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."

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