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2789.365 (December 31, 2789)

New Decoy Proves a Success
Alec Trofobe of Susan's Defense Weekly reports. Collected Military Chiefs of Staff gathered in the Vidur sector of Hades' airspace yesterday to observe the first public display of the 'Siren' class of Decoy Mk.II. It offers greatly improved defense from incoming missiles, thanks to its revolutionary 'Proactive Sensor Affector', which attempts to reprogram an incoming missile while it is in flight. Impressions from the experts was favorable, and it looks set to redefine the role of missiles in zero-G combat.
[Priv2]

Fatbink Reveals Their Latest Shield System
Defense correspondent Tony Knox reports. I've just come from the launch party of Fatbink Systems' brand new Shield Generator, the Halo Mk III. First impressions are very favorable; demonstrations showed much greater resistance to projectiles, concussion and energy weapons than any other model I've seen. If defense rather than offence is your priority, then I'd highly recommend it.
[Priv2]

The Missile That Won't Miss
Veltek spokesman Phlamin Omer reveals all. We at Veltek are proud to unveil the Maelstrom class Proximity Missile. Research has shown that an astonishing 47.9% of combat missile launches fail to destroy their target, due to the missile being out-maneuvered, the deployment of decoys, or simply an insufficiently powerful warhead. The Maelstrom remedies all these problems: it contains a proximity fuse that will detonate the missile when it attains a certain distance from the target, rather than merely on impact, making it very difficult to avoid or decoy. It also has a much more powerful warhead, and a far larger blast radius, than conventional missiles. By one today, or it could be bye-bye tomorrow.
[Priv2]

Improved Afterburner Available
Test pilot Shane Cleft offers his opinion. It's here! What all speed fiends everywhere have been waiting for! The Afterburner Mark III! I had one fitted to my Patriot, and boy, does it move! Far better performance all round, and the acceleration is absolutely unbelievable! I'm telling you, it's really, really good.
[Priv2]

Blood and Ion
Ballistics expert Professor Anna Wrack reveals all. My colleagues and I are pleased to announce the fruition of our latest project, the creation of a ballistic ship-mounted weapon. Known as the Mass Ion cannon, it functions round the principle of projecting positively-charged microparticles of depleted Plutonium at high velocities. It's effect on shields and armor is comparable to an average Medium Laser; however, it has a marked advantage over all beam weapons in that heat build-up, the Laser's greatest curse, is completely absent. This permits an extremely rapid rate of fire to be maintained for long periods of time, allowing a skilled pilot to destroy enemies very swiftly.
[Priv2]

Energize Captain
Innovations correspondent Betty Swollocks comments. Have you ever been running scared from a bunch of pirate ships knowing that if you got in range of all their lazers your shields would fold and you would be history? Well now is your chance to stand and fight. With the new Warpshield from Energize Systems you can be completely invulnerable for a few seconds. Though this is not long, it may be just the amount of time you need to see off several opponents before tacking the remainder using conventional shields.
[Priv2]

New 'Virus Weapon' Worries Police
Gwyn Cannar reports. Law enforcement agencies are expressing concern at the commercial release of a totally new type of weapon. Known as the BSE (Binary System Eradicator), it is a high-level computer virus that can disable all a craft's systems within seconds. It is transmitted along with the attacking ship's ID to the victim, and once assimilated into the target's computer it goes haywire, instituting emergency shutdown procedures for all the ship's systems. Police worry that this will be the perfect weapon for pirates to trap wary merchants.
[Priv2]

Civilian Version of Freij Craft Released
'Aeronaut' magazine editor Niff Tiddell reports. Ares Systems yesterday unveiled a new model of the fearsome Freij fighter, the ship that Military organizations all over the system have been so impressed by. The civilian version is slightly less powerful, but still features extremely heavy shields and armor and an unrivaled array of weapon and equipment slots. With all this and incredible acceleration, velocity and afterburner speed as well, the Freij looks set to take the mercenary world by storm. However, this level of quality does not come cheap so make sure you have plenty of credits available.
[Priv2]

Shares Boom on Hermes
Tony Knox reports. The stock market on Hermes has unexpectedly boomed, especially in the ores trade. The sudden surge has attracted traders and miners from all across the system, looking to find good prices for their wares.
[Priv2]

Platinum Shortage Reported on Hermes
Tony Knox comments. Due to mine closures, Platinum supplies on Hermes have dwindled greatly. Traders are being offered high prices for the metal, which has countless applications in the fields of electronics, computers and numismatics.
[Priv2]

New Ore Deposits Located on Hermes
Tony Knox writes. Surveyors have discovered extensive quantities of mineable ore on Hermes, and preliminary extraction is already taking place. Prices have dropped considerably, and mercantile activity has increased greatly, presumably due to the substantial profits to be made in export.
[Priv2]

New Factory Opens on Hermes
Financial commentator Tony Knox reports. The opening of a new multi-purpose manufacturing plant has made Hermes into a have of activity. Hundreds of immigrants are arriving daily, looking for work, closely followed by huge numbers of merchants, looking to find favorable prices for raw materials. Ore stocks have been reported as being low..
[Priv2]

Ore Market Crashes
Stock market analyst Tony Knox reports. The Hermes stock market took a battering last night, following some ruthless action on the part of speculators. It seems that large stocks of different ores have been hoarded up, only to flood the market when prices were favorable. As a result, the whole value of the ores market has dropped significantly, and many traders are trying to sell their surplus in an attempt to cover losses.
[Priv2]

CIS Net Big Brain Bust
A report by Tony Knox. CIS spokesmen last night announced that they had captured a large consignment of Brain Implants on Hermes. Police expect that this will severely hit the Black Market, and prices are reported to have risen extensively.
[Priv2]

We Must Catch These Ghouls!
Says Tony Knox. Rescuers attempting to save survivors of a shuttle crash on Hermes were horrified when they discovered that a Human Organs ring had got there first. Nobody had been left alive, and all the corpses had been butchered for valuable organs such as limbs, eyes and livers. Police are mounting a huge operation to catch the offenders, who are expected to try and sell of their grisly hoard.
[Priv2]

Hermes in Toxin Turmoil
Tony Knox writes. CIS officials last night reported a huge increase in the amount of Nerve Toxins that were being confiscated on Hermes. The captures are thought to be only the tip of the iceberg, and a large -scale manufacturing operation is suspected to be in progress. Police patrols are on the lookout for any smugglers attempting to take advantage of the situation.
[Priv2]

Police Crack Down on Red Light Area
Tony Knox reports from Hermes. Brothel owners were last night counting the cost of a huge police swoop. Large numbers of Pleasure Borgs were confiscated, along with other illegal substances. For the moment, it looks as if any visitors to the flesh pots will go unsatisfied... until smugglers bring more Pleasure Borgs in, anyway.
[Priv2]

Zak Arrives on Hermes
Music reporter Tony Knox writes. Well, Zak Skintight and his band, the legendary Buttock Men, have just arrived on Hermes to play their latest gig. The excitement on the planet is palpable, with everyone thrilled to bits at the prospect of seeing the system's most famous musicians. There is a significant police presence, however, due to Zak and his retinue's notorious taste for Talcum Powder, Bex Beer and Pleasure Borgs.
[Priv2]

New Hard? Cor! Dates Announced
Tony Knox writes. Dance commune Hard? Cor! have revealed the plans for their next three-day 'be-in'. Set to take place on Hermes, it seems that we can expect the usual mix of right-on sounds, ethnic education and spiritual exploration. Police are worried that the event will attract Warp Steroid dealers, and are going to establish patrols around the planet.
[Priv2]

Police Baffled by Rodent Popularity
Demi-monde doyenne Tony Knox reports. CIS investigators following drag queen diva Julienne and her alternative retinue, now on Hermes, are perplexed. It seems that wherever the transvestite tribe go, Fluffy Rodent sales increase dramatically. However, CIC agents report that they never see Rodents in the possession of the free and easy cross dressers. 'I just hope they're not eating them', one puzzled agent said yesterday.
[Priv2]

Jewel Bash on Hermes
Antiques and valuables editor Tony Knox reports. The annual gem collectors' fair is taking place on Hermes at the moment. Gem enthusiasts from across the system are attending, and hotels and restaurants across the planet are alive with collectors buying, selling and swapping. A goodly proportion of traders and entrepreneurs are hear also, looking for the opportunity to pick up a few cheap gems.
[Priv2]

Flower Show Ends on a High
Gardening journalist Tony Knox reports from Hermes. Well, this month's Flower and Vegetable Festival is over, and as usual enthusiasts from all planets have provided an enthralling display. All that's left now, though, are bare plasteen tables and boxes full of discarded entries. Some entrants are still here, selling off their produce at low prices to traders and merchants.
[Priv2]

Riots Break Put After Election Chaos
Tony Knox reports. Widespread rioting was reported on the planet of Hermes last night after controversial election results. There have been many incidents of shooting, and police sources indicate a massive growth in the black market Firearms trade. A cordon of Olura patrol ships has been established around the planet to try and prevent smugglers getting through with new supplies.
[Priv2]

Military Coup Continues on Hermes
War correspondent Tony Knox reports. The massive coup lead by military commanders against the Hermes government was showing signs of lost momentum last night. Loyalist forces have come out strongly, and rebel forces are hold up in mountainous country some 100 km from the planet's capital. CIS forces have intervened, establishing a controlled exclusion zone around the planet in an attempt to prevent smugglers supplying rebels with firearms, which the rebel generals are offering very high prices for.
[Priv2]

Tax Protesters Go on Rampage
Political editor Tony Knox writes. An organized march protesting at high tax levels has degenerated into violence on Hermes. Police are blaming a hard-core of trouble makers for the disruption, but from where I was standing pretty much all of the demonstrators were involved. Numerous arrests were made, and a large number of firearms have been confiscated. No doubt there will be plenty of smugglers looking to take advantage of others' misery.
[Priv2]

Police Bust Nets Grand Haul of Firearms
Crime reporter Tony Knox from the scene on Hermes. Months of covert planning came to fruition today, when CIS agents stormed a suspected Kindred stronghouse this morning. Large quantities of firearms and explosives were discovered, and several men were arrested. It is clear, however, that many Kindred members made their escape, and patrols are being posted to intercept incoming supplies of weapons.
[Priv2]

Youth Gun Craze Confounds Police
Young persons correspondent Tony Knox reports. Local police on Hermes have admitted that they are powerless in the face of a new trend amongst the planet's youthful population. The latest fashion accessory for the 'hip' youngster is a powerful firearm, and kids will stop at nothing to get hold of one. Of course, this is nothing but good news for black market entrepreneurs, and a surge in smuggling activity has been reported.
[Priv2]

Gnuflies Plague Hermes
Tony Knox reports. Swarms of highly poisonous Gnuflies have infested the planet of Hermes. Pest controllers are seeking to remedy the situation, but already many citizens have been hospitalized after being bitten by the noxious bugs. Clean blood is in high demand.
[Priv2]

Many Killed in Freighter Crash
Tony Knox writes. Emergency services on Hermes were working overtime last night, following the mysterious crash of a passenger freighter. At least 500 people have been killed, with many more injured, and local hospitals are full of victims. More supplies of all medical supplies are urgently required.
[Priv2]

Huge Medical Surplus as Conflict Ends
War correspondent Tony Knox reports. There are scenes of jubilation on Hermes at the moment, following news that the fared conflict between rebelling army divisions and government loyalists has been resolved peacefully. Huge amounts of Medical Supplies, which had been stockpiled to treat any causalities, are now surplus to requirements, and are being sold off cheaply to freelancers.
[Priv2]

Opthalophagia Epidemic on Hermes
Medical correspondent Tony Knox reports. There has been a huge surge in reported cases of Opthalophagia, a fast-acting degenerative eye disease, on Hermes. Hospitals are working overtime to deal with the afflicted, and Optic Nerve supplies are running out. New supplies are urgently required, and prices have soared considerably.
[Priv2]

Synthi Skin in Demand as Fires Rage Out of Control
A report by Tony Knox. A medical crisis has been declared on Hermes, following a week-long fire ravaging local population centers. Large numbers have been hospitalized, though luckily the death toll has been low. Synthi Skin is needed extremely urgently, however, to treat the thousands suffering burns, and the government has offered premium prices to raiders in an attempt to stimulate imports.
[Priv2]

Torrential Rain Causes Flood on Hermes
Tony Knox is on the spot. Heavy rain storms have persisted on Hermes for several weeks, resulting in large parts of the planet's surface being flooded. The excess water is slowly being purified and stored, and any trader wishing to export will find prices to be low.
[Priv2]

Scorching Weather Results in Drought
Tony Knox comments. While the inhabitants of Hermes have been rejoicing for the past few weeks at the huge amount of sunshine they have been receiving, it has caused several problems. Most importantly, water reserves have been hard hit by the increased use of swimming pools, irrigation and external hydroponics, and supplies are getting low. Local water authorities are offering excellent prices to any trader willing to import new stocks.
[Priv2]

Global Warming Fears on Hermes
A report by Tony Knox. There is widespread public concern on Hermes that global warming is responsible for unprecedented flooding. Scientists are split on the issue, although statistics suggest that substantial ice-cap melting has taken place. Fresh Water is freely available for export, though, and prices are low.
[Priv2]

Terrorists Breach Dam
Tony Knox writes. A suspected terrorist attack has wreaked havoc on the planet of Hermes, destroying a major dam. Trouble started yesterday, when a large explosion occurred within the dam's infrastructure, greatly weakening its integrity. Staff were quickly evacuated, and a few minutes later the whole structure collapsed. A large-scale clean-up operation is in progress, and traders are being asked to assist by shipping water off planet: especially low prices are being posted as an incentive.
[Priv2]

Cargo Crash Causes Contamination
Tony Knox is on the scene. Emergency services on Hermes are working overtime to avert a disaster, following a cargo vessel crash-landing in one of the planet's main reservoirs. The vessel, which was carrying Lythia and Cesium, has entirely poisoned the reservoir, and it is possible that the contamination may infect the water supply further. Fresh Water imports are urgently required, and prices are at a premium.
[Priv2]

Hermes Authorities Announce Housing Project
Industry reporter Tony Knox reports. Contractors on Hermes were engaged in a bidding war yesterday, following the revelation of extensive housing plans by the Government. Whatever the outcome, there is bound to be a great demand for all forms of building materials, and prices are expected to be commensurably high.
[Priv2]

Power Station Project Hiven Go-Ahead
Power correspondent Tony Knox writes. Planning authorities on Hermes yesterday gave the all clear for the construction of a new fusion power plant. Stock markets reflected the news, with a considerable increase in the share price of industrial material importers.
[Priv2]

Space Port Project Runs Into Difficulty
Transport correspondent Tony Knox reports. The construction of a new space port for Hermes has foundered somewhat, following an unexpected shortage of industrial materials. Prices have been upped considerably in an attempt to entice traders to bring more supplies.
[Priv2]

CIS Unveils Plans for New Departmental Building
Tony Knox writes. CIS bosses yesterday unveiled plans for a new building on Hermes to house their ever expanding number of staff. CIS boss Shiela Nabokov said of the project, 'With our expanded resources, our ability to crack down on organizations such as the Kindred will improve greatly'. Industrial materials prices have risen slightly as a result of the news.
[Priv2]

Construction Strike Generates Materials Surplus
Industry reporter Tony Knox writes. Hermes authorities have still to strike a deal with state-employed construction workers, who have taken industrial action over low wages. As a result, this year's projects target seems unlikely to be met, and a huge stockpile of industrial materials remain unused. Rumors suggest that these will be sold of at low prices, perhaps in order to finance a deal with the building community.
[Priv2]

Panic on Hermes as Grain Harvest Fails
Agricultural commentator Tony Knox writes. Hermes authorities yesterday issued an all-systems alert, after official figures confirming a near-total failure of the Grain harvest. Grain prices are astronomical, and it is hoped that this will provide enough incentive to attract Grain dealers to the planet.
[Priv2]

Altairian Rindpest Hits Hermes
Tony Knox reports. The dreaded Altarian Rindpest, scourge of Livestock farmers everywhere, has struck on Hermes. Huge Livestock losses have occurred, as farmers are forced to put down all afflicted animals to prevent the epidemic from spreading. Imports are urgently required.
[Priv2]

Total Crop Failure on Hermes
Agricultural expert Tony Knox reports. The inhabitants of Hermes are in truly dire straights, following a total collapse of the eco-system. As environmentalists seek to remedy the system, authorities have issued pleas for traders to import more supplies. Excellent prices are being offered as an incentive.
[Priv2]

Drought Hits Hermes hard
a report by Tony Knox. Exceptional weather conditions on Hermes have resulted in a wide-scale drought. Reservoir levels are at an all-time low, and emergency rationing is in force. Authorities have stated that if imports are not forthcoming huge fatalities will result.
[Priv2]

Contamination Hits Synthetic Foodstuffs
Agricultural commentator Tony Knox writes. Unnaturally wet weather has lead to all synthi-food production on Hermes being affected with premature rotting and mould growth. Large quantities of both fertilite and Synthi Meat have been affected, and prices have shot up. Imports are required to supplement the production of other food stuffs.
[Priv2]

Pirates Create Food Shortage on Hermes
Tony Knox reports. Continued pirate activity around the planet of Hermes has meant that very few food-carrying transports have made it to the planet unscathed; most merchants have either avoided the area, turned back after encountering hostiles or been destroyed. The situation is not yet critical, but food prices are slowly rising as supplies dwindle.
[Priv2]

Good Harvest for Hermes
Agricultural correspondent Tony Knox writes. A continued bout of good weather in the summer season has resulted in exceptionally bountiful harvests for farmers on Hermes. A huge surplus of all foodstuffs has resulted, and producers are keen to export. Prices are said to be low.
[Priv2]

Storm Wreaks Havoc on Farmers
Tony Knox comments. Hermes authorities were counting the cost of a three-day storm last night. The tempest, which featured 75-mile an hour winds, tornadoes and heavy rain and hail, occurred just as the harvest was about to be gathered in. Huge losses of all foodstuffs have been reported, and a emergency fund has been provided as an incentive for merchants to import new supplies.
[Priv2]

MegaLocusts Hit Hermes
Tony Knox reports. An infestation of Bexiam MegaLocusts has occurred on Hermes. Pesticide experts have been called in to battle the menace, but a great deal of damage to crops has already been caused, and food prices have risen considerably.
[Priv2]

Haulers Strike Starves Hermes
A report by Tony Knox. Industrial action on the part of affiliated cargo shippers on the planet of Hermes has caused a minor food shortage. The haulers, who are striking because of inadequate escorts on interplanetary runs, are in negotiation with bosses, but food supplies are needed urgently. Prices are said to be high.
[Priv2]

KriskArms Presents... the Femme Fatale
'For the lady dressed to kill'. It's a problem faced by many women... they want to go out armed, but the gun they want is too large to fit in a manu-sac, or so chunky that it ruins the line of their outfit,; no longer. Now KriskArms brings you the Femme Fatale, a stylish and discreet handlaser with the following features: 15mm hi-intensity beam that'll fry even the most persistent attacker. 40-shot Powerpack, re-chargeable at all standard power outlets. Comes with FREE chromatic shoulder holster, which changes colour to suit your outfit. Only 500 creds, from KriskArms.
[Priv2]

Zak Says... 'No Butts'
NEW from Zak Skintight and the Buttock Men, their long-awaited album, 'No Butts'. Featuring smash hits like:
Show me your scars
Kiss the ring
Ain't got no nostrils, baby
I'll give you a million [if you touch me there again]
Out NOW from Startled Productions, only 49 creds.
[Priv2]

The Boardgame That's Got the Whole Planet Talking...
Jeux t'aime presents their new smash hit boardgame - Hammer Hilarity!. The rules are simple; roll the dice and take your go. But watch out for the Hammer square! As soon as someone lands on it, everybody goes mallet manic, trying to knock out their opponents with one of the supplied Manley Hydraulic Hammers. Guaranteed fun from Jeux t'aime. 'The Masters of Mirth'> Hammer Hilarity, 175 creds from all good gaming booths. One free Medikit supplied.
[Priv2]

Suffering from Uncomfortable Seat Sores?
It's every pilot's curse... You sit, glued in the cockpit, for three hours as you battle off a horde of marauding pilots, only to spend the rest of your journey with an aching back and red raw buttocks. Well, no longer! Comfi-rear Inc. bring you the OrthoChair, that will gently massage your aches and soothe your soreness while you can get on with making sure your cargo gets through. The OrthoChair, featuring Micro-Shiatsu technology. Only 999 creds.
[Priv2]

Are You as Fat as a Whale?
Do you find yourself getting wedged in armchairs?
Do you have to eat solidly for four hours before you even start to feel full? If the answer to all these questions is YES, then you could win fame and fortune as this year's Mr. Fatman Champion! For the measly sum of 100 creds, you can enter the preliminary rounds, where you'll be asked to:
Drink a bucket of warm lard
Participate in the feared Pie Marathon
Eat a live gnu
Don't delay - apply today!
[Priv2]

Is Your Beer Holy Satisfactory?
The Avuncular Order of Hom present their latest Blessed Brew. For the edification and salvation of the true believer - Uncle Kashumai's Treacle Breek Special. Made using only the finest ingredients and hops from the sacred pastures of Zo, it is fermented for 30 days, as laid down in the holy scriptures, and thrice blessed by the supervising deacon. Only then is it deemed fit to carry the homilies of Hom to you, our brethren. The Blessed Brew - Salvation in every sip.
[Priv2]

For the Gentleperson of Taste... the Timepiece of Distinction
Tempus Ltd. present the latest piece in their acclaimed HoloTic range - the Palmster. A painless operation inserts the small implant into the base of your hand. Thereafter, every time you open your hand, the time will appear in perfect Indiholo on your palm. Tells the time on all eight planets, as well as 350 other timezones. The Tempus Palmster, only 1,000 creds - Now you'll always have time on your hands.
[Priv2]

Jake Starr is Going Through Hell...
'The Hades Inferno', the new VidFlik from United Executives, starring Cliff Mallone and Voluptua de Sire. Time is running out for Jake Starr... he's been trapped in the Dis Military Testing Area on Hades by the evil General Dastard [Harold Berkely]. He has only three hours to escape if he's to rescue the woman he loves... and that's if he lives! 'Boom! Bang! Ka-boosh! I love this film! Tops!' Norman Barry, Galactic Inquirer.
[Priv2]

Can't Make a Rash Decision?
You've heard of Gravel Rash, the sport that's sweeping the system, and you want to have a go, right? But it's so damn expensive, isn't it? All those executives and rich types hogging all the gravel slopes, their well scrapped behinds glistening brightly in the sun. Well, fear not! With the Chafeco. Laceration 2000, you can rehearse your skills in the safety of your own dormi-cube. Featuring 8 different settings, from pumice to extra-gouge, you too can have the kind of bottom scars that even reigning champion Arfa Bellgon would admire. The Laceratron 2000 from Chafeco. - Buy one, and be the butt of your friends' envy.
[Priv2]

This Vegetable Love Will Grow and Grow...
Do you have one of those jobs that mean you're on your own most of the time? Perhaps you're a miner? Or a hermit? Or a dangerous prisoner confined to solitary? Well, fret no longer, 'cos Fungus Friends are here. Simply drop the spores into the nutrient solution, and you can grow your own semi-sentient Companion Fungus. He'll wave at you, say 'hello' in the morning, even water himself! Say 'bye by solitude, hello company, with the Fungus Friend. Only 150 credits. Pack includes 5 spores, nutrient bath and training booklet.
[Priv2]

Absolutely No Meat Content - Guaranteed!
New, from Hokey-Cokey Foods, the Synthi Meat sensation that's sweeping the system: The Not Poddle Instant Snack! Just rip off the tab, and Hokey-Cokey's patented Aerotherm system heats the meal up - before your very eyes! Many people find real meat distasteful - just think of all the creatures you could be tucking into. With Not Poodle, there's no problem - just big, juicy strips of genuine Synthi Meat. And all for just 5 credits. Mmmmm.
[Priv2]

Sinoretti - The Spirit of Adventure
100% pure grain spirit. You've just hauled urgently needed food supplies across two systems to feed the starving millions. You've battled through pirates, braved asteroid fields - you need a drink fit for a hero. Pour yourself a Sinoretti, 100% pure grain spirit with added DiMethylTryptamine, and feel your ailments fade away, leaving you with the enduring sensation of well-being you deserve.
[Priv2]

It's Caviare to the General..
. What is? Why, the General's rib-stickin' taste-bud ticklin' Leviathan-sized portions of griddled Shantak Bird, that's what. Marinated in a time-honoured mixture of herbes, spices and avian bodily secretions, and then cooked up by one of our highly-trained adolescent chefs, it's a meal fit for a king... or a General! Available in Hermit, Dinner Party and Orgy sized buckets.
[Priv2]

Bored of Being Normal?
Tired of looking just like every other damn citizen? Amen to that, brother - We at the Leary Medical Alteration Centre on Karatikus have devoted our lives to the unusual, the bizarre and the downright strange. Why not visit our beautiful planet, where we can offer you the following body modifications:
Body Lengthening/Shortening (250 creds/10cm)
Extra Limbs/Organs (500 credits Arm of Leg, 750 creds Eye, Nose, Ear, 1500 creds other)
Your choice: No demand is too bizarre - tentacles, feathers, we'll do 'em all.
[Priv2]

Don't Let Dangerous Insects Bug You
Our galaxy is infested with all types of unpleasant creatures... Gnuflies, Hephaestan Biting Voles, Killer Thripps, the list goes on and on. Well, now you can guarantee that lethal insects will no longer be the bane of your life, with Harris' Entomort. Available from all well-stocked general booths, it comes in hi-powered spray or gas-bomb form, and mugs bugs quicker than you can say 'Ohmygodwhatthehellisthatongranny'shead'. Warning: Entomort could potentially cause fatal injuries to pets, small children and the aged.
[Priv2]

For the Ser About System... The Tweedle Buckham VacSuit Deluxe
Are you sick and tired of the same drab grey VacSuit? Do you want to cut a dash when you're clinching a deal? Then you deserve the Tweedle Buckham VacSuit Deluxe, the definitive haute couture travelling outfit. For only 1,500 creds, YOU can be the envy of travellers everywhere. Features include:
The OmniComfort Endosystem, with full waste reprocessing, adjustable temperature control, MicroBar and AR on-line entertainment suite.
Eight pre-programmed 'Outfit' modes plus the option to customize your own styles.
Automatic Designer updates every 4 weeks, plus a 20% discount on future improvements.
[Priv2]

If Your Child Hasn't Got a Mutant Cosmic Thunder Samurai Newt...
Then you shouldn't be a parent! In fact, if we discover that your offspring doesn't possess at least THREE of our posable figures with optional accessories, plus at least one of our horrendously overpriced poorly manufactured ThunderKillaCars, then we're going to send the Social Department round to your habitation... tomorrow! Buy one today, or your child could be in the care of deranged individuals of dubious sexuality and religious denomination by next week. Crecheco. We care.
[Priv2]

Are You Weedier Than an Abandoned Hydroponics Unit?
Is your physique reminiscent of an Anhurian Spectre Beetle. Or perhaps you're so fat and lardy you've forgotten what your legs do? You'd better shape up, my friend. What's that? The very notion of physical exercise gives you heart palpitations and coughing fits? Hey, that's no problem! With Fortis Warp Steroids, you can just sit there with your VidSet on... and still end up looking like three-times Strongest Man in the System, Curtis Benchley. Using special anaerobic fibre tougheners, Fortis Warp Steroids build your muscles up no matter what you're doing. Buy Fortis and it's Bye Bye Mr. Puny!. Only 2,000 creds for a one month course.
[Priv2]

New, From Pulchresse... the CosmoDrone
Girls! Is your lifestyle too hectic? Do you want to look like a catwalk model, but find you just don't have the time? Is your complexion suffering from too much long-distance travel and hard bargaining? Then you need the Pulchresse CosmoDrone system. Basically, it consists of around 500 nanodroids, so small they're invisible to the naked eye. Controlled from a discreet and stylish bracelet remote, they'll sterilize and cleanse patches of bad skin, tighten up bags and wrinkles, and even do your make-up for you. Don't let beauty be a casualty of your career - Buy the Pulchresse CosmoDrone system, only 1,250 credits.
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New!!! From MegaGags!!! The Virtual Victim
MegaGags, 'The Generals of Japery', present their latest guaranteed Mirth Maker to make a party go with a bang: the Virtual Victim. Basically a low-level cyborg, he looks just like any other Joe Average. He can make small talk, laugh, drink cocktails and eat canapes. And then, just when everyone is used to his presence... you can kill him! Shoot him with the supplied QuasiPistol, and see blood spirt out of one of his 10 fake wounds! Hit him over the head with a blunt instrument, and laugh as pseudobrains splatter over the host's expensive wall coverings! You'll laugh until you puke with the Virtual Victim, priced at only 579 credits. Also comes in Nun and Octogenarian (35 credit supplement).
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Would You Bet the Family Jewels?
New! on the Deltagam channel! The show that everyone's talking about! 'You Bet Your Genitals' starts tonight, at 1900hrs Standard Anhur Time. Hosted by the irrepressible Charlie Catchphrase, this is a quiz show with a difference; answer the questions right, and you could find yourself winning prizes such as a holiday villa on Janus, a luxury cruise round all three systems, or the star prize of 15 million credits! However, answer the questions wrong and our resident doctor will apply chronic lesions to your genitals, rendering then inoperable beyond the salvation of medical science. It's eyewatering fun aplenty, so watch the show that's anything but sterile!
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New from Gagco...... the Kakotron 2000
Gagco. Enterprises presents their latest piece of tomfoolery... the Kakotron 2000. Ideal for stag parties, office bashes and just plain old practical joking, the Kakotron 2000 is the ultimate in high tech japery. Simply point it at a friend/enemy/dube and press the button... special Kakulator beams will shoot out, rooting the victim to the spot with instant paralysis. Now you can inject the victim with our patent Kakolene, allowing you to mould his face into the most hideous apparition you can think of. But hurry! Kakulator beams only last for a few minutes, and you can bet your whoopee cushion that the victim ain't gonna be too happy! The Kakotron 2000 form Gaco. Only 500 credits.
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Edific Enterprises Offer You Your Dream Home...
Now you too can own a home or habicube designed by award-winning architect Zim Zam Edific. Choose from one of these great locations! The Palm Oasis resort in the Peninsula of Despair, Hades.
Watery Acres, Durellian Sea, Janus IV.
Harmony Court, Erewhon, Bex.
Prices start at 150,000 credits! Now you too can own a home of distinction.
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The Beer That Doesn't Fart About
We at Plain and Simple don't hold with fancy language, with your la-di-da and other poncery. When we make something, we tell you what it does, such as 'Hits Things Hard' Hydro-Hammer, or our 'Goes Quite Fast' Family Automobile. Now, we've branched into the liquor industry, with our all-new 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer. Available in two varieties; Strong and Very Strong. Buy 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer - it gets you pissed. And it's cheap. 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer. A Plain and Simple venture.
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Are You a Deathball fan?
Do you like watching all those brave contenders go to their doom for the greater glory of their team? Bet you'd like to have a go, wouldn't you? The thing is, there's a 93% chance that you'll end up dead... kind of puts you off, don't it? Well, fret no more! Jeux t'aime, boardgame makers of great excellence, present you Deathball... The Boardgame! DTB features all your favorite teams, gameplay closely modelled on the real thing, and over 1,500 weapon cards, such as Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Deathbot Legion, Disintegration Cannon, and good, old-fashioned Large Axe. Only 75 credits. Comes with FREE Scream-u-lator for that added touch of authenticity.
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Have You Ever Wondered What Human Flesh Tastes Like?
You're palate is jaded... you've tried the finest foodstuff the galaxy has to offer, and yet you're still looking for the ultimate taste sensation. Well, now your search is over! The Long Pig Company present for your delectation Real Human Flesh! We've taken cell samples from the tastiest people alive, and vat-grown synthetic copies of their flesh. Now you can tuck into a big plate of real person... without the CIC coming a-knocking on your door! Real Human Flesh. Only 25 credits a kilo.
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You're in Trouble...
You're about to walk into the biggest den of villains in the galaxy. You're short, you're podgy, and you've just snogged Mr. Big's mother. Are you scared? Hell, no... you've just bought a Krisk Arms Ultimate Cannon! The Ultimate Cannon is the last word in personal defense - own one, and you've got more firepower in your pocket than most primitive armies! Features include:
20mm Neuroaffector beam with Stun, Wound, Main and Terminate settings.
50mm Grenade Launcher with a huge variety of warheads.
Personal Shield mode that will resist anything up to a nuclear explosion.
The Ultimate Cannon... 2,000 creds, from KriskArms!
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Tyche Present... the Ultimate Running Shoe
You're tough... you want the best. The best is all we're prepared to offer you. The Tyche Ninja. Hypercompact plastics give you a 500% return on expended energy. The Tyche patent Pedidoc massages and cares for your feet corns and verucas as you jog your way to fitness. Designer styling means that you're the envy of the neighborhood; people will kill just to be your friend. No other shoe comes close. Only 350 credits. Tyche. Just buy them.
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Are You in Search of Lost childhood?
Are you looking in vain for that innocent joy which made life such a constantly rewarding experience? Is your quest made all the more poignant by the fact that you know it's impossible? Maybe we can help. We at Stapleton Brothers have a long pedigree in the invention and manufacture of mind-altering drugs. Now, for your delectation, we present... Elysium! Two capsules of Elysium will instantly return you to the cognitive state of a seven-year-old, allowing you to once again be a child for a few short hours. Ideal for pyjamas parties, trips to the zoo and practical jokes of all varieties. Elysium, from Stapleton Brothers. 35 credits a capsule.
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Objects of Antiquity Present
Real coal! Very few people will have ever seen this rare, almost mythical, substance. Now Objects of Antiquity are offering you the chance to own your very own piece of luxuriant, black coal. Our engineers have recently located a hitherto-undiscovered seam of finest-grade anthracite. We've carefully excavated this treasure lode, and our skilled craftsmen have fashioned a range of beautiful and stylish jeweler and luxury items. Prices start at 30,000 credits for a simple wedding right, going up to 17.5 million for the ultimate piece, the coal necklace. Gold is glitzy, Platinum is passe, but Coal is sheer class.
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Beverage Company in the Drink!
Business editor Mark Larx reports from Bex Lythia stocks are bound to increase in value, following an upset at the manufacturing plant of the soft drink Opi-Ola [motto: 'Opi-Ola, the religion of the masses!']. It seems that staff at the plant over-carbonated a batch of the galaxy's best loved beverage, causing a minor explosion. The plant is now uninhabitable due to the presence of Chlorine, Carbon Dioxide and other noxious substances. Lythia, a highly absorbent substance required for the manufacture of Atmo-processors, is at an absolute premium.
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Stop This Toxic Terror!
Jack Bliteworthy writes. Police on Hephaestus are cracking down on a Nerve Toxin manufacturing ring. Suspicious were aroused when a routine militia patrol encountered an unmarked Ogan-class transporter in a restricted airspace. Scanners revealed it to be loaded to the gunwhales with Leggatin A, a highly toxic substance favored by many terrorist organizations. The smuggler was fired upon and destroyed, but large quantities of Nerve Toxins are reported to be freely available on the Hephaestus black market.
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The Buttock's Biggest Bash!
Randy Yelp, socialite scribbler, writes. Well, I'm here at rock legends The Buttock Men's biggest party of all time, being held to celebrate lead singer Zak Skintight's 50th birthday. There's at least 75,000 people here in Zak's palatial mansion on Hermes, each choking down as much Bex Beer and Warp Steroids as they can get their hands on. As I write Zak is performing an impromptu number on the Nuclear Banjo while drinking a gallon jug of Beer through a straw up his nose. The question is, how long can it last? The party's been going on for two months already, and guests are clamoring out for more entertainment. What do you think, Zak? 'It's a bit of a larf, init'.
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Mustachioed Mayhem on Hades
Qarl Ferrik reports on hirsute horror. There were scenes of gunfire and chaos throughout the night on Hades yesterday, following the introduction of the highly controversial Moustache Tax. Groups such as Whisker Pride and the Razor Opposition League took to the barricades, protesting at the highly unfair tax which places a tax rate twice that of normal upon bewhiskered members of the populace. Over 7000 people have died in the orgy of destruction perpetrated by the bushy-lipped activists, and violence looks set to continue. Firearms prices are said to have risen considerably.
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Scourge of the Biting Vole!
A report by Yohan Gert. Inhabitants of the planet Bex have been living in fear for the last two weeks, thanks to an unprecedented infestation of the Hephaestan Biting Vole. Local boffins blame unusually humid weather for the outbreak, which has seen large packs of Voles wandering unchallenged through the streets. Possessing a nasty venomous bite, and an even more unpleasant disposition, these manic mammals have already hospitalized 12,300 law-abiding citizens. Planetary stocks of Blood are very low, and more is required urgently.
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Rain, Rain, Go Away!
An on-the-spot report by Simon Freak. I'm standing atop a hill on Bex, witnessing the most ferocious storms in the planet's history. It's been raining here for over two weeks now, and many of the planet's lower areas are completely flooded. Thousands have been made homeless, and prices for real estate on hills and mountains have tripled. Fresh water is, unsurprisingly, in abundance, and any trader willing to try and diminish the huge stockpile by shipping some off-planet would be made more than welcome.
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Pre-Flab Construction
Nik Silverworthy tries to write coherently through a drunken haze. I'm here on Anhur, host to the next year's Mr. Fatman competition, watching the specially designed stage being constructed. The gigantic reinforced structure, designed to take the train of over 4,000 corpulent competitors, is using hundreds of tonnes of Brikcrete, Plastene and Lumber. Construction employment is at an all time high, and the market for Industrial materials is excellent. Me, I can't wait till next year; looks like it's going to be a doozy.
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Call For Help Goes Out as Famine Strikes Janus IV
Report by Colin McClarty on Janus IV. Panic has struck Janus IV since last night, when Prefect Dristil confirmed a planet-wide famine to be in effect. Blaming excessive solar radiation leading to poor harvests, Dristil highlighted drastic shortages of Grain, Fertilite and Livestock. An interplanetary appeal for aid has gone out, and any independent traders who can assist have been promised generous compensation for their efforts.
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Help us! Plead the Inhabitants of Hades
Tony Countdown is on the scene. Disaster has struck on Hades. A contamination of the water supply, supposedly linked to Military testing, has given rise to immense shortages of all foodstuffs. Thousands have died already of hunger, and this figure could rise considerably if assistance is not forthcoming. Hades authorities have issued an all-system appeal to traders and aid agencies, urging increased food imports. 'I'm hungry and want to eat' was the reply we got from a hallow-eyed young waif we talked to in the street.
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CIS Publish Annual Report
CIS liaison Lars Mifsud reports. Yesterday I attended Sheila Nabokov's presentation of the CIS' annual performance review. The findings seemed quite favorable; reported incidents of pirate attack on cargo vessels were down by about 15% on last year, whereas successful CIS patrol intercepts had risen considerably, something Nabokov attributed to the new model Olura patrol craft. On the down side, instances of murder were up, as was black market activity, although more smugglers were apprehended last year than ever before. Nabokov's plans for the next year included expanding the CIS' base of operations by establishing more headquarters, and focusing on increased recruitment.
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Sinners Dinners
Restaurant critic B.B. Finn writes. Two days ago, I decided to take the blonde to the Sinners Inn, Hermes' most notorious eatery. Whilst it's not exactly the most salubrious surroundings in which I've taken sustenance, the staff are nevertheless sociable to a fault, though it is a pity the chef doesn't share this sentiment. I started with Joe's Fried Pie, a foodstuff that, if it didn't already exist, nobody would bother inventing. The blonde had Space Bug Gumbo, although this is perhaps inaccurate, as after one taste of this steaming dish she fled to the toilets. I complained, but the sole outcome was myself being pummeled soundly around the head and neck area, and waking up in the gutter. Ho hey.
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Congratulations...
Athane Runter reports. Are in order for Ser Vester Ilson of Krabbis, Hermes. He's just won the Isaac system annual lottery, netting an incredibly 789,000,000 credits, which instantly catapults him to the 5th richest man in the system. Former Invoice Clerk Ilson seemed to be taking the news calmly. 'It won't change me', he said yesterday, as he hugged to cast members from hit VidShow 'Starbabes'. Yeah, Vester, whatever.
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CIS Bulletin
Any travellers intending to bypass Hades are advised to be on the lookout for one Marvin 'Merciless' McSlaughter. Flying a customized Jendevi marker with Grim Reaper decals, he is wanted on 17 counts of Piracy, 15 of Murder 1, and three of indecent exposure. There is a bounty of 2,000 credits on his head, collectable upon presentation of photographic evidence of his craft's destruction at any CIS department.
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Chnauzer Runs for President
Political observer Muvin Belimice reports. Digby Chnauzer, governor of Sevid county on Janus, has declared that he will run for the presidency in the next year's election. Running with policies such as tighter immigration laws, increased police powers and the creation of a new 'serf' class to serve the planet's wealthy citizens. Early popularity polls have shown Chnauzer to have support from 65% of the electorate, though it will be interesting to see how these figures are affected once his policies come under closer scrutiny. Current president Cathryn Selim-Ffithings has said she is 'unworried' by the challenge.
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All-Stars Do it Again
Sports correspondent Doug Rostrum reports. The legendary Karatikus All-Stars Basketball team have once again clinched all four titles in the inter-system championships. This season they won every single match they played - not unreasonable, considering the average height of the team is 3.06 metres (their closest rivals, the Bexian Basketeers, have an average height of 2.56 metres). Captain Burt 'Shortarse' Beckley was once again a picture of modesty, attributing his team's success to the fact that it's the only one completely comprised of mutants, who are not only significantly taller than their opponents, but can also use their telepathic powers to work out what the other teams are going to do.
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Crappy Craft Crock Company
Transport correspondent Perry Patetik reports from Crius. Spacecraft manufacturing titan Despro has folded, following a series of massive insurance pay-outs. The blame for the disaster, which has rocked the whole industry, can be laid at the feet of one man: materials clerk Augustus Higgens. It was Higgins' job to procure Iridum, a powerful anti-corrosive substance used in the manufacture of hulls for space-going craft. Higgin's carelessness resulted in Gallium, by contrast a very easily corroded metal, being substituted in the manufacture of 20 Burro-class cargo ships. 18 of these craft have crashed or exploded, resulting in over 130 deaths. Despro's stocks of Iridum are being sold off cheaply to pay damages claims.
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Guns on the Run
Nick Brazen, investigative journo extraordinaire, reports. Anhur authorities expressed concern last night, following a large-scale robbery at the KriskArms weapons factory. Huge consignments of modern firearms were stolen, and CIS officials working on the case are closely monitoring merchant craft for contraband. No doubt criminals and activist groups across the system are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of getting their grubby mitts on some state-of-the-art military technology.
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Marriage Bliss for Happy Couple
An effervescent report by society correspondent Zara H. Ginger. Scenes of warmth and joy abound on the planet of Hades, where the marriage of Lady Ffyona Tweaks-Phraenum to notorious interplanetary arms dealer Thark Matcher is taking place. The groom looks gorgeous, winsomely posing in a gold lame twinset with matching garter, while the bride struts handsomely in the uniform of the 2nd Crian Fusiliers [check this - Ed]. Asked what was on her wedding list, the shy and blushing bride responded, 'Gems. Lots of Cerulean Gems. Bloody buckets of the things, ya, and jolly pronto or there'll be trouble'.
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Eggs-Ecution!
Anne Di. Bakker blathers on again. Armed strife has broken out on the planet of Karatikus between rival paleontological groups. Trouble started following the discovery of a 10,000 year old Crian Megalodon egg at the Ganti fossil dig. One group, lead by Professor Eric Maenad, declared the egg should be opened at the big end, whereas Dr. Aftas Wift's faction, the so-called 'Little-endians', argued the opposite. Fierce debate ending in members of both parties shooting at each other, and the Ganti dig has been declared a no-go zone by local authorities. There is reputedly a shortage of Firearms on the Black Market as a result.
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Teams Count Cost of Deathball Season
Sports correspondent Chip Senpisces reports from Crius. Well, sports fans, it's the end of another Deathball season, with the Bartville Blood-drinkers emerging victorious after a long, hard season. This glorious sport, the only game to penalize players for NOT employing gratuitous violence, will now be off our screens for six months, allowing teams to rehabilitate their stock of players with the necessary Cybernetic Limbs. For me, the highlight of the season was the Treyk Maulers - Barzon Baby-eaters game last month, which saw the first documented use of tactical nuclear weapons; it's a pity none of the players were around to pick up their survivor's medals. Or the officials. Or, indeed, the crowd. What a sport!
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Floods, Suds and Mud
Zachari Monty reports. Climactic changes have wrought havoc on Crius, as ice caps have melted following global warming. 65% of the planet's landmass has been bathed in warm water, and the problem has been compounded by the deluge over-running the Gleamco detergent factory, resulting in the largest bubble bath the galaxy has ever seen. Young children are said to be particularly upset with the state of affairs. Purification planets are working triple shifts in an attempt to avert ecological disaster, and a huge surplus of Fresh Water has resulted, good news for any traders in the stuff.
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Zak Brings the House Down!
Starsky Blackstone mixes with the stars. Work started today on the reconstruction of Cephalalgia stadium on Hermes, which partially collapsed while playing host to Rock hyperstar Zak Skintight and his band, The Buttock Men. Trouble started when the band ripped into their smash hit 'Jump [and I'll show you my Y-fronts]!'. The crowd promptly started bouncing around like loons, desperate for the sight of Zak's studded leather underwear, when A, B and E stands suddenly collapsed, crushing around 250 fans to death. Contractors have offered excellent prices for industrial materials necessary for repairs. We asked Zak for his comment, to which he replied 'It's a bit of a larf, innit'.
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Super Grub Ravages Food Supplies on Bex
Vicky Benhur reports from Bex. A mutant strain of grub has infested most of Bex's food stores, leading to the contamination of almost all Synthi Meat and Grain. Scientists are battling to come up with a solution to the problem, although the grub has proved resistant to all known pesticides. Meanwhile, the population is almost entirely dependent on imports. Prices are said to have inflated considerably.
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Militant Mutants Manufacture Misery for Karatikus
An on-the-spot report by Steve Unis. Militant activists, possibly linked to the League Exacting Mutant Recognition [L.E.M.U.R.], have inflicted wide-scale misery on the inhabitants of Karatikus. A series of co-ordinated acts of sabotage on food depositories has led to the destruction and poisoning of all foodstuffs. 382 cases of poisoning had been reported by yesterday, and thousands more have chosen to go hungry rather than risk a painful death. All Merchants with food to sell are being offered top prices to bring their goods to the planet, where armed guards will ensure safe distribution.
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KriskArms Buys Out ExTex
Military analyst Jervis Frintner reports. KriskArms spokesman Norman Marasares yesterday confirmed that the weapons manufacturing giant had completed their 23 million credit take-over of ExTex Inc., manufacturers of specialist explosives such as duodecaplatylonate. Marsares spoke very favorably of the deal saying 'This is the boost KriskArms has been looking for; we've been wanting to make a greater impact on the missile and mine market for some time. With ExTex on side, we'll be able to offer cheaper and better technology to both the military establishment and independent users.'
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Boardgame LXXVII Happens
Enthusiast Simon Cagoule reports. This year's Boardgame Super-Roll LXVII saw a level of competition and expertise that exceeded all previous expectations. Chief attraction was the much-hyped 'Genocide' showdown between Field Marshalls Alan Weeton and Marcus Peabody, a clash of the titans that saw Peabody gain a Pyrrhic victory through extensive use of Biological weapon counters. Also notable was the 'Munchin' Mutants' grand championship, the 'Contorter' free-for-all, and GM Kris Molson's specially created 'Dungeons of Ultimate Peril and Suffering' scenario, which afforded many a fan good sport. All in all, a fine day's gaming, and one which promised much for next year.
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Serra Magda Lyssom, Your Number's Up
Odrong Nendyk reports. All eight of them in fact! Because you guest all eight numbers correctly in the Ser Cashalot lottery! Giving you access to an estimated prize fund of 12,750,000 credits! Just go into any Ser Cashalot outlet with your winning ticket and you'll be given instructions on how to claim your prize! Well done!
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CIS Bulletin
The CIS are pleased to announce the successful fruition of Operation 'Hornet's Nest', aimed at clearing out the notorious pirate den near Hermes. 50 agents participated in the raid, which saw CIS Olura Interceptors destroy over 30 pirate craft and impound 17 more. CIS Assault Squads then stormed the refueling base and captured 103 wanted criminals; they are occupying the base pending the arrival of demolition experts. A continuous patrol is to be maintained in the area to prevent the base being re-established.
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Defense Secretary Resigns After Sex Shocker
Scandal-digger Tania Gell reports. Selton Tubsworth, Defense Secretary for Hades, revealed that he would be standing down from his position in a press conference this morning. His resignation comes two days after a former love revealed his outlandish sexual proclivities, which include penchants for fluffy rodents, rubber tubing, baths of strawberry jelly and a small bucket of molten wax. Tubsworth said he was retiring to spend more time with his menagerie.
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Bad Blood at Friendly Match
Burford Gumba writes. There are troubled reports from the annual CIS/Hades 'No hard feelings' Socker match. Grudges were in evidence right from the outset, when convicted murderer 'Corkscrew' Jones kicked Special Agent Feltham firmly in the groin. As Feltham was stretchered off, Jones was shown the red card for ungentlemanly play, and has an extra three years added to his sentence for sharpening his boots with studs. The incident sparked off a mass brawl, with a further 7 CIS agents hospitalized with various injuries, while 3 convicts were shot and killed as they administered a savage beating to the referee. It is unsure whether next year's fixture will go ahead.
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A Chance to Coin It In!
A report by Col Digger, editor of Entrepreneur magazine. A big hello to all my entrepreneurial acquaintances out there. Top tip for this month involves the Hephaestus Planetary Mint. My contacts report that a new edition of Platinum Standards, coins much in demand by collectors, is being planned. Now, I know for a fact that this process calls for two materials; Platinum, obviously, for the bulk of the coin, but Rhodium is also required to make the hardened Platinum alloy required for coins. My advice to any merchant with an eye for the main chance: fill your holds with alloys and get there pronto.
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Carts of Parts Hit the Marts
Medical correspondent Cate Yensen reports from Hermes. Local police are warning traders not to take advantage of the sudden surge in the availability of Human Organs, and are posting extra patrols around the planet to try and limit any possible traffic. The Organs were stolen from the Senneville Medical Centre's No. 2 Crynogenics facility, and many are suspected to contain potentially lethal infections. You have been warned.
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Happy Camper
Alternative society correspondent Julienne reports from Karatikus. I'm here at the bash of the century, darlings, a simply huge drag party in honor of pop sensation Beltin' Jan. You wouldn't believe the naughty japes we've been up to, all these beautiful boys and girls wearing some just divine frocks, it makes me moist just at the thought of it. We're gonna party, party, party all night long, and yah boo sucks to any party pooper who says we're not. Oh, and a message to all you hunky space truckers out there: we're just gagging for Fluffy Rodents and Warp Steroids, darlings, so pop by and get down. Smootches to you all.
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Now That's What I Call Death Metal
Says our music correspondent, Jose Qire. Scenes of chaos abound at the Tinnitus Stadium, host to the last performance of The Buttock Men's Rock Icon tour of Bex. Over 350,000 eager fans descended on the stadium in the hope of getting tickets; only 120,000 were successful, and the lucky ticket-holders were immediately set upon by desperate fans. What started as an undignified scuffle has degenerated into a full-blown armed conflict, and planetary stocks of Firearms are low. The band have been trapped in the stadium for two weeks, though I managed to interview lead singer Zak Skintight while he sat in his dressing room, sipping a pint of Bexian Brandy. When asked what he thought of the conflict, he replied 'It's a bit of a larf, innit'. Way to go, Zak.
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Tip-Top Eclipse Tips Mix-up
Unfortunately, poetry correspondent Toni Cowey reports, as he was the only one there. Alas! 'This a day of woe for the sorry folk of Hephaestus. Suffering has cast it's shady hand upon the brow of many, while foul misunderstanding has bereft the common man of sight. The cause? The cause? Bewail the man, bewail the foe, whose fellows he has blighted so. It was the day of the eclipse, an event on men and women's lips, when foul Misfortune did conspire, the TV computers to miswire. And thus, instead of smoked glass, the ordered did now come to pass, that Magnifiers should be used, an act which retinas abused. Now men are blind and cannot see, and Optic Nerves are of rarity. I thank you.
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Damn That Dam!
Lara J. Righteous pulls no punches. Architect Zimzam Edific was in hiding last night, following the collapse of his much-vaunted Pistak dam on Hephaestus yesterday morning. Edific, notorious for his use of unconventional building materials, had decided to use Naval issue hard-tack biscuit for the project, claiming 'I've been in the Navy, mate, and that stuff's bloody indestructible'. Alas, he was proved very wrong, and approximately 15 million cubic units of water has flooded the Pistak valley, killing 2,500 innocent citizens, and rendering thousands more homeless. Any trader willing to ship some Fresh Water off-planet can expect a warm reception.
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A New Home for Hom
Our religious affairs correspondent Mark Gibbon reports from Bex. Construction of a new Chapel and Brewery complex for the Avuncular Order of Hom commenced yesterday. The project is being undertaken partially as a result of an increase in followers, and partially because of the huge popularity of Bex Beer, the main product of the dipsomaniacal devotees. Huge amounts of Titan Alloys and Lumber are required..... prices are suitably high.
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Attack of the Bexian MegaLocust!
An over-excited account by Jefrey Littlechair. I'm standing on the plains of Crius, witnessing Armageddon as a huge swarm of ferocious Bexian MegaLocusts continue their insatiable quest to eat anything that stands in their path! These feral 8' creatures are completely unstoppable, and have utterly destroyed all stocks of Grain and Fertilite, as well as consuming small house pets and the occasional young child! Are we all to be doomed? Is this the end of civilization as we know it? Hang on, I've got a message coming in... apparently the curse has been alleviated by the Militia 3rd reserve battalion, thanks to the assistance of some extra-strength fly paper. This is Jefrey Littlehair, saying goodnight from Crius.
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Corpulent Competition Causes Chaos
Our correspondent, Adrian Spam, gives you the lowdown. This year's Mr. Fatman competition has caused mayhem on the planet of Crius. A record number of competitors managed to eat their way through almost all of the planet's food supplies, leading to widespread famine. Unfortunately, food supplies ran out before the competition finished, so last year's winner, 'Hollow Legs' McGinty, retains the crown. We asked him for a comment, but he just belched in our reporter's face.
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Yummiechow Announce Third Quarter Losses
Industry analyst Derwin Bedloe reports. Food manufacturers Yummichow Inc. yesterday revealed record losses for the third fiscal quarter. Chairman Alson Olver blamed the shortfall on the failure of the company's much-vaunted Munchums in the marketplace, as well as the disastrous Janus Incident, in which a convoy of three of the company's Monoloth transporters was hijacked by pirates, resulting in large quantities of Yummichow products being sold cheaply on the black market. Olver made a pledge to shareholders that a new and exciting product line-up for the fourth quarter would lift the company out of the doldrums.
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Blakk is Nack
Art critic Tristram Ponsonby comments. After a year's self-imposed solitude, artist Orestin Blakk has emerged to stage his new work of dramatic art. Called 'Why oh why oh why', it is described as 'aleatory performance theatre incorporating strongly paganistic and spiritual themes'. Blakk opens with the poignant spectacle of a lone, spot lit, screaming child, a motif so powerful I wept freely into my Neo-silk handkerchief. He then continues with a series of disparate yet strangely synergetic images that strongly reinforce, and yet challenge, the premise of the title, leaving one with a curious sensation of faux-savant reassurance that persists for several minutes after leaving the auditorium.
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It's Mountain O'Cash month!
Weltham Kelty reports from Janus IV. Yes, folks, it's the time you've all been waiting for! Absolutely no-one managed to get all twenty numbers in the Make It Big! Prize Draw for the sixth month running, so the entire prize fund of 7,900,000,000 goes into the Mountain O'Cas, which is won by the entrant with the closest entry! This hasn't happened since Baskle Frintmen won 4 billion credits with a measly 13 numbers ten years ago! And Baskle's here with me on Janus IV, in front of his luxurious pleasure palace 'Lucky Ticket'. Will you be entering the draw, Baskle? 'Damn right. You got any idea what the price of real estate is on this place?'
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FLASH WARNING... FLASH WARNING...
This is a CIS official edict. All travellers are being strongly advised to avoid the Tanmu settlement on Karatikus, where a full-scale riot is currently in progress. A 200km exclusion zone has been established around the area, and any persons attempting ingress will be considered a sympathizer and dealt with accordingly.
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Peace Minister Faces Jail.
Political analyst Jerwyn Gooson reports. Anhur senate member Allan Poltroon, who ran for election on a hugely-successful 'let's just be nice to one another' campaign, was arrested this morning by CIS agents in connection with an arms-smuggling ring. Poltroon seems heavily implicated in a cartel which supplied several pirate bands with modern weaponry in return for a percentage of the marauders' loot. The CIS became suspicious when they noticed Poltroon was named as a director of weapons giant KriskArms, despite his overtly pacifistic stance. If convicted Poltroon could face up to 30 years imprisonment.
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Rugby Final Marred by Faulty Player
Jenkin Foster reports. This year's All-System Rugby Challenge Cup final between Crius Wanderers and Janus Old Boys was postponed for the first time in the Cup's 300-year history. Trouble started when the ball went down for the first scrum, when the pack collapsed on top of the Wanderers Prop Forward Derwin Hengstrom. Hengstrom, notorious for being the game's most cybernetic player, with only 18% of his original body remaining, promptly went haywire. He tore both arms off Old Boys captain Crispin Lickton-Fudley, and used them to beat the scrum-half to death, before he was switched off. The fixture will be resumed as soon as Lickton-Fudley has undergone restorative surgery.
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Good Prospects For Anhur
Financial analyst Nelson Stoneman writes. There's cause to celebrate on the planet of Anhur, where a team of government prospectors has discovered what seem to be the largest reserves of Platinum in the system. Such is the demand for Platinum to supply both the jewellery and micro circuitry industry that this find is bound to significantly boost the planetary economy. Resources secretary Kjartan Bollason revealed yesterday that Platinum prices were to drop greatly, undercutting other planet's prices by a large margin. 'I'm so happy I think I'm going to wash', yelped a crusty miner yesterday.
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To His Toy Mistress...
Somehow, poetry correspondent Toni Cowey got to report on this incident.
Behold, for Pleasure Borgs are free.
A-wandering round the galaxy.
Who set them loose I cannot say.
It happened on Hades one day.
These sexy droids are now for sale.
And moral people loud do weal.
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Beer, Beer, We Want More Beer
Ale correspondent Nigel Firkin lets rip. Well, it's good clean fun aplenty down here at the Real Beer festival on Bex. Enthusiasts for all three systems are here, tankards hanging from their belts. A number of new brews are on show, with those drunken deacons of the Blessed Brew revealing a whole new range of toothsome ales. Uncle Kashumai's Bowel Loosener is proving a firm favorite, as in Dr. Ploppy's Black Death. Me, I favor Outhouse Armageddon as the pint par excellence, something the state of my underwear goes to show. Supplies are running very low, however, and if new supplies of Bex Beer aren't forthcoming, there's going to be a few angry drunks around.
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Soldiers Get the Needle
Ben O'Leigh tells it like how it is. Military reserves on the planet of Crius have revolted, giving rise to a week-long armed rebellion. Trouble started when it was reported that Fat Larry's Laser Tattoo Parlous, situated just outside the barracks, was being forced to close following scenes of drunken debauchery and errant bodily mutilation. This incensed the soldiers to the extent that they besieged the local council offices, demanding that Fat Larry should be re-enfranchised. Counsel workers replied with gunfire, giving rise to a three day shooting frenzy. No conclusion seems imminent and an increased Black Market demand for Firearms has been reported.
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Now That's GOTTA Hurt!
Dangerous Sports correspondent Hugh Pain writes. Well hello, death defiers everywhere. I'm on Anhur, reporting from the Pygohert gravel pit on the latest nerve-tingling event to hit the Cosmos. It's name? Gravel Rash. Basically, it involves the competitor removing his lower garments, leaving his nether regions 'as God intended', and then sliding down courses composed of scree and loose stones as fast as possible. Courses range from beginner (shallow gradient, limestone) to black (1:2) gradient, granite chips mixed with broken glass). As you can imagine, Synthi Skin is in hot demand, most especially by reigning champion Arfa 'Soprano' Bellgon.
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Would You Like Ice in That?
Story by Conrad Feef. Emergency services on Hermes were working around the clock yesterday following the impact of a huge ice asteroid. Approximately 35,000 were killed in the incident, which has created a large freshwater lake on the site where the town of Gelid used to stand. On the plus side, the planet's bars have declared a 3 month happy hour in an attempt to utilize the huge surplus of ice-cubs. Any trader with an interest in Fresh Water will find prices to below.
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Kick up the Ass!
Arts correspondent Nik Nak Noo writes from Crius. Avant-garde artist Drestin Blakk embarked yesterday on his most ambitious project to date - the construction of a 300 kilometer long 'space donkey'. The project, which will have no practical use whatsoever, save to greet visitors to Crius with the sight of a large equine, is being financed entirely by the Artist's Support Society, who are calling for vast imports of Industrial products to furnish Blakk with necessary raw materials. Drestin had this to say about the project: 'Basically, uh, it's, like, a tangible projection of the diametric paradox of life in space, and a metonymic representation of the quintessence of transport, you know?'. Precisely.
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Cannibal Horror as Hundreds Starve on Hephaestus
Yosser Wilkins is on the scene. Hephaestus Militia patrols the streets following incidents of murder and cannibalism after crop failure causes extensive food shortages. 2,093 citizens have been reported missing, and several have been arrested following BinBots reporting human remains being deposited in them. Food imports are urgently requested to try and stem the planet's descent into chaos. 'I just had to eat, man' one wild-eyed loon told us as he was dragged off by the police.
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Star Arrested in Food Fight Frenzy
Zeus Padanga reports from Hades. Zak Skintight, lead singer of hit pongo band The Buttock Men, was in prison on Hades last night, facing charges of affray, disorderly conduct and mass murder. Apparently, during his last concert, broadcast planet-wide, Zak shouted 'food fight!', leading to riots and food wastage on an unprecedented scale. Gross shortages of all foodstuffs have resulted, and many have started as a result. When asked for comment, Zak winked and said 'it's a bit of an arf, innit?. Keep on rocking, Zak.
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Tour Company Loses Compensation Battle
Legal correspondent Alvus Quint. Errata Tours, who offer a number of tours around the three systems, were brought close to bankruptcy yesterday when the Court of Commerce decreed that they must pay compensation to the families of victims of the Excelsior tragedy. 500 people died in the incident, when the unescorted liner Excelsior was destroyed by pirates, and Errata must pay out 50 million credits, which is to be shared amongst the bereaved families.
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Candid's Camera
Film critic Shame Tone reports. Last night I was treated to a preview of Filbert Candid's latest addition to his 'Kino-Neu' oevre, and a spectacular piece of Vid-u-lite it is too. Called 'One morning I noticed blue stuff was lodged in my abdominal orifice', it strongly challenges all our precepts of the Vidflik's modus operandi. For a start, it commences with the end credits rolling in reverse down the screen, so that we are privy to the identity of the Grips, Best Persons and Loafers before we know who the stars are, an exception that is dashed when we discover that these people are the stars of the piece. I was so overcome with admiration I swooned, and intend to complete my viewing this evening.
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Yummiechow Competition Winners
Yummiechow representative Bill Tongita writes. A big hello to Yummiechow fans everywhere. You'll remember we asked you to come up with a slogan for our new product, Munchums. The wining entry came from Serra Mellian Bessly from Anhur, who wrote 'Crunch 'em, Scrunch 'em, Lunch on Munchums'. Well done, Serra. You win a years supply of Munchums for your efforts. Ten luckily runners-up win a Yummiechow G-vest and a significant-unit size pack of Munchums. They are: Ser Valstov Becklin, Serrina Binky Tootles, Ser Sar Ricaud, Serra Lastra Golsin, Ser Gelt Boswell, Ser Fark Surname not known, Ser Davin Fostrum, Serra Lavinia Soxder, Serra Weslie Poggins and Ser Bolso Yimminet.
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CIS Bulletin
Hermes CIS are looking for anyone who can offer information concerning the whereabouts of one Neil 'Chipolata' Cook, who is chief suspect in the Deeson Prose murder. He is also implicated in the rape of Aldi Bestwork, and the grotesque torture of Hizza Sistant, who has undergone incredible suffering at the hands of this brutish invidiously. He is a balding individual of medium height, distinguished by his grating laugh and simian features. One witness has described him as 'resembling a baboon'.
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Party Chairman Loses out in Reshuffle
Yurt Nemble writes. The long-predicted reshuffle among Hermes' ruling Global Socialist party was reported to have taken place early this morning. The Ministry of Sport and Leisure goes to Lucan Vasage, previously Minister for Defense. Global Drainage Secretary Lemsly Gopno gets an unexpected promotion to Party Chairman, a position vacated by Wilbert Strumford, who, unsurprisingly following his disastrous 'Wart Tax' plans, has been made teaboy.
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Don't Keep Your Eye on the Ball!
Medical correspondent Johan Tomst reports. Medical staff on Karatikus are distraught, thanks to a new sports craze. Known as 'Dart Tennis', the rules are complex, but boil down to the fact that being hit by a sharp, spiky object at high velocity is somewhat unpleasant. Only two deaths have resulted from the planet-wide phenomenon, but the increase in instances of minor surgery has been massive. Most worrying is the huge number of eye operations required, a result of the controversial new 'heading' rule. Optic Nerve stocks are extremely low, and more supplies are urgently required.
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Light Makes Many Hands Work
Industry editor Gill Bates reports. A spokesman for weapons manufacturers KriskArms told yesterday of a mishap at the company's plant on Hermes. Trouble started while technicians were testing KriskArms new Novaflow II laser, a state-of-the-art shipboard weapon. Unfortunately, the laser proved too powerful for the test-area, and a large portion of the factory was vaporized. The biggest loss was the company's entire stock of Cesium, an incredibly electro-positive substance essential for the manufacture of light-energy weapons. The whole workforce is working double-shifts to repair the damage.
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I'm Just Going to Implant my Brain!
A savage indictment by Sarah Blurp. CIS officials on Karatikus were distraught last night as they prepared for the beginning of the annual VidVert conference, an event which attracts thousands of Vid-stars, AdvertXecs and other scum to the unfortunate host planet. Chief among the worries is the huge increase in the Brain Implant trade that notoriously accompanies the event. Extra patrols are being posted all around the planet's atmosphere, in an attempt to restrict the huge influx of smugglers that will undoubtedly be arriving. Lets just hope that some of those arrogant Vid-types get their comeuppance as well, eh?
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Techno Prisoners!
Dave Cool is on the scene. Respect to Hard? Cor!, techno wizards extraordinaire, for organizing this king-size love fest on the planet of Janus IV. The scene is kickin' up here, with all the beautiful people in attendance, going for it like never before. Frontman Wok-eyes is banging it out on the mic, raising a real special feeling here. We're vibed, man, and it's only getting better; this one's special, so if you're in the area, get on down and get them dancing trousers working. There's Warp Steroids for sale all over the shop, but the way this one's shaping up, we're gonna need more and how! Peace and love, Universe crew.
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War and Peace
Nilrom Bach writes. Armed conflict has broken out on the planet of Hephaestus between rival pacifist groups. Trouble started when Reverend Jane Parsley's League Against Battles Involving Aggression staged a 'March for Peace' past the headquarters of Harriet Mydinna's Sisters Against Death. SAD members came out and jeered at their rivals, casting insults such as 'Your legs aren't very hairy' and 'Call yourself a vega? I saw you eating cheese made with rennet'. Slaps and pinches were exchanged, and it wasn't long before someone pulled a gun. Both groups are now locked in fierce battle, and have used up most of the Firearms supplies on planet.
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Faulty Fork Fiasco
Lifestyle expert Lynne Caring reports on location from Hermes. Mums and Dads, be warned of the presence of a potential death-trap in your home. If you've bought a Kiddi-Chow Auto-Fork in the last two months, check the serial number. Any models with a number beginning 5Y3 belong to a faulty batch the Kiddi-Chow factory Quality Checkers failed to spot. If you do own one of these machines, be careful not to use the 'Quick Lunch' setting, as this will send the machine into a fork-whirling frenzy; several hundred small children have already suffered horrendous injuries as a result. Hospitals are issuing emergency Medi Kits to worried patients, but supplies are low, so you may have to wait for new shipments.
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Trillionaire Blamed for Flood Deaths
An exclusive report by Elspeth Caldwell on Karatikus. The palace of interplanetary playboy Richass Creesus was besieged by an angry mob yesterday, following an accident at the site Creesus' 'A sea of my own' project. Creesus, whose intention was to build 'the largest swimming pool in the history of the system', had no comment to make. The collapse of the artificial sea is attributed to the use of low-grade Brikcrete at the deep end. A large portion of the continental landmass is now underwater, and thousands have died in the incident. Fresh water is readily available at cheap prices.
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You Wooden't Believe it
Says Lefty Opus. Zimzam Edific, unconventional architect extraordinaire, has done it again; his latest project, building a wildlife conservation park on the planet of Hephaestus has gone drastically wrong. Zimzam wished to accurately recreate the natural conditions in which the creatures live, and so decided to work entirely with wood. As a result, a vast area of the planet has suffered from deforestation, causing widespread death among the exact species the park was intended to preserve. Imports of lumber are urgently needed to try and limit Zimzam's depredations.
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Zebu Herds Feel the Bite
Agricultural editor Varma Jyles reports. Dairy farmers on the planet of Anhur have been heavily stricken. Unseasonably wet weather has provided the perfect breeding conditions for the Frillic Exploding Mite. Large swarms of these unpleasant creatures have over-run the grazing pastures of the Tyrellian Zebu, the planet's chief form of Livestock. The female vermin, already fertilized, burrow into the bodies of the Zebu, waiting for their gestation period to end. When it does, the bugs explode with great force, freezing their offspring. The force of the explosion is usually sufficient to kill the host being outright; fortunately, the Mites do not infest humans, but Zebu stocks have been decimated.
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Hacker Hunger Horror on Hermes
By Jim Polo, our Hermes correspondent. An evil computer genius has brought suffering to millions through his deviant ways. The cunning coder hacked into the source files for all food processing plants and drones, causing the preparation of all foodstuffs to be suspended in favor of the manufacture of outsize custard pies. Chaos has ensued as hungry citizens keep on getting hit in the face by pies when they ask for food at service points. Police are searching for a man with size eighteen feet and a red nose who goes under the pseudonym of 'Bonzo'. Food imports are greatly desired, although prices for dairy based dessert products have dropped considerably.
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Hard?Cor! Sign for Startled
Music hack Terry Young reports. Titans of techno Hard?Cor! signed up for the big-time yesterday, when they clinched a three-album deal with Startled Productions, the label owned by music legend Zak Skintight. Frontman Wok-eyes seemed unperturbed by the news, saying 'Yeah, it's alright I suppose. Zak's a nice bloke, and we'll get to go to some really good parties. Can I go now?'
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Maiden Oeuvre
Qualified writer Warkin Perbeck wishes he could get a proper job. This month I've been asked to review Maiden Interactive's new game 'The Icarus Meeting'. It boasts the latest Virtua-Stim technology, which means that you can't play it unless you have a NeuroStim set-up, and features well-known stars such as babe-from-Janus Lea Ferarri. However, all this window-dressing cannot hide the fact that this is a poorly made and shoddily presented piece of commercial tat masquerading as entertainment, on its own a claim which the producers should be tortured for making. If you dare buy this over-priced excrement, it will merely confirm that you are the kind of mindless, gullible cretin I always suspected you were.
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You Can Win Prizes!
When you buy KriskArms weapons and munitions. Yes! We're giving away loads of stuff in our 'I'd kill for a million' prize draw. All you have to do is buy one of our weapons systems from any of the nine authorized dealers. When you register your purchase on the ident screen, you'll be automatically entered in our prize draw, where you can win one of these great prizes: A special edition Flux Beam Mark II, a brand-new Moray class scout ship, 50 Python missiles or the star prize of ONE MILLION CREDS!
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CIS Bulletin
Today is the birthday of CIS director Shiela Nabokov. Although she won't reveal her exact age, all of us at the CIS Bulletin service would like to wish Shiela a very happy birthday, and offer her the best wishes of her colleagues everywhere. Keep on knockin' 'em dow, Shiela.
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Statistics Debate Rages On
A report by Krispin Barosso. The debate between Crius Entertainment Secretary Noel Dibley and 'Sacred Life' campaigner Mary Brazeel rages on. Brazeel is pushing hard for the banning of Deathball, the system's favorite sport, saying it is sacrilegious and immoral; a poll she has conducted amongst members of her parish shows that 97% of them find the sport offensive and wrong. Dibley has consistently countered by saying over 900 million people regularly watch the game, which generates in excess of 300 billion credits per annum, and if people are going to volunteer to kill or be killed by other people in the name of entertainment then he isn't going to stop them.
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Gravel Rash Denied Official Status
Report by Gert Tegray. Gravel Rash enthusiasts were disappointed after their application to have the sport given official accreditation for next years System Games was rejected. The sport, which involves the competitor surfing down slopes made of gravel and other abrasive substances on bare buttocks, was considered 'unsuitable' for mass audiences. Reigning champion Arfa 'Soprano' Bellgon said 'I'm very upset by the decision. I've dedicated a lot of time, both in hospital and on the slopes, to perfecting my skills, and to have my abilities dismissed so lightly is a slap in the face'. Gravel Rash supervisors are considering an appear, based on Levels of Permitted Nakedness laws.
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Rash Crash Causes Splash at Flash Bash Lash-up
Hack from hell Eno Barbus gives a report from the sharp end. Great reports from Rock emperor Zak Skintight's 'Piss-up in a Brewery' party at the Braufhrer ale plant on the planet of Karatikus. The result of a rash comment by a disillusioned groupie, it really has to be one of Zak's best bashes to date. One event slightly marred the celebrations, when Zak gave me an impromptu high-speed tour of the plant in his brand new Thrashmobile 5000. The 200kmh jaunt came to somewhat premature conclusion when Zak piled the 80,000 cred roadster into the brewery's main storage tank. The whole plant is now thoroughly flooded, and Lythia, a substance which absorbs water and carbon dioxide, is much in demand.
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CIS bring Gamberettis to Justice
Crime reporter Hal C. Andays writes from Janus IV. CIS operatives made a grand coup last night, when a three month operation came to fruition. Agents had been observing members of the Gamberetti clan, a notorious criminal family rumored to have links with the Kindred, after being tipped off that a large-scale armed robbery was being planned. 27 Gamberetti members were caught at a safe house, in possession of a large quantity of Firearms, and the CIS are confident of gaining convictions for the majority of the offenders. The Gamberettis are now suspected to be extremely short of weapons, and police are on the alert for incoming shipments of Firearms.
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Georgie's Gorgeous Orgy
Sybaris de Licious writes from Crius. A big hello from love central to all my bliss buddies. Things are just peachy here at Passion Mansion, where playboy George Gretner is hosting absolutely the biggest bang of all time! Oiled hunks and bouncing beauties are just everywhere, and the atmosphere is steamier than an iceberg in a volcano. Well, if it isn't the Strippendales, red-blodded sacs of testosterone to a man. Mmm-mmm. I'm gonna need a hand to take these hunks on...and all the Pleasure Borgs seem to be in use. Hey there, all you lonely cargo jockeys, if any of you can help me out, why not drop in for a spot of something...sensual.
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Adipose Aggro on Anhur
Stacey Urklow reports from a nearby bar. Chaos has erupted on Anhur during the qualifying heats for next year's Mr. Fatman competition. The heats had progressed to the final elimination round, which calls for ten 50kg pork pies and a tonne of lard, when an armed deputation from the local Girthwatchers group arrived, demanding the competition should cease. The leading competitor, Gutmeister Larsen, responded by lifting up his t-shirt and wobbling his belly at the incensed fitness fascists. This provocation was met with a hail of gunfire, in which many dedicated competitors were killed and wounded, though they retaliated by sitting on some of their assailants. The conflict continues, and Firearms are much in demand.
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Citizens Left Without a Foot to Stand on!
Shock horror specialist Limph Grue writes. Inhabitants of Hades are living in fear of a mysterious and bloodthirsty new cult. Known as the Guardians of the Sacred Knee or Bharg, their prime devotional function is to have their left leg amputated in order to emulate their supposed Messiah, Bharg. All well and good, you might think, but unfortunately it is written in the Holy Scriptures of Bharg that the time of judgement is almost upon us, and only the one-legged will gain admittance to Paradise. The Guardians have thus taken it upon themselves to relieve as many citizens as possible of their 'impure' left legs. The situation now seems under control, but Cybernetic Limbs are now at a premium.
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Environmental Science Goes Splosh!
Says Eira Reeves, the voice of sanity. Janus IV authorities have imprisoned six environmental research scientists for criminal negligence. The scientists, who were working on a controversial 'cloud-seeding' project for the artificial stimulation of rain, ran a torrential rain experiment to explore the higher limits of their equipment. It has now been raining on Janus IV for over two months many low level parts of the planet have been flooded, and thousands of credits worth of damage have been caused. Fresh Water prices have reached an all-time low.
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Volca-Not!
Freddy Parkinson reports from Anhur. Anhur engineering firm Phew-merole has unveiled plans to cap the active volcano Ganitale, which borders the Stracyinn settlement. The project calls for a large Brikcrete plug to be inserted at the heart of the volcano by engineers wearing protective clothing. At present, the project is being delayed by low stocks of both Brikcrete and Enviro Suits, and work will commence once sufficient of both is available.
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A Recipe for Disaster
Lenny J. Kelly feels quite pleased with himself for thinking up such a good headline. Well, it's bad news if you live on Hermes. It seems that the Food Ministry's mainframe went somewhat wet in a recent electrical storm; most files were retrieved, but the program running the Synthi Meat manufacturing plants got rather scrambled. All sorts of strange ingredients have been going into Synthi Meat production - small mammals, gravel and no. 3 lubrication oil, to name a few - and the end product has been thoroughly inedible to say the least: 340 Quality Assurance testers are hospitalized with cronic indigestion. A further 57 weren't quite so lucky, and died horrible agonizing deaths. Synthi Meat imports are urgently required.
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Diarrhea Fear Strikes on Janus IV
Ian Stroke reports on toilet trauma. A virulent virus has coursed through the entire population of Janus IV, causing widespread indigestion and stool looseness. The bug has been traced to contaminated stocks of food stuffs and water, all of which have been destroyed in an attempt to bring the outburst under control. Fresh supplied are urgently needed. Addressing the senate yesterday, Consul Scatalus claimed that 'Soon all this will be behind us'.
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Bratjoy Recall Product Line
Industry watchdog Lynn Caring reports. Children's toy manufacturer Bratjoy Ltd. are warning customers of a potential death-trap they may have bought for their children. The whole Choochi-Poppet range of stuffed toys are being recalled, after tests revealed that the substance the dolls are made of, hexaplatylonate, becomes highly explosive if introduced to the presence of banana-flavoured yoghurt drink. One accident has already happened, when a habi-cube on the planet Anhur mysteriously exploded. CIS investigators probing the wreckage found tattered pieces of Choochi-Poppet packaging, the discovery which sparked the product tests. The CIS are considering legal proceedings.
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Circus Circus!
Hal Indigo reports. Roll up! Roll up! The circus is coming to town! The Bex Planetary Circus has just announced it is to tour all three systems, making appearances on all eight planets (yes...even the delinquents on Hades will get to enjoy all the fun of the fair). Gasp! at Aaron Float and His Anti-G Angels! Thrill! to the exploits of Trengel's Tiger Troupe! Wet yourself! at the exploits of Larry Trousers and his Comical Clowns! Check local bulletins for tour dates.
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Every Winner Loses!
A startling report by Derwin Limpers. I bet you're envious of all these lottery winners, aren't you, with their outsize comedy cred-slips, pad on Janus IV and flashy spaceships? Well, it seems that your envy might be a little misplaced, if the latest CIS research is to be believed. According to the report, Lottery winners make up one of the largest categories of crime victims, second only to freelance traders and traffic control operatives. In recent months, 127 Lottery winners have been murdered, 3,566 have suffered from offensive harassment, 812 have been mugged or assaulted, and 12,942 have been the victims of burglaries. Life's a bitch when you're rich, eh?
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CIS Bulletin
CIS agents are on the look-out for one Natassja Haigh, a truly lethal individual who is wanted for the savage murder of Monkerr Sangnant, along with 39 other counts of violent crime. She is described as a stunningly attractive female of about 20 years of age, with brown hair and piercing blue eyes. Classified as being of genius level intelligence, she goes under the pseudonym of 'Satan'. If you encounter this individual, do not approach her, as she is highly dangerous.
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Interplanetary Congress Pledges More Money for CIS
Aubrey Teller writes. Speaker Blake Muttner yesterday announced that the Interplanetary Congress had decided to up CIS funding by 17.5% in response to a perceived growth in crime. Muttner said of the plan, 'While crime in some areas, specifically piracy, has decreased, on a broad scale there is a definite swell in legal infractions. Increased funding will allow the CIS to operate on a much wider scale, allowing them to establish departments and facilities that simply do not exist at the present time.' CIS Director Shiela Nabokov was said to be pleased at the news.
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New League Record Set in Gritley-Rascon Game
Deathball commentator Sangwyn Juspen reports. Greetings, Deathball enthusiasts everywhere. I'm here at Aorta Park, home to the legendary Gritlet Chainsaws, where the Chainsaws have just set a new league mortality record against arch-rivals Rascon Axemen. Gritley have looked strong all season, and their form came to a head today: five seconds after the kick-off, eight Rascon players were either dead or fatally injured, while one Gritley player had sustained a slight scratch to the left arm. When the full time whistle blew, the score was 11-0 to the Chainsaws, with 43 Rascon players dead and 103 injured. 6 Gritley players were injured, and none at all were killed, the largest difference ever recorded.
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Shock Docs Cock Up!
Medical disaster correspondent Hypp O'Crates reports. There's trouble at the Millground Alternative Therapies unit on Hades, where controversial Electro-conformity treatment has been taking place. The treatment, given to repeat criminal offenders, involves passing huge voltages of electricity through the patient's synapses. The tests have had mixed results; very few of the out-patients have re-offended, but given that the mortality rate has been around 40%, this is perhaps not overly surprising. Research continues, but more Platinum and Rhodium is required to make the precision electrodes required in the remedy.
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Yes Sir, That's High Baby
Lynn Guini tells it like it is. CIS officials yesterday confirmed that notorious interplanetary Brain Implant dealer 'Baby' Johnson was at large somewhere on the planet of Bex. Johnson, one of the system's most feared criminals outside of the Kindred, is infamous for his devotion to Brain Implants. This is reflected in his modus operandi, which usually sees him trying to monopolies all Brain Implant supply on a given planet. CIS spokesmen are already reporting an increase in the street value of Brain Implants, a sure sign of Johnson at work.
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Hot Digger-ty Dog!
Antipodean authority Professor Norm Packer reports. G'day folks, it's beaut here on Hephaestus as we celebrate the mythical annual festival of Barbie, the roots of which are lost in the mists of time. All the members of the Crian University Oztralian research group are here, following the Barbie ritual to the letter, as laid down in the legendary vid-flick Gone Walkabout and Back. We've been knocking back plenty of the amber nectar all day long, which the Sheilas have been busy putting the meat to the heat; so far they're torched a good hundred tonnes of tucker, and all that's been edible so far are three measly shrimps. So, we've blown all the Livestock, and we're down to our last few tinnies - how much can a Koala bear!
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Cereal Killers!
Jae Viril puts the 'one' in honesty. Scenes of death and destruction abounded yesterday outside the Brakkyfun cereal factory on Hermes. Trouble started when a batch of plastic toys to be included in packets of Adrenoflakes, the top children's cereal, were mixed up with a consignment of Military-issue microbombs. Family tragedies aplenty have resulted from the error, and armed 'n' angry relatives have laid siege to the factory, baying for blood. We tried to join in by buying a Firearm from a dodgy-looking geezer in a raincoat, but he said 'Theres-a no more guns to be had, hombre. Fancy some Warp Steroids?'
[Priv2]

Pack of Black Yaks Attack Zak!
Belinda Keel is there to offer comfort. Zak Skintight, lead singer of rock funsters The Buttock Men, was in hospital on Janus IV last night, suffering from blood poisoning. It seems that Zak, giddy on Sunflowers, managed to fall into the pen of the ferocious Hadeian Devil Yak at the Janus IV Zoo. 5 metres high at the shoulder, black as midnight and covered in highly poisonous bristles, eight of these fearsome beasts savaged Zak for a good twenty minutes before the star made his escape. Hundreds of fans assaulted the Yaks in revenge, only to suffer the same fate as their idol. Blood is urgently required, although Zak appears stable (for once, eh?). How do you feel, Zak? 'It wasn't much of a larf, mate'.
[Priv2]

Rave Off!
Brian Turnell champion of truth, speaks out. Intergalactic dance fiends Hard? Cor! were yesterday banned from performing their eclectic Tribal Rainforest Chip-Shop Alkali Soul set on the planet of Bex ever again. The reason? It seems the calcium-challenged bleep gods had incorporated a number of indigenous shaman in their dance routine, telling them to 'do something a bit funky, knowwhatimeanlike?'. The tribal holy men thus performed the pride of their repertoire, the Heap Big Thunder Rain Dance. It has yet to stop raining on Bex, and Fresh Water is in abundance. We asked Hard? Cor! frontman Wok-eyes for comment, but his jaw was clenched too tightly to speak properly
[Priv2]

That's Rich!
Daniel Jepody knows what's going down. The system's wealthiest man, Richass Creesus, unveiled his latest scheme yesterday: to carve Hermes Largest mountain into a 150,000-1 scale model of his recently deceased fluffy rodent Chipsy. The project, which is estimated to take over five years to complete, calls for considerable quantities of BioPolys, Enviro Suits and Power Loaders, the prices of which have risen by a moderate amount. Richass said yesterday. 'I miss that damn rodent', before leaving the scene in tears.
[Priv2]

Grain Store Goes With a Bang!
Zany Happenings columnist Japel Hoohar reports. Well, disaster-lovers, I've got a doozy for you this month, this time from the planet of Janus IV. It seems that a fire broke out at the Delors Grain, Salt and Butter Depository - some kid playing with Incendi-tubes apparently. Anyways, the fire raged out of control pretty quickly, the Butter store having gone up first, when, all of a sudden, these really loud explosions start taking place. Everybody ducks for cover, only to be showered in little white balls: the fire had reached the Grain section, which had already been coated in molten Butter, and the whole reserve had turned into popcorn in one go. Good news for Vidflix lovers, bad news for the now-starving population.
[Priv2]

Grape Guru Blamed for Starving Masses
Kelly Lemon tells it like it is. Religious leader Aaron Strange was in hiding from angry supporters on Bex last night. Aaron converted millions to his Order of the Holy Vine, which advocated the transcension of worldly matters through the consumption of grapes and the destruction of all other, 'spiritually impure' foods. His followers lost faith in Aaron following the publication of photos showing him eating a steak. New stocks of all foodstuffs are urgently required, though grape prices have dropped. 'How could we have been so stupid?', wailed a glassy-eyed toga wearer yesterday.
[Priv2]

Opi-Ola Corporation Present New Brands
Story by Derich Glenfires. Opi-Ola, 'The religion of the masses', yesterday unveiled their new summer brand line-up. Five new flavours of the galaxy's favorite soft drink are being released; Kumquat, Marjoram, Rhubarb, Aloe and Sickly are all set to propel this blue-chip company to even greater heights. Also on show was the company's much-vaunted alcoholic custard. Marketed under the name 'Yellow Peril', it's considered to be something of an experiment, though failure in this venture is hardly likely to trouble the beverage giant's bosses.
[Priv2]

High Drama at Pool Championships
Sports correspondent Les Dylan reports. It's been three days of sporting excellence here at the annual Tri-D Pool Masters contest. Several competitors have made their mark in the Anti-Grav arena, most notably Flint 'The Muscler' Ferguson's incredible 18 ball clear-up from the break in the first frame of the tournament. Ferguson continues his winning streak right up to the final, when his luck ran out in the 9-frame showdown against 'Smooth' Jack Jimson. Ferguson started well, establishing a 3-frame lead, but Jimson gritted his jaw and kept his nerve to steer the next five frames his way. He collected a cheque for 150,000 credits, and from the cheers of the crowd it was clear the favorite had won.
[Priv2]

The Answer Comes From Within for Lottery Winner
Zany news from Norry Lekter. How do YOU pick your Lottery numbers? Perhaps you just make them up? Or maybe you run a randomizing program through your P.A.D.? Whatever you do, it's unlikely to be as bizarre as recent Luvverly Lucre Lottery winner Professor Georgh Divver: to select HIS winning numbers, he analyses his bodily excrescence. Let the man himself tell you: 'I was in something of a quandary as to how to fill out my lottery card, until I struck on the idea of using random atomic numbers. I analyses a portion of my feces under a spectroscope, and wrote down the numbers of the first twenty isotopes I located.' Messy, true, and worth a cool 15 million credits.
[Priv2]

CIS Bulletin
CIS agents on Karatikus are extremely keen to contact the driver of a Geo-class transporter, ship ident Alpha-9974536X/M. If you see this ship, distinguished by its 'Davy's Donut Deliveries' markings, please contact agents Gumble and Wiggum at outpost Beta Three on Karatikus. Davy, if you're on-line, bloody well hurry up, will you, we're starving.
[Priv2]

Poll Shows Pop Drop After Enforcement Bill
Trend analyst Jiles Gretner reports. A recent pan-system poll has shown a significant loss of faith in the Interplanetary Congress, and an electoral referendum may be in the offing. The drop is attributed to the recent System Enforcement Bill, which was declaimed by liberals everywhere as a gross infringement of personal liberty. The Bill gave the CIS much further-reaching powers of investigation, arrest and weapons-use; sold to the populace as the only solution to rampant crime, it was not long before the man-in-the-street realized the very profound effect it had on everyday life. The 'Kill the Bill' party has pledged it will reverse the Bill if elected.
[Priv2]

Team Selachian win GroB Preis
Racing correspondent Mint Strider reports. It's been a day of high drama here at the Hermes-Crius GroB Preis. Tournament Leader Michael Schmeichel stated in pole position, only to have his Thoreau Spectre develop afterburner problems, effectively putting him out of the race. This left the way clear for Rosmery Mount in her Duress Selachian to cruise through, closely followed by her team-mate Daniel Toughroan. Third place went to Vampire Lichten pilot Freddi Jorkel, although he was never a serious contender for the two Selachian pilots. All in all, a great day's racing, and one that promises much for the Bex-Janus race in two weeks time.
[Priv2]

That's Ore-ibble
Foghorn Armhorn reports. Inhabitants of Janus IV were in mourning last night, following a local orphanage being destroyed in a spaceship crash. It seems that the freighter Agetin, loaded with Rhodium ore, made a poor ingress into the planet's atmosphere, burning out its retro-thrusters in the process. Three minutes after the problem was reported, the craft smashed into the Agnes Gentle Home for Bereaved Poppets, slaughtering over 1500 wide-eyes innocent waifs. On a lighter note, there is still a shortage of Rhodium on the planet, offering a golden opportunity to any entrepreneur.
[Priv2]

Venom Vandals Vanquished
M.C. Gammer gives you the low-down. Local authorities on Crius were celebrating last night following a bust on a Nerve Toxins ring. A huge amount of highly dangerous (and highly illegal) chemicals were impounded and subsequently destroyed. A jubilant and somewhat inebriated CIS spokesman spoke with me, saying 'It's great! We've accounted for the key players in the planet's illegal toxins trade, and our sources indicate that the market for lethal poisons has practically collapsed'. He then kissed me.
[Priv2]

Flower Shower
Ethnic editor Blossom Mooncow offers her meditations. Warm greetings, fellow beings endlessly in pursuit of the ultimate truth. I bring you words of love and understanding from the planet Anhur, where the Transcendental Commune of Divine Joy are holding their first Petal Party in an attempt to engender universal peace in all lifeforms. Anarcho-lovebrother Barry has thus flown his WV CamperShuttle into low orbit, and is showering the joyous throng with Sunflowers, a gesture which seems incredibly significant. However, we seem to have run out of Sunflowers; any right-on merchant individual with room for blooms could, like, really sort us out. Peace.
[Priv2]

Talk Show Temptress Blows Her top!
Myra Kews tells no lies from Hades. Opera Whimsy, host of the hugely successful 'My Show', was under arrest last night for inciting disorder. Trouble started on the 'My Show' set when Opera initiated a discussion on whether dogs or cats are the friendliest pets. The show quickly degenerated into a slanging match between dog owners and cat lovers, and soon bullets were a-flying. 794 members of the audience are dead already, but the conflict shows no sign of abating. Planetary stocks of Firearms are at an all-time low. We asked Opera for her opinion as she was dragged off, and she replied 'Dogs. They're definitely much friendlier.'
[Priv2]

Diddler Plays a Blinder!
Jurg Bellini reports. I'm reporting from the first Dart Tennis championships, being played here in the Eclogue Stadium on Bex. The level of competition has been admirable, considering the sport's brief history, and the final between Bjorn Diddler and Spike Brampton was one of the finest sporting events I have ever seen. Both contestants played to the utmost of their ability, tying the score at two sets apiece, when Diddler, who had sustained at least 14 minor injuries and lost a litre of blood, played an incredible smash that hit Brampton straight in the left eye, causing considerable cerebral lesion. Brampton retired hurt, and Diddler held up the cup to rapturous applause.
[Priv2]

The Zak is back!
Impressionable groupie Andrew Bramley-Hill writes. It was the best of days and the worst of days on Crius yesterday, host to the All-System Dribbling Competition. Zak Skintight, legendary frontman of Rock superbeings The Buttock Men, regained the Spittle Crown after a three year absence due to touring and unconsciousness. Unfortunately, so many competitors entered that a huge 'pool of drool' has resulted, emitting a noisome stench. Once it has been processed there will be a considerable surplus of Fresh Water, although it will be recommended for agricultural use only. 'It's a bit of a larf, innit', said Zak when we asked him for comment.
[Priv2]

Mech Ball Championship Delayed
Alternative Sports correspondent Gerald Hopkins reports. This year's Mech Ball Finals, to be held on the planet of Hades, has had to be delayed due to a shortage of Power Loaders, the game's most important piece of equipment. The game, which involves two teams of 15 wearing Power Loaders trying to score a 'go' by carrying a two tonne Brikcrete ball across the opponent's go line, can only be started once more imports of Power Loaders have arrived. 'Ye canna git a suit fa love naw money', wailed Chunky Stewart, captain of the reigning champions Jambo Pagger.
[Priv2]

Smart Bomb, Dumb pilot
Military authority Will Enford comments. Hades inhabitants were up in arms yesterday, following a blunder by the local Militia Air Reserve. The incident occurred while Thripp Ground Attack craft practiced using the Descartes Self-guided munition. The target was a series of disused warehouses; unfortunately, a novice pilot flying one of the craft mistook the planet's main Fertilite refinery as his target.. and let fly with both of the bombs his craft was carrying. The high-tech weaponry did its job, and Fertilite imports are now urgently required.
[Priv2]

Food Wasting Fad Leads to Famine
Lendel H. Hill is on the spot. A new fad has found favor among the inhabitants of Hephaestus; food wasting. An old lady spoke out yesterday: 'It's terrible; all these young folk ordering food, and then throwing it straight in to the BinBot. It wouldn't have happened in my day'. President De Bargos yesterday declared a state of planetary emergency, and issued police with orders to shoot any individual who throws away food without consuming at least 57% of it. Stocks of all foodstuffs are said to be seriously depleted.
[Priv2]

Bex Authorities Crack Down on Corporate Expansion
Environmental observer Hilton Tavares reports. Bexian government officials yesterday released an edict which clearly stated that no more planning permission will be granted for corporate headquarters. In recent months, several companies have been trying to relocate to the planet, which is without doubt the most picturesque in all three systems. Government spokesman Felton Binkley said yesterday. 'We're a simple people, who make the most of our fresh air and fine climate. The last thing we want is a load of company hotshots muscling in and turning the planet into an Industrial park.'
[Priv2]

Are You Bored by Life?
Article by Pat Ronysin. Do you find yourself unfulfilled by all modern society has to offer? Is conversation a tedious chore? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then perhaps it's high time you took up Crochet. We in the All-Systems Crochet Club like nothing more than to curl up with our synthi-wool and turn out beautiful blankets, quality quilts and dainty drinks mats. Excessive talking is prohibited at all of our nine Crochet Centres, so you can just turn off your brain and stitch, letting your worries and qualms slip quietly away. We're not worried about the meaning of life or the path to fulfillment - just the satisfaction of making beautiful gifts for friends and relatives.
[Priv2]

It's Easier for a Rich Man to Get Into Heaven...
...than a bad man to win lots of cash, according to Finley Buscombe. Don't you just hate it when a lottery winner is revealed to be a murderous pirate, convicted con man or just plain old dangerous psychopath? Apparently, so do the Blessed Do-Gooders of Milton, a fringe religious sect who abhor the committing of any sin [of which there are potentially 1.3 billion in everyday life, according to their sacred texts]. The Blessed Do-Gooders have thus devised the Touched by the Hand of the Lord Lottery, which is exactly the same as every other Lottery, except you have to be deemed spiritually pure by at least three cult elders before you can participate. The prize fund currently stands at 27.5 credits.
[Priv2]

CIS Bulletin
CIS operatives are requesting information from anyone who knows who is responsible for the death of Harold Binkum, a popular singer whose most recent song, 'Old Marlene, she ain't what she used to be', has been in the charts for the last 27 weeks. Ser Binkum was found brutally strangled two days ago, his tongue having been torn out and impaled on a stick next to the corpse. A note which read 'Peace at last!' was found next to the body.
[Priv2]

Kershwin Makes Plea to Single Mothers
Sirrek Engsley reports. Jak Kershwin, the Minister for People in the Interplanetary Congress, has appealed to single mothers to remain firm in adversity. He went on record yesterday as saying 'Statistics prove that single parent families often produce the largest and most varied section of new population, and are responsible for some of the most individualistic and ambitious members of our society. I would plead with all single-parents everywhere to stand fast, and ask all members to cherish this hugely productive and important population group for the resource that it is.'
[Priv2]

Convicts Sign TeleVid Deal
A report by Henri Souza. There is celebration amongst the convicts of Hades tonight, following Deltagam Corporation striking a historic deal with the prison authorities. Deltagam have won exclusive rights to broadcast the new sport of Batting, which has found favor amongst inmates with life-sentences. Based on the archaic sport of Boxing, Batting utilizes the same rules, except each contender is given a Plasteen bat with which to assault his opponent. Twenty inmates have already died playing the sport, but this has not deterred enthusiasts; indeed, following this afternoon's revelations, the number of applications has trebled, each looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
[Priv2]

Flashlight Business Torched
Industrial editor Gill Bates writes. Inhabitants of Bex awoke to scenes of devastation this morning, following a case of suspected arson at the Mr. Flashyglow photocell plant. Around 60% of the huge factory was destroyed, resulting in at least 5000 job losses. Manufacture is still continuing in the undamaged part of the plant, but new stocks of Cesium, essential in the making of photocells, is required urgently.
[Priv2]

Crash Chaos Kills Kinky Cyborgs
Rake about town John Wilmott writes from Hephaestus. Offer your condolences to legendary roister-doisterer Carlos T. Decson, who has been most adversely treated by fate. It seems that my old pal Carlos was enjoying a small snifter of AbSynth at his club, relishing the prospect of returning home to frolic with his harem of classic Pleasure Borgs. Imagine his distress when he returned home, only to find his priceless collection of antique Pleasure Drones utterly destroyed by a rogue meteor that had obliterated their quarters. A tearful Carlos was inconsolable last night, especially as Pleasure Borgs are now controlled items, and extremely difficult to replace, even with inferior models. Stiff upper lip Carlos, if nothing else.
[Priv2]

Rodent Show Could be Suspended!
Pet correspondent Rachel Domusa reports. There are scenes of despair here on Hermes, as the organizers of the System-famous Cleft's pet show face up to the fact that the event may have to be canceled for the first time in its 50 year history. The problem lies in that participants from all three systems have had great difficulties in transporting their Fluffy Rodents to the show thanks to a transport shortage. Any freelance cargo shipper who can assist will be well rewarded for their efforts; all you have to do it pick up a shipment of Fluffy Rodents from any participating planet, and process them through the Hermes trading interface as usual.
[Priv2]

The Sexual Revolution!
By Zake Blackwar, mouthpiece of truth. Wide-scale armed rebellion has broken out on Karatikus, following the passing of controversial new 'sex licensing' laws. The brainchild of Senator Ray Cox, the bill is designed to tackle planetary over-population by making sexual intercourse illegal unless both participants are in possession of a 'sex license'. Men and women of all ages have taken to the streets in protest, and are engaged in furious fire fights with local law enforcement officers. At least 30,000 people are reported dead or wounded, but no resolution to the problem seems imminent. Firearms are much in demand.
[Priv2]

Why Zimzam, Why?
Says Howard Napkin, mouthpiece of decency. Psychotic architect Zimzam Edific has once again inflicted death and misery on unsuspecting innocents. Disaster occurred on Bex at the site of Zimzam's latest project, a rollercoaster constructed completely of glass. Work having finished two days ago, the maiden ride was scheduled for this morning; 185 young orphans, 13 terminally ill patients from the local hospital, the Mayor and his pet dog Spanky all climbed aboard the glittering capture in good faith, cheering with anticipation. Twenty seconds later, the once mighty rollercoaster was little more than a pile of glass shards. Casualties are high.....Medi Kits are urgently required.
[Priv2]

Bad Tidings for Hephaestus!
Annie Blackburn reports on lunar lunacy. It's wet pants all round at the Hephaestus astrological institute, after they failed to predict the effects of the triple lunar eclipse that occurred last night. The cosmological phenomenon, which only happens once every millennium, saw all three of the planet's moons in perfect alignment on one side of the planet. The gravitic influence of this activity saw every major ocean and sea move across planet, completely submerging the northern hemisphere. There's Fresh Water aplenty for sale, and it's going cheap.
[Priv2]

Tricky Brickies
Construction editor Adam Reefer writes. Construction workers who had been labouring on the Wilson Towers development on the planet of Karatikus were shamefaced this morning: it seems that, after topping off the project yesterday, the builders went on a drinking spree, having over nine months of back pay in their pockets. They awoke this morning, somewhat painfully, to ashenfacedly confront the fruits of their behavious: the entire project reduced to rubble, the result of an inebriated game of bulldozer chicken. Labour starts again today, and Brikcrete is in great demand.
[Priv2]

Cult Leaders Arrested in Livestock Fiasco
Tabloid reporter Pete O'Hara comments on a worrying phenomenon. Bex authorities this morning announced that they would be prosecuting the leader of the latest faddish cult to inflict itself upon the populace, The Close Friends of the Unspeakably Evil Vissiluth, Being of the Pit. The Close Friends were content peddling the usual brand of spiritual mumbo-jumbo and daemonic nonsense, when their popularity went to their heads. Their leader, The Grand High Mu of Ineffable Damnation, decreed that the Red-wattled Bison, the planet's chief Livestock, were spiritually impure and must be destroyed. His gullible followers complied, and huge quantities have been sacrificed. New supplies are urgently required.
[Priv2]

Stunt Tragedy Inflicts Famine on Anhur
A report by Jenny Vixen. Dangerous Sports fans everywhere were mourning the death of stunt flier supremo Barri Headbanger yesterday. Barri, notorious for his dangerous flying antics, met a sticky end when he crashed his prototype Tiger Shark X-Turbo III into Anhur's main food processing plant. He was trying to break his own record of 9 consecutive inverted triple Immelmans whilst drinking a glass of water. All food and water stocks were destroyed in the tragedy, and new supplies are urgently required.
[Priv2]

H.O.C Table Controversial 'Air Rationing' Plans
A report by Velham Jedley. The Hephaestan Oxygen Company, a semi-autonomous body charged with maintaining Hephaestus' shaky oxygen supply, have revealed plans to implant all residents with 'aerometers', which register the amount of oxygen consumed by an individual, who would then be charged accordingly. Visitors to the planned would be obliged to pay a 'consumption charge'. Pressure groups were up in arms at the news yesterday, but H.O.C. chairman Diveset Opes shrugged and said 'It's the only way to go'.
[Priv2]

Oh, What a Performance!
Says Lucy Stultus. Mums! Are your offspring driving you beyond the levels of socially-permitted abnormal behaviour with their petulance and whining? Don't you just wish that there was a wholesome and cheap form of entertainment could divert their hyperactive minds for more than three minutes? Then perhaps you should consider visiting Jacques, performance artist par excellence. With his traditional blanched face and bobbly hat, Jacques will keep them quiet for ages with his repertoire of classic mime, such as 'Man walking in the wind', 'Where did these walls come from?', and 'The Rape of the Sabine Women'. Don't delay, see Jacques today!
[Priv2]

Lottery Closed Following Scandal
Valen Messina reports. The Hephaestan Planetary Lottery has been shut down by CIS Fraud investigators, following the discovery of a huge prize fiddle. Apparently, members of the adjudicatory board had used magnets to ensure that their numbers came up every week. Chief of the offenders was Chairman Adem Velt; investigators became suspicious when the main prize winners for four months all had names that were anagrams of his name. Delt Vame, Tema Veld, Tam Delve and Ad Velmet were all names used by the unscrupulous big-wig, who amassed a 55 mission credit fortune. He has been stripped of his winnings and sentenced to 14 years hard labour on Hades.
[Priv2]

CIS Bulletin
...Fraser Moores...Christopher Fatanis...Jeremy Allison...Jonathan Heastie... If you know the whereabouts of any of the individuals names above, please contact your nearest CIS station. The have been judged to have acted in a manner which breaches levels of acceptable abnormatility, and are required to undergo corrective surgery and therapy. Charges against these felons include the excessive use of silly voices, overindulgence in various illegal stimulants, and the repetition of annoying catchphrases which breach noise pollution regulations.
[Priv2]

New 'Cult Law' is Passed
A report by political observer Matara Leigh. The Council for Morals and Ethics has succeeded in passing its new 'Cult Law' which subjects all religious groups to restrictive guidelines. It is now illegal for religious leaders to accept money from followers, for religious groups to have access to any opinion forming medium, and for a cult to offer any intangible service, such as 'soul cleansing', for money. On the other hand, productive religions, such as the Avuncular Order of Hom, are highly praised, and are being offered added incentives for conventrating on improving the material world.
[Priv2]

Tragedy Strikes Rocket Derby
Sevastian Hague reports. A veil of sadness hangs over the famous track here at Volsen on Hermes, following the tragic death of Rocket Bike veteran Vlotr Karstein. It was in the 18th lap of the Opi-Ola Derby that Karstein, who had led the race from the outset seemed to suffer a loss of power, and plowed his Wakashiri 5000 into spectator stand D. 27 people were killed and 150 injured in the crash, which saw Karstein's body shatter into hundreds of pieces at the force of the impact. As I write, race officials are guiding around a Vacbot, collecting his remains for ceremonial burial. CIS agents are investigating, and there is talk of banning the sport. All in all, a sad day for Rocket Biking.
[Priv2]

Boweled Over by Sheer Incontinence
Report by genitourinary authority Cally Pige. A desperate plea was made yesterday on behalf of the Lou Stall Hospice for the Chronically Incontinent, sited in Cruis. Large quantities of Iridium, a highly anti-corrosive substance that will not decay in the presence of Uric acid, are required for the manufacture of bladder plugs, mechanical devices that regulate the flow of urine out of the bladder. Iridium prices are said to have risen considerably.
[Priv2]

Law Corps Torp Corpses
A report by Tom L. Keefer. Anhur border patrols were celebrating last night, followign a very successful intercept. While on routine patrol, a squadron of Stag-class police craft encountered an unauthorised Monolith-class transporter attempting atmosphereic ingress. Scans revealed it to be chock-full of highly illegal Human Organs, much in demand by the rich, old and unscrupulous. Squad-leader Gibsen issued immediate weapons-free authority. Torpedoes were launched, and seconds later the cargo ship was little more than a burning hulk. I spoke to Gibsen yesterday, who said 'I just hope the unfortunate donors wanted to be cremated'.
[Priv2]

Pecs-cellent!
Fitness reported Arnold Viril writes. Hello, muscle fans. This year's Beautiful Body Bash is taking place on Janus IV; any iron-pumper who's got talents to display should get down there and flex their pecs. As usual, Warp Steroids are in great evidence, with companies such as PumpUp! and Bulge-U0Like displaying a range of new products. Demand is fast outstripping supply, though, and we're gonna need lots more of that liquid iron if we're gonna pump it like we can. Much-loved events such as the two-tonne shuttle tug and the man of Plasten competition may well be cancelled if we don't get more of that bicep-blasting zooty.
[Priv2]

Crunch Time at Crisp Factory!
Liam Drake is on the spot. Workers at the Crunch-u-want Crisp Factory on Janus IV went starch staring mad yesterday, following news of enforced redundancies. The lay-offs come as a result of the compant deciding to cease production of its 'Crinkle-Dinkle' crinkly crisps, meaning that 500 skilled crimkle-carvers are now surplus to requirements. The irate potato artists have now besieged the factory, demanding their jobs back. Local police tried to intervene, which has resulted in guns being fired and people dying. I asked the leader of the revolters, the self-styled Field Admiral Generalissimo Bert Jones, what his demands were. He replied 'More guns and a packet of Prawn Cocktail, ta.'
[Priv2]


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