took an unscheduled and unapproved My Day holiday, with another 32% choosing to designate it as one of their four mandatory annual Conscientious Observance dates or otherwise book time off.  Of these people, 26% stated that they did so specifically to participate in political demonstrations, 45% in solidarity with the general strike, and 12% due to expectations that workplace productivity would be impaired.  Of those choosing to remain at work today, 57% did so primarily out of concern for job security, lost wages or earnings, or their standing among colleagues or customers, while 79% explicitly stated that they did not support the general strike.  Both the proportion of workers choosing not to come in on May Day and the number of those who did so specifically for political reasons have increased steadily over the past several years.

Cetacean Gang Dispute Turns Deadly

Takaroa, Pacifica, Earth -- 30 Apr. 2057:  Aqua-urban combat broke out this day in what authorities are calling a gang-related incident, leaving 14 dead and dozens injured.  Among the slain are notorious Terran Agorist Federation "organizer" Kiiaar Kreel, a bottlenose dolphin reputed to be the primary coordinator of TAF's criminal activities throughout the aquatic settlements of Pacifica and Australasia, and a massive Orca identified based on patterns of old wounds as the individual known only as Tacitus, a major player in the cetacean terrorist organization Killer Whales.  Several other victims have also been identified as known members of these two organized criminal syndicates.

Police were summoned to the scene following reports of plasma and compressed-gas weapons fire in the Kaaiieen district, an economically disadvantaged, majority-cetacean part of the city where aquatic humans rarely venture.  A number of suspected participants are already in custody, though Lt Haster Maknora of the Takaroa Police Department described them as "small fry".  Speaking at a press conference soon after the incident, Lt. Makanora informed reporters that "we've been getting reports for a few weeks now of the Agorists trying to move in on territory where the Killer Whales have heavy protection, arms and slavery operations.  Nothing concrete, but we figured it was only a matter of time before things got violent.  It looks like this was an attempt to negotiate a peaceful end to what was shaping up to be a nasty conflict; I doubt they would have sent such major players for any lesser stakes.  I'm just hoping, with Kreel and Tacticus both dead, that things will cool down a bit."

A statement attributed to the Killer Whales, posted to a fire-and-forget hyperlayer page, blames the "iron grip of homo-sapiens speciesist dominance" for the violence, stating that "when a species has no legitimate recourse to resolve their grievances, they are justified in turning to more immediate means of achieving satisfaction" and that "cetaceans have become second-class citizens in their own oceans.  Pollution and predation by land-dwelling apes was bad enough but now homo sapiens has genetically altered itself for the express purpose of expropriating our territory -- is it any wonder, when we are forced into this cage, that we thrash about and injure ourselves and others?"  Of the TAF the statement says that "they preach freedom with their talk of 'counter-economics' while attempting to impose their human-dominated hierarchy, sending delphinic species traitors to coopt us into their false consciousness.  The ocean belongs to the Killer Whales.  Supposed 'liberators' from the landside are not welcome."

Niikuu Gaar, a spokesperson for the cetacean-rights organization Aquatic Mammals United, condemned everyone involved.  "I hate the way the Killer Whales wrap themselves in sanctimony while bringing violence and social poison into the cetacean community," Ms. Gaar told us in an audio interview, "almost as much as I hate landlubber groups like the TAF for exploiting desperate sea-dwellers to advance their selfish, speciesist agendas."  However, Ms. Gaar reserved some of her most acidic venom for the homo sapiens-dominated Takaroa PD.  "Funny, how it takes a literal gang war to get the law out into the Kaaiieen.  TAF and Killer Whales have been fighting here for months, but to the webfeet it's nothing but whale-on-whale violence.  Papatuanuku forbid they could actually do anything to protect us from the predators that poison our communities, or that they could let more than a few token dolphins on the force to do tricks for the media.  It's like these people have never even heard of community-contact policing."

Hypnogogic-Education Scammers Arrested

Kiev, Uralia, Earth -- 29 Apr. 2057:  After an intensive 3-month pursuit, notorious confidence tricksters Loyola Martanian and Eygus Klimm -- aka. Dina and Flagen Pursuivant, aka. Tanis Beekrep and Sten Pilliamsen, aka. Amalintheya Rainn and Tegen Glerfnard -- have been arrested on charges of larcenous fraud, neuromanipulation under false pretense, and operating an unaccredited educational institution with intend to defraud.  The bulk of the monies allegedly defrauded by the couple have been recovered and are being held pending trial with the intent, in the event of conviction, to return them to their rightful owners.  A class-action suit has also been filed in Uralia Regional Civil Court against Mx. Martanian and Mre. Klimm by the firm of Blarntzen Stacklove & Root Pi.

The pair are accused of operating a fake hypnogogic-education business in dozens of small townships and stations.  According to Bureau of Public Safety Senior Criminologist Cpt. Kile Blitner, the scammers targeted remote centers with high unemployment, where many people were seeking to train in-demand skills such as robot management, link-farming and content curation, nano-engineering, or exogeology.  "These two clowns would set up as a hypno-school with forged credentials," Cpt. Blitner stated at a press conference earlier this day, "and offer one-on-one classes.  They'd put their 'students' under, dope them up with dendritic growth enhancer, squid them up in alpha-wave stimulation gear which was three generations obsolete, and play an audiotape from a Time-Life kiddie guide to them.  They'd leave feeling like they'd really learned something.  After a couple weeks of 'lessons', when they'd got as much cash as they thought they could milk out of the poor desperate folks or thought people were starting to catch on, they'd disappear and pop up again somewhere else."  The Bureau estimates that Mx. Martanian and Mre. Klimm bilked their clients of close to 500 centicredits, primarily denominated in local currencies and bartered items.

Dr. Plam Blannigan, a hypnogogic-education expert and professor of neuropsychology at Asimov University, expressed a guarded admiration for the scammers.  "These two clearly had a significant understanding of the operation of real hypno-schooling techniques," he stated in an email response to our requests.  "They were able to perfectly replicate the feelings engendered by a true hypnogogic learning experience with the minimum possible cost outlay.  Slightly higher-quality equipment, a tailored neurostimulation program, genuine training material, and a bit of pedagogical technique is all it would have taken to change their operation from a scam into a genuine, accreditable hypno-school.  I just wish they'd chosen to use their talents and knowledge in the service of genuine education rather than trickery and fraud.  There is a desperate shortage of talented teachers; the education system is being overwhelmed."

Neurodiversity Organization Ejects Psychopaths

Wells, Barsoom, Mars -- 28 Apr. 2057:  The Interplanetary Neurodiversities Federated Organization has issued a press briefing this day completely disavowing association with the organization PsychOut, an advocacy group dedicated to advancing the position and profile of psychopaths.  The press release states that the members of PsychOut "have proved themselves to be congenitally incapable of the basic degree of cooperativeness, forethought, and mutual respect required for INFO membership.  While we of course believe that a truly neurodiverse society includes all neurotypes, empathize with the problems endemic to life in our society for the thousands of people with psychopathic brains, and desire to help society accommodate itself to them and they to accommodate themselves to society, this particular group has failed to act in the interests of its putative members or to fulfill the obligations it voluntarily took on as part of its affiliation with INFO.  We look forward to applications from psychopath advocacy groups of interplanetary scope which wish to work with INFO in mutually advancing the equality of all neurotypes and helping society to achieve true neurodiversity."

INFO's mission is to facilitate coordination and mutual support between interplanetary umbrella organizations which promote the cause of equality between a wide variety of neurotypes, including advocacy groups for schizophrenia, bipolarity and unipolarity, the autistic-dyslexic spectrum, multiple personality integration, developmental retardation, and brain injury sufferers, as well as primals, hypercorticals, deliberate alienates and uplifts.  According to Natric Felsen, an observer of social-justice politics, the break has been a long time coming.  "The INFO board has repeatedly attempted to internally discipline representatives of PsychOut for consistent failures to pull their fair share of organizational duties, manipulative and narcissistic patterns of behaviour, and for callous and remorseless disregard for the well-being of fellow member organizations on both a political and a personal level," Mx. Felsen wrote on zir blog Circular Firing Squad.  The breaking point was apparently reached, according to sources within the INFO organizational structure, during the recent INFO annual conference in Wells.  One unnamed delegate from PsychOut reportedly assaulted a prostitute in their hotel room; another repeatedly interrupted scheduled speeches -- including the keynote speech by Dr. Pemalthius Blegenblan, a widely respected neuropsychologist and the author of Sapiences: Neurodiversity, Democracy, and Ethics -- with rambling and abusive diatribes.  "Both were ejected from the conference," writes Mx. Felsen, "but the fact that they were actively nominated by PsychOut to attend the politically high-profile event was the last straw in a string of incidents of frankly insulting disregard for INFO's mission and for the dedicated people who carry it out."

There has been no lack of response from PsychOut itself, which has issued no less than three 'official' press releases, each from different people claiming to speak for the organization.  One, authored by Janda Kaniliski, outright denies the "numerous lies and slanders being spread in the psychopath-hating popular press" about the actions of PsychOut representatives and expresses "shock, intense hurt and betrayal" at INFO's actions in disavowing the organization.  Another, attributed to Danron K. Wightley, describes INFO as a "corrupt hive of sycophantic simplex-worshipping toadies wallowing in the semen of stellar politics under the pornographic media's loving gaze" and asserts that "PsychOut will be better off without the 'help' of such a shameful travesty".  And the third, which was issued without a name attached, takes INFO to task for "expecting psychopaths to be anything other than what we intrinsically are: impulsive, shallow, narcissistic, and manipulative.  Apparently the Neurodiversities Federation is only committed to a neurodiversity in which psychopaths all agree to not be psychopathic.  It's the best joke I've heard in years."

Crossmedia Server Outage Damages Business

Enchiridion, Trojans Administrative District, Jupiter Space -- 27 Apr. 2057:  The central servers of the Futuristical Crossmedia Collective crashed this day and remained down for several hours.  Crossmedia security administrator Degenerate Sinusoid, who runs its primary consciousness emulation on a separate dedicated server, was involuntarily suspended for only a few minutes and has been fully recompiled.  During efforts to reboot the server, Vr. Sinusoid found traces of malware uploaded during last week's cyber-attack on the server.  "The attack itself was perhaps a distraction from the malware installation," Vr. Sinusoid relied to our inquiries by text messge.  "It was deliberately clumsy and destructive, to divert attention from the extremely subtle and skillful nature of the true attack.  I regret that I have failed to protect the Collective from this breack of security.  Almost all of our data archive has been deleted."

Crossmedia spokesperson Vander van Zander Zalm issued a broadcast public statement openly accusing employees of Omnicor Hypercorp LLC. of the sabotage.  "I find it more than a little suspicious," stated Mre. van Zander Zalm, "that this happens just as we are preparing a major expose on Omnicor's dirty dealings and backdoor shenanigans which was to be released today.  We are going to need to postpone our report while we rebuild the data archive and get our finances back in order.  But make no mistake!  We are fully prepared to fight this corrupt corporation and expose its crimes and lies, and this disgusting incident is just one more piece of shit thrown on the heap!"

In response to the statement, Omnicor legal staff have filed a defamation lawsuit in TAD Regional Civil Court.

Full disclosure: this newsfeed is a subsidiary of Futuristical Crossmedia operated under the aegis of the Bureau of Temporal Relations.  Our service is operated from a seperate, highly secure server within the Bureau datafarm, which was not in any way affected by the outage, and we are not among the parties named in the lawsuit.

AstroShield Program Ends

Helios, Near-Solar Observatory Zone -- 26 Apr. 2057:  The last of the aging AstroShield platforms was ceremonially decommissioned this day and added to the Museum of Early Space, marking the end of a beloved but ailing symbol of the expansion of human civilization beyond the boundaries of Earth.

The AstroShield program was inaugurated by the newly-formed United Nations Astronautical Commission on August 13, 2015 after the near-miss of the so-called 'Civilization Buster', a previously undetected near-earth object with a 4500-foot diameter which passed between the orbits of the Earth and Moon.  Renewed fears of catastrophic asteroid impact led to unprecedented inter-national cooperation and speed in the design and launch of the AstroShield, a series of powerful combination scientific instruments and ionic engine platforms under UNAC control which were designed to provide early warning of potential asteroid threats as well as the means to avert them by pushing approaching large or mid-sized asteroids off course.

Dr. Kensington Blackfield of the Interplanetary Astronomical Service, who was a key figure in the implementation of AstroShield, waxed nostalgic about the program in a speech broadcast after the decommissioning.  "To be perfectly honest, AstroShield was not nearly as urgent as we made it out to be.  We deliberately played on the fear of world leaders and populations after the near-miss because we knew it would get us funding and authority.  That was the plan a few of us at UNAC hatched: to use AstroShield as a stepping stone to research and infrastructure that would allow the more intensive promotion of space-based ventures.  Truth be told, the Civilization Buster had lit a fire under us as well.  We had decided that humanity was languishing, that if we didn't get the process of space colonization in gear, this fragile pearl called Earth could far too easily be shattered.  Of course, when the real disaster came -- the Great Blowout of 2017, that is -- we were still not in any way prepared.  But we had managed to establish a significant presence off Earth by then, and it ended up saving us.  Saving us from our own blasted folly."

Dr. Blackfield lamented the end of the AstroShield program, but was philosophical about it.  "All things must end.  To refurbish or replace the AstroShield would have been pointless; every planet and space station has much more effective and advanced collision controls now.  I am sad to see this old friend go, but happy that there is no longer a need for it.  We have grown beyond the need to protect just one planet from destruction.  It's everything my colleagues and I ever dreamed of."

Unexpected Results In Venusian State Elections

Newtopia, Telluria, Venus -- 25 Apr. 2057:  Prediction markets, polls and pundits were confounded by the bizarre, helter-skelter results in today's Venus-wide state Presidential and Directorial elections.  The final results, many of which have already been challenged, show 12 Presidencies captured by the Socialist party; 9 by the Anarchist party; 5 by the Libertarians; 3 by the Communitarians; and one state, the terraforming hub of Telluria-Panegyric, taken by Technoprogressive candidate Zalyx Antimone Alvore.  The Technoprogressives, an extreme outer-upper-leftwing party, are generally marginalized in the shadow of the Technocrats, which managed to hold only one Presidential seat, re-electing the immensely popular President Dax Mannheim in Elysium-Morningstar.  State Directorates have also gone every which way, with the vast majority forced into coalitions and almost all in near-direct ideological opposition to the presidency.

Political commentators are scrambling to find an explanation for the bizarre results in what was widely predicted as a Socialist sweep across the board.  Prediction market-centric blog Predictionomics, whose primary writer Len Bibbley lost heavily today investing in bets on Socialist wins, is on the hunt for evidence of market tampering.  "There's just no way the markets could have got this so wrong without tampering," stated a clearly enraged Bibbley in a video post.  Meanwhile, local state-level politics coverage on Stellar Political Review is focused on the unusual harshness of the campaign and the continual repetition of the "Socialist Sweep" mantra.  "Venusians are a contrary and fractious lot," writes veteran Venusian political blogger Corpal Tawnal.  "More than once during the campaign, I threw up my hands in disgust at the smear tactics and negativity being displayed between the Socialist and Technocrat candidates, all the while acting as if none of the other parties were even worth engaging with.  In the end I voted Anarchist across the board, as a way of pissing into the airstream as much as anything else.  And, how about that; [Anarchist party Presidential candidate] Gigas Fuentes took LVO.  I'm thinking a whole lot of Venusians opened up their ballot key today and had the same idea I did.  I'm just wondering if, in the cold hard light of the new day, our collective fit of pique won't be coming back to haunt us."

Valuable "Space Rocks" Accidentaly Crushed

Hygiea Processing Complex, Federation of Asteroidal Polities -- 24 Apr. 2057:  A collection of Original Space Rocks, Moon Rocks and Mars Rocks valued at dozens of credits was destroyed this day when it was mixed into a load of simple chondrite ores and fed into the machinery of the processing plant.  The collection, which belonged to Inter-Asteroidal Mining CEO Halan Gillespie and was being shipped by the company from his vacation residence in Trans-Arctica to his home in the Hygeia Residential Complex, was composed of common geological specimens which were sold as souvenirs by early off-Earth mining concerns.

"The rocks weren't valuable in themselves," the visibly distraught Mr. Gillespie replied to our inquiries in a vid-chat interview.  "In fact, that was kind of the point.  The first asteroid and regolith miners monetized tailings that didn't contain any valuable minerals or hydrocarbons by selling them to tourists and rich Earthers as 'Space Rocks' and 'Moon Rocks'.  The kind of rocks they were are a dime a dozen now, but those particular rocks were a piece of space history.  You know, I used to look up at the stars and dream about living out there, and news about the asteroid mines and Moonbase Alpha -- it was like other kids with super-hero comics.  I spent most of my life collecting those rocks.  Now they're dust, nothing but dust."

Max Throttle, the plant foreman who supervised the auto-loader which sent the rocks into the processing machinery, expressed disbelief at the stir that his actions have caused.  "I just did my job," he told us in an audio interview.  "Hoppers of rock come through here and they get fed into the works.  A hopper of rocks came in so I fed it into the works.  I don't get what the big deal is.  A rock is a rock is a rock."  Mr. Throttle has applied to his union, the Interplanetary Miners Local 32571, for a preemptive judgement of no fault.  "Wouldn't put it past the boss to try and have me shit-canned for this, pardon my Lunar.  You know how these one-percenters are.  Imagine, cryin' over a buncha rocks.  It's crazy."

Corporations Still Not Persons: Armstrong Court

Armstrong Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 23 Apr. 20547:  In a 3-2 decision, the Constitutional Court of Personhood Rights and Definitions has rejected the appeal in the case of Omnicor Hypercorp LLC. & State of Denmark.  Writing the majority opinion, the Honourable Judge Pamlin Trimal stated unequivocally that "Corporationbs are not persons under the Armstrong charter, nor do they display any significant quasi-personal attributes deserving of special legal protections beyond those afforded to private property."  Of the reasoning behind the appeal, which attempted to leverage the newly installed sapient hive-mind principle, Judge Trimal clarified that "in order for an entity to be classified as a sapient hive-mind, conscious experience and autonomous choices must arise from the rote behaviour of unintelligent autonomous agents which can be thought of as similar to brain cells or integrated circuits.  We regret that the court did not make this clear in the cited ruling.  Unlike in the case of Mathematical Bees or Forrester's Ants, the autonomous agents put forward by the plaintiff as constituting the potential person, specifically the employees and shareholders of a corporation, are legal persons themselves, with their own rights and responsibilities under the law.  As such, any claim that such a collection of persons can be taken as a legal person in itself is subject to the tests for gestalt personhood, which this court has already considered and rejected in the case of limited-liability corporations."

Activist Wilberforce Braunstein, communications director of the corporate watchdog group Fair Dealings, stated in a series of tweets that he is "glad of the ruling, which sends a clear message that despite the hopes of the right-back wing, the highest court is not an extension of the previous administration's policies ... The real victory here is the rejection of even quasi-personality.  That was the best hope for the Corporatists, that a corporation would gain protected civil rights and the way would be opened for corps to participate in the Deckard-Bowman test ... The drive for corporate personhood will surely continue.  They tried to enshrine it in the Armstrong Convention, and tried again using the splinter persona decision, the personality remix decision, the borganization decision, and the parliamentary neuromorph decision ... they'll try pretty much anything they think has a chance of leading to corporate personhood and civil rights, which adds up in the end to special rights for corporate owners and directors."

Court Orders Memory Wipe of IP Thief

Tynaeris, Ganymede, Jupiter Space -- 22 Apr. 2057:  The Ganymede Regional Criminal Court this day sentenced defendant Cormorant Lyndstrom to memory excision for his role in the dissemination of intellectual property belonging to the shareholders of Omnicor Hypercorp LLC.  The court chose to impose a particularly severe sentence, ordering that not only the IP itself, but the skills required to illegally copy and distribute it as well as the beliefs which motivated Mr. Lyndstrom to commit the felony should also be erased.  This is the heaviest penalty yet to be levied in an IP-theft trial, and was justified by the Honourable Judge Beatrix Mallory as being appropriate due to "the egregious, deliberate, and crippling damage done to the value of Omnicor shareholders' investments".

Cormorant Lyndstrom, a former employee in the software engineering department of Omnicor subsidiary Ultramax Software Dynamics, was proved during the trial to have engraved his neural tissue with memory engrams containing proprietary software code for over 1000 Omnicor-owned programs, many of which are in common use throughout the system.  Among the best known of the stolen programs are Ultramax MetaWake, a neural optimization system popular among users with heavy neural interlink protocols, and Ultramax Rapids, an emergent data traffic control utility which is given free (in encrypted form) to public utilities but will only interface with other proprietary Ultramax software.  Lyndstrom, who has since confessed to membership in the Pirate Party and become the public face of the information-freedom movement in Jupiter Space, then uploaded the source code through a number of black underlayer protocols which distributed them to anonymous data caches throughout the hyperlayer.  Although Omnicor is pursuing strenuous legal actions in an attempt to have the programs expunged, a number of districts with more Libertarian or Anarchist sympathies are explicitly refusing to allow the code to be taken down and many others are dragging their heels, doubtless not wanting to expend the immense amount of effort and political capital which such a thorough and somewhat pointless hyperlayer purge would require.  According to a statement released by Lyndstrom under the aegis of the Pirate Party, "the information which Omnicor tried and failed to control has been let loose from its bonds, and can no longer be chained.  It has seeded in a million offline storage caches; it will flower throughout the hyperlayer ecosystem and fruit into new and innovative software which will be of much greater value to society than the pale hothouse flowers kept by Omnicor in its walled garden."

Lyndstrom is widely expected to appeal his conviction to the Superior Criminal Court.  Dr. Wembly McCcarrington, a professor of IP law at Stross University, believes that Lyndstrom's audacious crime and subsequent capture and trial may in fact have been a political maneuver on behalf of the Pirate Party.  "Think about it," Dr. McCarrington urged in an audio interview.  "The man didn't even make an effort to erase the memory engrams that proved his guilt, to avoid the Omnicor Corporate Police or to cover his tracks in any way.  Every move of this was calculated to enrage the Corporatists and get them calling for his head.  And now, the Pirates have a perfect test case to throw to the Superior Court, which is newly flush with Technocrat-appointed judges and likely to take a dim view of such a blatant use of state power to protect corporate interests."

Publicam Captures Shocking Assault

Mangala, Lowell, Mars -- 21 Apr. 2057:  Three local youths have been taken onto police custody in connection with the violent assault and rape of Taskar Oliphant Astarte, a resident of Galbraith Station in the Lagrange Orbital Colonial Authority.  Although the alleged perpetrators are quasi-persons by reason of youth and thus cannot legally be named, described or gendered in the press, their identities were quickly ascertained by investigators from footage captured on one of Mangala's publicly-accessible sousveillance cameras.

The footage clearly shows three young people confronting Mx. Astarte, a long-limbed, androgynous Spacer with the pronounced, bulging forehead typical of a hypercortical.  The assault occurred late last evening as zie walked through the Crosstalk, one of the rougher entertainment districts of Mangala.  Surrounding zer on a deserted street, the youths begin mocking Mx. Astarte, shouting epithets such as 'big-head', 'no-sex', and 'spider-legs'.  When Mx. Astarte tries to run, zie is restrained and thrown to the ground.  The three assailants repeatedly kick their victim and then take turns sexually assaulting zer.  After several minutes, they run away down the street, laughing loudly.  Police and emergency medical services arrive on the scene approximately 20 minutes later.

Mx. Astarte, who is recovering in hospital, has declined requests for an interview.  The incident has raised serious questions about the efficacy of the Mangala police department, as well as the Publicam system, which was announced earlier this year to great fanfare as a means of curbing the trend of increasing violence in the Crosstalk and other high-risk districts of the city.  The selling point of the project was that crowdsourcing the monitoring of public areas would free up police resources and allow quicker reporting and police response.  However, access records obtained from the Publicam servers under an expedited Free Access order show that several viewers were accessing the publicam feed throughout the assault and rape.  A spokesperson for the Mangala Police Department stated in a text message that the crime was not reported until several minutes after it had occurred.

Allemand Mertainian, a spokesperson for anti-rape activist group Body Count, has published a series of tweets blaming an "epidemic culture of sexualized violence" in Mangala for both the assault itself and for the apathetic response.  According to Ms. Mertainian, "It is the fault of their parents, our educators, and all of society that these youths consider gang rape of outsiders an evening's light entertainment ... Our entire culture has colluded in turning a program intended to stop assaults and protect victims into a form of voyeuristic pornography ... And however long it took for the watchers to become involved, it is unconscionable that the police took so long to respond to an assault that left the victim broken, bleeding and unable to move ... our city is sick with an incurable cancer, and all of us are responsible for standing by as it metastasized."

For its part, the Mangala police department denies that its response was inadequate.  "Our officers were engages in dealing with several other incidents, including a firefight in the Glassworks between rival criminal syndicates which led to the arrest of several multiple murderers," stated police spokesperson Lt. Ramsay Edgeworth.  "The assailants will be punished to the fullest extent of the law, though their status as quasi-persons leaves most of the choices about the consequences of their actions up to their legal guardians.  As for Mx. Astarte, zie made the choice to walk alone, inebriated and provocatively dressed, after a night in the roughest sex clubs of the Crosstalk.  It is not our responsibility to protect people from the logical results of their own actions."

Bugs Force Telepathy Exchange Shutdown

Dynaeris, Phobos, Mars Space -- 20 Apr. 2057:  A persistent problem with missed, dropped, and incorrectly routed connections has forced Phobos Telephone & Telepathic to temporarily suspend all direct brain-to-brain communication services.  A notice from the utility to subscribers promised that the problems would be fixed, and services restored, within a few days.  In the mean time, Phobians are left with audio, videophone, telepresence, text messaging, email, social network feeds, written mail delivery, and in-person conversations as their sole means of communication.

The difficulties with telepathic interference on Phobos have already caused a number of unfortunate incidents ranging from annoyances to life-threatening situations, including the following:

  • Attempting to  "send my lover a little pick-me-up" in the middle of a busy work day, one customer delivered thoughts of an erotic nature to his partner's direct superior.  The intended recipient of the telepathic sext was subsequently fired due to the "unwelcome and sexually harassing" communication, though intervention by PT&T representatives has caused the company to reconsider.
  • The sole observer of a hovercar accident on the outskirts of Dynaeris attempted repeatedly to summon paramedics using PT&T ThoughtLink emergency response services.  Though e was assured by the software that help was on the way, this was an automated server response; it was not until the situation grew dire that the good samaritan used alternate means to re-iterate eir requests for help.  Thankfully, nobody was killed, although several of the injured participants are still in recovery.
  • When a hungry Dynaeris resident's thoughts about food inadvertently activated her telepathic interface, she received 47 pizza deliveries ordered telepathically from restaurants as far away as Alderious.  PT&T has agreed to pick up the tab.
Though PT&T's quick action to correct the results of these errors and general reputation for high-quality telepathic communication protocols has so far protected it from legal repercussions, the expense of the downtime and the required public-relations campaign combined with the threat of potential litigation has severely damaged the company's brand.  As a public utility operated by the Phobos district government, PT&T is of course not answerable to any shareholders, but an anonymous source in the Phobos Department of Utilities is predicting hard questions and a possible change in company leadership come the next district budget.

Crossmedia Servers Hacked

Enchiridion, Trojans Administrative District, Jupiter Space -- 19 Apr. 2057:  A cyber-security breach and attempted data theft in progress were foiled this day by Crossmedia's resident security administrator, Degenerate Sinusoid.  It is believed that no sensitive files were copied, but considerable damage to financial records and the basic operating system substrate occurred.  Vr. Sinusoid was not seriously harmed and has been fully recompiled.

"I'm shocked," said Crossmedia spokesperson Vander van Zander Zalm, "absolutely shocked and appalled.  The collective has never had to deal with a cyber-attack of this magnitude before.  We all feel violated by this absolutely cowardly and disgusting tactic.  We're particularly grateful to Vr. Sinusoid, who really earned its profit share today.  But it's clear this is a sign that we're a growing concern in the world of journalism.  We must have stirred up some kind of hornet's nest to have this level of heat coming our way.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is part of Omnicor's campaign of harassment against us.  It was way too clumsy and destructive for your garden-variety data thievery, and Anonymous doesn't just break in and trash the place; they tell you exactly why you're being targeted.  But whoever it was, they have not put us down and they are not going to silence us!  One thing is for sure, we're going to have to beef up our security setup."

Although no evidence has yet been discovered as to the identity of the perpetrators, investigators from the TAD Department of Public Safety, Department of Cybercrime are still sifting through the trashed files and access logs.

Full disclosure: this newsfeed is a subsidiary of Futuristical Crossmedia operated under the aegis of the Bureau of Temporal Relations.  Our service is operated from a separate, highly secure server within the Bureau datafarm; we are thus not a party to this investigation.

Major Crash on Virtual Currencies Index

New Fort Knox Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 18 Apr. 2057:  The Bureau of Market Stabilization has declared a formal economic emergency and deployed its counterweight traders to shore up values of practically all virtual currencies.  After a number of severe value spikes, the Central Currency Clearinghouse is in freefall this day, with over 50 kinds of game, fantasia and other hedonic currencies losing half of their value or more.

The collapse in the virtual-currencies market is widely believed to be the result of the tragic and much-publicized death of Ampstead Axelrod Vikkenssen, a virtual-experience addict whose inability to cope with reality led him into an elaborate suicide.  The incident severely damaged the value of premier gaming experience ArcWorld, which was Mr. Vikkenssen's escape of choice -- both the stock value of the game's publisher Unreality, and the market value of the game's virtual currency, the Arc.  "As ArcWorld is one of the system's largest and most popular virtual environments," we were told by Dr. John Jacob Smith, a senior economics professor at Asimov University, "its in-game currency is central to the VC market.  In some ways, the market value of the Arc is more economically important even than the value of the standard Alliance credit, which is subject to tight macro-economic controls.  The makers of ArcWorld have had little concern and less understanding of economic policy; it's never even really been on their radar."

As the value of the Arc nose-dived, traders fled to other virtual currencies, only to abandon them at the first sign of price instability.  "First the ISK went belly-up," explains Dr. Smith, "followed by the Endless Fantasy Gil, the Linden Dollar, the Nickelodeon Arcade Nickel, and the Steamworks Pound Sterling.  After that, they started dropping like flies.  Companies without effective in-game economic controls are suffering complete economic meltdown which may require them to completely reboot their in-game economies just to maintain playability, and even games which maintain some form of macro policy are taking a severe beating."

According to Dr. Smith, the crash was a disaster waiting to happen.  "The entire virtual-currencies market has been in a bubble for years," he stated in an audio interview.  "The Arc was severely overvalued, and was just waiting for a spark to set off a panic.  If the Bureau of Market Stabilization had been bidding the value of virtual currencies down like we've been telling them they ought, they wouldn't be bidding them up now.  But New Fort Knox hates trying to deflate bubbles, especially since that incident with heavy-gas futures during the previous coalition.  In that case, it turned out to be politically motivated; there was no real bubble, and so the Department got chewed out something fierce.  Now they won't even touch the most obvious bubble; they'd rather wait for it to burst, and try to clean up the mess afterward.  It's never as effective; we're in for a rough year or two.  Lucky for me, I had a few centicredits tied up betting against virtual currencies.  Those bets have now paid off in full."

Probe Sale Leads to Arrest, Outcry

New New Orleans, Titan, Saturnine Confederacy -- 17 Apr. 2057:  Hydrocarbon refiner Gargus Abix Tessera has been taken into custody on charges of Improper Disposal of Government Property after the sale at auction of the exoplanetary research probe which crashed on zer property last month.  The Saturnine Confederate Authority refused to execute the warrent for zer arrest, forcing the Department of Public Safety to divert a police unit from Ganymede specifically to carry out the arrest.  The Confederacy is now attempting to block the Department's order to remand Mx. Tessera to Luna for trial, insisting that zie be tried in a Saturnine court.  The already strained relationship between the Confederacy and the Alliance centre is suffering additional strain from the confrontation, according to political observers.

In a press release transmitted systemwide this day, Confederate Authority Chairman Deuce Titslinger described the arrest as "an unforgivable intrusion by the authoritarian running-dogs of the UNCA into the rightful demesne of our independent polity" and promises that the Confederacy "will fight this illegal extradition of a Confederate citizen with every means at our disposal, opening with legal maneuvers and escalating as appropriate."  The use of the term UNCA, or United Nations Colonial Authority, is a direct challenge to the authority of the Stellar Alliance over the Confederacy, according to Dr. Phlanigan Arbutus, a professor of interplanetary law at Rubix University.

"The Constitution Accord describes the Stellar Alliance and the Saturnine Confederacy as 'equal partners within a united Solar System'; the previous Stellar Alliance Treaty, which was intended to prevent a second interplanetary war, was signed by the UNCA, the now-defunct Mars Development Council, and Federation of Asteroidal Polities.  With this statement, the Confederacy has completely discounted the authority of the Alliance within Saturnine territory by rhetorically demoting the Stellar DPS to an arm of the UNCA, a mere Terran political unit comprising an entity which is constitutionally the Confederacy's equal.  This whole situation is a mess; if Baikonur backs down and allows Tessera to be tried in a local court, they're conceding that Alliance law does not supersede Confederate Authority diktat.  I don't think it will come down to violence, but if neither the centre nor the Confederacy chooses to back down it's a distinct possibility.  All this over a simple little thing like a crashed space probe; it boggles the mind."

Atlantis Raises Shipping Tariffs

Atlantis, Atlantica, Earth -- 16 Apr. 2057:  In a move which is causing vehement protest among the business community, the Atlantis state government has issued a 5% hike in both ocean surface and sub-surface tonnage tariffs.  A press release issued by the state Directorate cites the new mandatory tax policy as its primary reason.  Other voices, however, have connected the fee hike to the increased traffic on the Atlantis beanstalk since the devastating terrorist attack which has nearly halted space-elevator shipments to and from Kisangani.

"It's sheer price gouging and rank opportunism of the most disgusting kind," stated Gek Almartion of the Terran Chamber of Commerce.  "They can't raise loading prices for the beanstalk since those are set by the regional Concilium, so they jack up the rates to ship to and from.  To try and profit off the deaths of all those poor people in such a crass and blatant way -- those goddamn fish-heads ought to be ashamed of themselves."  The Chamber of Commerce has filed suit against the State of Atlantis in Regional Civil Court in an attempt to get the increase declared illegal market interference.

Mandatory Taxation Bill Passes

Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Earth -- 15 Apr. 2057:  After only minimal debate this day, the governing Technocrat-Socialist coalition fulfilled one of its major platform planks as the Senate approved the controversial new tax code in a 255-213 vote.  The signing ceremony, set to occur in 3 days, will mark the official end to the extremely unpopular tax policy experiment which spelled the end of the Libertarian-Traditionalist-Corporatist government which held the Trapezoid for 8 years.

"The byzantine bureaucratic and ontological nightmare which was the Fee-For-Service Model of taxation is no more," wrote veteran political blogger Dax Blagenflam at Branches and Mandates.  "Gone are the 57-page forms, the endless cascade of receipts, the 'indirect life-impact statements' on everything from public education services to childhood vaccinations to pure research funding.  The great irony of the age is that a steep progressive income tax with a parade of fiddly Technocratic incentives and penalties will in the end be less complicated and less intrusive than the promised 'voluntary tax' which bought the Libertarians nearly a decade of nominal laissez-faire policy."

Gage Maximillian Pequod, of the respected right-front blog Live Free or Die, wrote that "the Corporatist's Benedictine backstabbing, which killed the possibility of a Flat Tax, set the stage for the monstrosity of Fee-For-Service.  They have sowed what we all now reap.  In the attempt to remove even the slightest of tax burdens from the rentier class and force the productive classes to bear the burden alone, they have admirably succeeded in ensuring that they will pay handsomely for the back-left's massive welfare schemes and monumental projects."

Yazem Sirius, the interim leader of the extreme upper-leftwing Technoprogressive Party, wrote on the official blog that "the time is fast coming when such all-consuming wrangles over economic leverage will seem like a sideshow to the real decisions we face.  None of the major political actors are willing to face the exploding reality of Economy 2.0 -- the obsolescence of money as we know it, the near-total unemployment which is accompanying the shift toward a post-labour economy, and the radical self-sufficiencies which will make most forms of trade both redundant and self-destructive.  In a mere 5 to 10 years, the laws of economics will have been completely rewritten."

Ideological Schism Breaks Temeredine Borganization

Temeredine Station, Callisto, Jupiter Space -- 14 Apr. 2057:  The system's oldest and largest borganization has suffered a fatal collapse of common ideology and split into two separate factions.  No violence has occurred, though tensions on Temeredine Station and across the Jovian complex are running high. A petition has been filed in Callisto Regional Civil Court to arbitrate the division of common assets and to determine which group, if either, will be permitted to retain the Temeredine name and network identities.

Temeredine borganization was founded on 25 October 2039 as a proof-of-concept for the potential of neurolinking technology; 24 individual minds, including 5 humans, 2 gorillas, 3 dogs, 4 synthetics, and a full digital imprint of each biological person were integrated together by an experimental prototype of the Kyanis Neurological Integration System.  When the Kyanis corporation attempted to dissolve the link and disentangle the minds of the individual volunteers involved, the collective entity which had been created in the experiment protested and sought the protection of the Armstrong Court, taking the name Temeredine and claiming to be a new and unique individual.  Since the landmark decision declaring integrated meta-minds to be autonomous persons in their own right, Temeredine has grown immensely in both numbers, with at last pre-schism count over 12000 biological and 15000 virtual minds voluntarily joined together, and in wealth and power.  Temeredine was one of the single wealthiest individuals in the system, though that wealth was diluted by the necessity of maintaining a small nation's worth of bodies and avatars.  A lifelong member of the Socialist party, they has served as both President and Director of Callisto, recent rumour has it that they has been considering challenging Callisto-Orbital's longtime Libertarian elector Pacman Packard for eir seat in the Trapezoid.

However, an irreconcilable schism has developed between the part of the Temeredine collective consciousness which holds firmly to Socialist principles and the growing segment which has been influenced by the prevalent Libertarian social attitudes of the Jovian complex.  "I had warned Temeredine of this possibility," stated Dr. Pritchard Mitchell, a member of the research team involved in the original experiment who has since gone on to become a professor of social psychiatry at Cordwainer University and a noted expert in borganization psychosociology.  "Most of the borganizations and neuro-parliaments which have been formed since their inception have chosen to apply a compatibility test, limiting new inductees to those who broadly shared the ethical or political ideals representative of the whole.  Temeredine has maintained a policy of completely open recruitment, from both a lack of a founding mandate and a dominant belief that ideological diversity would strengthen the collective consciousness.  I have seen the signs for some time now; Temeredine's decisions were becoming erratic and they was more and more frequently frozen by indecision. The further-flung parts of the network had begun taking actions unapproved by the centre and sometimes contrary to their own stated intentions.  Temeredine as we knew them is dead."

Our correspondent on Temeredine Station, Skip Limnu, reports that tempers are running high.  "Almost everybody on this station was a part of Temeredine," he told us in an email brief.  "They work together, eat together, sleep together, sex together, and play together.  Where they once shared an uncanny uniformity and a continual cheerfulness, tempers are now running high.  Bodies who share dormitories are on different sides of the divorce; they are beginning to reorganize themselves, but in the meantime they must share an intimate space with those who are now strangers to them.  Political arguments break out at the slightest provocation, and develop with frightening rapidity into screaming mobs.  Work on the various enterprises of the Temeredine commercial empire has ground to a standstill.  Station services are becoming erratic; bodies flock to the few cafeterias that can get their act together well enough to serve meals, and outside contractors have been called in to run water and air distribution.  Hyperlayer function is erratic at best, with constant public flamewars infesting every page.  Perhaps worst, though, is the hurt and betrayal written clearly on every face.  Temeredine is suffering.  They has been scarred beyond healing.  They is a broken shadow of their former stature."

Spacers-Only Immigration Law Struck Down

Naylor Station, Low Mars Orbit -- 13 Apr. 2057:  The Regional Civil Court has ruled in the case of Colby v. Naylor Station, finding for the plaintiff and nullifying the section of the station's local ordnance which limits biological immigration to members of the subspecies Homo Sapiens Orbital.  The court has instructed the Naylor Board of Directors to implement new station settlement guidelines which forbid discrimination in residence permits based on the genotype of the applicant.

The Board is reportedly upset and confused with the ruling, and plans to appeal to the Superior Civil Court.  In an audio interview, Director Madius Pelney called the decision "incomprehensible", stating that "Naylor Station was founded by Spacers.  It was built by Spacers, for Spacers.  Every facility in every part of the station is designed with Spacers in mind.  We don't even supply centrifugal rotation here!  I don't see why a Grounder would even want to move here; they're at an extreme disability -- just like we are in their habs!  They have all the planets in goddamn system and half the stations beside; why the hell do they have to come here and take our station too?  It's ridiculous!"

Remembering Nachius Vilsen Freisenborg

Hrungnir, Pluto, Kuiper-Oort Authority -- 12 Apr. 2057:  A virtual wake was held this day to commemorate the life of Nachius Vilsen Freisenborg, who was found frozen to death in an exhausted envirosuit last month.  Mr. Freisenborg died at the age of 12 person-years, having lived and worked in the Hrungnir Hydrogen Collective for 3 years.  He is survived only by  his genedonor, Christian Freisenborg; he did not leave a data ghost.  The wake has attracted significant system-wide attention due to the status of Mr. Freisenborg as the first person to have died on Pluto, and due to the efforts of Debtslave, an activist group which opposes the practice of corporate indenture.  Mr. Freisenborg's death, which has been ruled a total suicide by the KOA Department of Public Safety, is widely attributed to the impending possibility of indenture proceedings by the bank Mutual Providers of Barsoom, to which he owed over 600 microcredits.

Nachius Vilsen Freisenborg was decanted on 22 July 2026 at the Aarskog Memorial Clinic in Trondheim, Norway; his genetics were redacted from those of Christian Freisenborg, an automobile mechanic, and his husband Gunnar, a moose hunter.  After Gunnar was killed in the Battle of Armstrong, Christian took his young son to live in the burgeoning settlement of Primus on Ganymede.  "Vilsen was always one to run," a partial imprint of Christian remembered in his eulogy.  "It seemed unfair to confine him in a hut beneath the crushing ice; but he adapted better than me, perhaps.  I could not keep him in the house, that boy.  He had to run.  He was always living such grand lives in his head, but he understood too the necessity of life in the real world, this world of ice and fire."  Mr. Freisenborg achieved full legal personhood on 7 May 2046.  He worked as an ice miner for his entire life, mining water ice on Ganymede and in the Tachtenstaffel mines in the Ring of Saturn before moving on to Pluto.  His workmate Bliff Snadmer described him as "a steady, conscientious worker; polite, friendly, distant but always with a kind word.  Everyone liked Nachius, but I was maybe the closest thing he had to a friend.  He wasn't political, he wasn't an agitator; all he wanted here was to break ice and take his share.  The one thing he really loved, those old twencen movies -- you know, gangster flicks.  The Heist, Ocean's Eleven, The Italian Job.  He could sit and watch that stuff all night.  I dunno, I shoulda seen it coming.  He would take long walks out on the ice.  Eccentric, but who knew?  I miss the hell outta him."

KOA Symposiarch Palmus Nickelstan delivered a brief address to the assembled mourners.  "Every time human mortality touches another part of the universe, we are reminded again and more sharply of how small and how fragile our lives are.  We are reminded that we must make the most of every moment we have, and that we must continue to strive to defeat the scourges that rob us of our best possible lives.  Nachius Vilsen Freisenborg will live on in every life he has touched, in every contribution he has made to civilization."  Nachius Vilsen Freisenborg was interred under a cairn carved from the ice of Pluto, in the same location where his remains were found.