Characters in Star Conquest are kept up-to-date via holovision broadcasts from the Intersector News Network, or ISNN, as well as headlines from their news aggregators.
27 September 2320 Headline -- Sports: 2320 HypAc EuroGP Third-Place Winner Found to Have Raced Under Performance-Decreasing Drugs [USN]
26 September 2320 Headline -- Sports: HypAc OpEd: "We Just Want to Win More Than You Soft-Skinned Regs," Writes Anonymous Author [USN]
25 September 2320 Headline -- Mutuality: Sylvain LeBlanc Nominated Director of Nouveau Quebec Public Industries, Despite Protests; Youngest Director of Nouveau Quebec Public Industries in History at Three Trade Cycles [DFP]
25 September 2320 Headline -- Sports: HyperAccelerant Racing Committee: "Historic Teams Would Be Exempt from These Proposed Regulations, Of Course" [IAS]
23 September 2320 Headline -- Interalliance: AEU Civilian Pilot Corps Special Precinct: 100% Voted for Kieryn Summer in Yesterday's Chaotic Election [ISN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: President-Elect Rebane Rejects the Legacy of Ousted President Sheffield: "We Are the New Republic of 2320, a New Party for a New Era" [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Analysis: Pundits and Pollsters Failed to Capture Several Factors - Voters Rejected Incumbency as a Consideration, Feeling Alliance Is On Wrong Track; Many Have Lost Faith With NaPas But Felt Green Earth Was Too Liberal [VET]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: President-Elect Rebane Gives Late Victory Speech As Union Reels From Surprise Result: "The Media Counted Us Out, But We Stand Victorious"; "This Is the Beginning of a New Era of Prosperity and Fair Dealing With Our Neighbors" [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: National Patriot Party Issues Furious Objection, But While Unprecedented, Faithless Electors are Legal on Endymion [VET]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: With Endymion's Electoral Votes Pledged to the New Republic, Kaisa Rebane Will Become President with a Slim 38 Electoral Vote Win [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Breaking: Endymion Electors Sign Pact of Faithlessness: "In Order to Have a Peaceful Transfer of Power and Respect the Union Majority, We Pledge Our Votes Instead to Kaisa Rebane" [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Streets Flood with Protesters Representing All Parties [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: No Party Has Reached the 37 Electoral Votes Required to Win: What Now? Constitution Demands that NaPa-Majority Senate Chooses New President [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Breaking: Telex and Its 15 Electoral Votes Will Go to Kaisa Rebane; New Republic Will Eke Out a Plurality With Just 28 Electoral Votes [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: All Eyes on Telex as Lines at the Polls Begin to Clear [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: We've Seen Enough: New Earth and Its 25 Electoral Votes Will Go to Green Earth, Against National Patriots at 19 and New Republic at 13 [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Green Earth Support Surges to Plurality on New Earth Amidst Late Returns, Now at 39.7% [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Partial New Earth Returns: 36.8% National Patriot, 32.8% Green Earth, 30.4% New Republic, With Larger Precincts Yet to Report [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Surge in Turnout on Telex, Where Green Earth Attempted to Remove New Republic From the Ballot -- Voters Are Still in Line [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Bikura Called for Kaisa Rebane in Surprise Upset, Giving New Republic 13 Electoral Votes -- Their First Electoral Vote Win Since 2300 [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Endymion Called for President Stotterman, Giving Him a New Total of 19 Electoral Votes [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Bikura "Too Close to Call" with Exit Polls Suggesting Unexpected Strength in New Republic Party Support [NEN]
23 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Polls Close Across AEU - Aenea, Zion Moonbase Immediately Called for President Gavin Stotterman for 9 Electoral Votes, Endymion Too Early to Call [NEN]
22 September 2320 Headline -- Interalliance: "Who is Ezra Shafir?" - A Primer on Recent Events Within the Mutuality with Potentially Far-Reaching Implications [DNA]
22 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Polls Close Across AEU in One Hour -- NEN Ready to Make Immediate Calls [NEN]
22 September 2320 Headline -- Sports: Proposed HypAc Regulations Would Bar Racers from L5, Luna, and Certain Regions of Mars and Centauri [IAS]
21 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: New Republic Party Issues Complaint: "Respondents in NEN Poll Have Been Pushed to Choose Either Kieryn Summer or Gavin Stotterman, Manufacturing the Narrative That Our Party Is Not Viable" [VET]
21 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Final NEN Poll Shows Two Point Swing Toward National Patriot Gavin Stotterman [NEN]
21 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Green Earth Party Accepts Civilian Pilot Endorsement, Looks Forward To Program Winding Down Peacefully [NEN]
20 September 2320 Headline -- Entertainment: AEU Director Chuck Jameson to Produce Film Involving Face-Snatching Unreg Terrorist and a Union Operative Forced to Assume the Terrorist's Identity [EFX]
19 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: AEU Civilian Pilot Liaison Secretary Orders Civilian Corps to Recall Her For Political Purposes [VET]
19 September 2320 Headline -- Sports: The Spacer Advantage: HyperAccelerant Racing Committee Reportedly in Talks to Restrict Applicants Based on Certain Criteria for "Fairer, More Competitive" Race [IAS]
19 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Single-Issue Vegan Political Party 'The Green Party' Issues Statement: Green Earth Cannot Claim Our Name, We Were Here Before They Formed [VET]
18 September 2320 Headline -- Mutuality: Apprehended Spy Used Mutagenics to Change His Appearance, Claims Clan Doctor [DFP]
18 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Presidential Candidate Rebane on Telex Ballot Issue: "They're Scared; Internal Polls Show Us Higher Than Anyone Will Admit -- Media Are Pretending This Is a Two Party Race" [NEN]
18 September 2320 Headline -- Tabloid: AEU NOW USING REPLONS IN DARING COUNTERATTACK AGAINST UNREGS! [TBX]
18 September 2320 Headline -- Mutuality: Spaceman Roger Surprises Council with Footage of Apprehended Researcher; "Gait and Speech Patterns Indicate an Entirely Different Person," Experts Claim [DFP]
17 September 2320 Headline -- AEU: Green Earth Party Seeks Court Order to Have New Republic Candidate Removed from the Ballot on Telex, Alleging Procedural Irregularities [NEN]
17 September 2320 Headline -- Tabloid: PAPARAZZI PHOTOGRAPHER OBSERVES MYSTERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHS BEING CARRIED INTO SSN HEADQUARTERS: PHOTOS INSIDE [TBX]
Interstellar Politics Hour: Dateline 17 September 2320
The ISNN theme plays to the image of a generic-looking planet spinning around. "And now, the Interstellar Politics Hour!"
The image fades quickly, then displays a newscaster seated at a desk. "Good evening! Last night, the AEU candidates for president took to the debate stage for the one and only debate in this short election cycle, less than one week before voting begins! We'll show you a few highlights focusing on the candidates' space policy."
The shot transitions to show the same newscaster, but at a different desk, on the debate stage with a large audience behind him, acting as moderator.
"The civilian pilot program has been in limbo," the moderator begins. "Its pieces have been broken up and offered to the highest bidder, but events like the One Day War over Hyperion and President Metz's recent resignation have delayed the completion of the sale. What will your administration do?"
The image of Kieryn Summer, the Green Earth candidate, appears.
"It's a good question. As you might remember, in 2316 President Garner ran on a promise of dissolving the Civilian Corps, arguing that it was overall a detriment, particularly in the area of foreign relations, and that its functions could be better performed with direct government or naval oversight. I would say that is still the case, but, fortunately, the Civilian Corps is also the least relevant it's ever been -- the silver lining of their having lost all credibility with foreign powers is that there is little more damage they can do short of starting a shooting war."
"Personally, I would still prefer to turn its functions over to the government directly, but given the budget shortfall we're facing in the wake of the loss of Hyperion and National Patriot mismanagement, it may be best to fulfill the expectations of the private sector and allow the sale to go forward. My administration would evaluate this as a very early priority."
The shot transitions away from the Green Earth candidate to Kaisa Rebane of the New Republic party.
"Certainly the sale should go ahead. I was the first to propose this idea in 2316, and I stand by it. Although I can't agree with dismantling the Civilian Corps -- the resources it brings in would be difficult to replace, at least without a large up-front expense -- I do agree with Kieryn that the Civilian Corps has no business conducting foreign affairs on behalf of the Union. Privatization will keep them a step removed from this role. In addition, of course, the sale will help to repair our growing deficit and ensure that the burden does not land on working families and job creators."
Finally, the current president, National Patriot Gavin Stotterman, states his answer.
"Yes, of course the sale will go ahead. We stand by and will see through President Best's decision to privatize the Civilian Corps. Throughout all sorts of overblown controversies, the Civilian Corps hasn't been distracted, they've just stayed productive, working hard, providing vital resources to the Union. Once privatized, they can be even more productive, their resources allocated efficiently according to the demands of the free market. They do not need to be distracted by the strange demands of foreign powers to act as a diplomatic arm of the government."
The moderator nods, shifting a paper from the top to the bottom of the pile. "As you know, during President Best's time in office, we were brought to the brink of war. Relations with the League have since mostly stabilized, but the Mutuality remains cold toward us. What will you do in terms of foreign relations?"
Ms. Summer of Green Earth answers, "I sympathize with the position of the Mutuality. The sovereignty of their space was violated again and again by our civilian pilots. Even today, our Liaison Secretary enjoys full support from her fellow pilots while making spiteful pronouncements that other alliances lack any leverage over them, looking to anyone but themselves for blame, and pursuing a misguided strategy of pure self-reliance that seeks to discard the need for good relationships with our neighbors. This is indistinguishable from the old, outdated rhetoric of Eric Best himself. This path of isolation is how we got to where we are today, and it has failed. The way forward is honest, forthright discussions with foreign powers with professional diplomats at the table, working to hammer out a deal that benefits us both and lets us look outward together to the real threat."
Ms. Rebane of the New Republic responds, "The real threat is out there, outside of Known Space, yes, but that does not mean we need to abase ourselves before every foreign power. The ball has been in the Mutuality Council's court. If they wish to sit down at the table with us, they must find their way to it. Unlike the National Patriots, however, I will deal in good faith. If there is to be a warming of relations with the Mutuality, it will only come through compromise. We can no longer offer nothing and expect everything. We must put both spite and prejudice behind us. Those things have no place in business, and will not see us grow prosperous again."
President Stotterman shakes his head and leans into the microphone. "No. We have left them to huddle alone on their side of the skim gates as they want. We withdrew what they called the 'Rogue Navy' from their space, as they wanted. We even let them take an entire planet from us with no reprisal. The League, too, continues to withhold desperately needed ground combat equipment from us in violation of the spirit of the pact they signed with us, an exception maintained by their own Civilian Pilot League, who wish to hold it over our heads and tell us we haven't been good enough little boys and girls yet. No. We have done everything they asked. We will not kowtow to them. If that isn't good enough, then they are the isolationists, not us."
Some scattered cheers from the audience follow these remarks, and the moderator reminds the audience to remain silent.
The moderator asks next, "Controversially, President Best oversaw 'Outccord,' the AEU's exit from the Accord of Free Worlds, during his short term. He promised that Steel Phoenix would instead protect the Union from deep space threats, but as we all know, that program is now disbanded. What are your plans now? Would you consider having the AEU rejoin the Accord? President Stotterman, let's begin with you."
President Stotterman sighs. "We'll look at the Union Navy taking over as many functions of Steel Phoenix as it can, but frankly, we may have been left with little choice but to work with them on some things. We won't rejoin fully -- we can ill afford funding them at this time -- but we'll make a deal that keeps the Union safe without overburdening us with obligations."
Ms. Summer answers, "Of course we should try to rejoin, if they'll have us. The Accord of Free Worlds is an organization that keeps us safe, has undoubtedly kept us safe even as we've abandoned it. To join it again, even if we have to make a few concessions, is not only the right thing to do, it makes good sense."
Finally, Ms. Rebane answers, "Perhaps. The President is right, it would be difficult to find room in the current budget to begin meeting their funding requirements again. But not being a member is also crippling, as evidenced by the massive alien ship sitting on our doorstep that we don't currently have the means to explore safely. Whether we rejoin as full members or not, reaching a suitable agreement with the Accord should be a priority."
The image transitions to show the news studio once more. The newscaster says, "And those are all the highlights we have time for! Highlights of the domestic policy portion of the debate will be shown tonight on the evening news programs of our AEU-based affiliates. This has been the Interstellar Politics Hour, only on ISNN!"
The ISNN theme plays as the camera slowly zooms away from the newscaster, who smiles and gives the camera a slight nod.
17 September 2320 Headline -- League: Intelligence Agencies Confirm Similarities Between Mutuality-Recovered Virus and Virus Used in 2315 Vostochny Security Breach [LCR]
15 September 2320 Headline -- Interalliance: Retired Pilot Associations Lodge Joint Complaint as Civilian Pilots Begin Earning Credit for Doing One Important Thing Instead of 50,000 Unimportant Things [ISN]
14 September 2320 Headline -- Economy: Allied Starships' CEO Shocks Shareholders at Latest Board Meeting with Surprise Announcement of the Agnarr's Choice(tm) Line of Rift Drives [EXN]