Military authorities in the Jingarlu army on this non-Imperial frontier world are apparently encountering difficulty hiring mercenary striker units for use along the Jingarlu-Nebelthorn border. For over a year, border tensions between the two nations have been increasing, and numerous incidents have caused the normally stormy relations between the two governments to break down altogether.
Jingarlu has often hired mercenary units from the Spinward Marches of the Imperium to beef up its border constabulary in times of tension, but such units are largely unavailable at the moment. Jingarlu authorities speculate that large scale Imperial Army hirings in the Regina subsector for use on Efate may be the cause of the shortage, but reliable Imperial sources deny that hirings have been higher than normal. [JTAS #7]
A message boat, two months out of date, has arrived from the Old Islands subsector with word of extensive fighting in that remote, non-Imperial region. Old Islands subsector, due to its astrographic location, has never been integrated into the Imperium. The combination of fairly uniform tech levels, aggressive trade policies, and numerous autonomous governments have traditionally made it an area of continuing instability. It now appears that the instability has erupted into open warfare. [JTAS #7]
Reports over the course of the last several weeks of a marked increase in piracy in the coreward reaches of the subsector have been substantiated by Navy officials in a routine press release. In today's weekly press briefing, a naval spokesman confirmed that an unusually large amount of shipping had failed to make scheduled planet-fall and that no communications from the Kinorb Cluster had been received for over two months.
When questioned further, Public Relations Officer Lieutenant Commander Vanderheydt hault-Josephson pointed out that fewer than ten ships had been scheduled to make the little-used Kinorb-Pixie run in that period, and difficulties at Riesling Down Starport on Kinorb could easily explain the situation. However, hault-Josephson added that the Navy had not ruled out the possibility that piracy from "a source or sources unknown" could be responsible.
In response to the situation, hault-Josephson announced that the battle cruiser Agidda, until yesterday under order to join the squadron at Efate, was instead being routed to join her sister ship Adamdun in the Kinorb Cluster and report back on the situation. The dispatch of Agidda was further described as "purely precautionary." [JTAS #8]
The small brushfire war that has sputtered off and on for several years on this frontier world has, within the last week, came suddenly alive. New ships are arriving in orbit daily, and Down Franklin Starport, for many months nearly empty, is now choked with a steady flow of marines and army troopers disgorged from busy fleet shuttles.
Yesterday Colonel Eitan Rahbaan, public relations officer for the newly formed Forty-Third (Provisional) Frontier Army explained in a press conference the reason for the sudden build-up and the general plan of action. The continuing protracted nature of the insurgency action on Efate had been a mounting drain on manpower resources, and had begun to sap the morale of indigenous troops. As a result, the decision was made to concentrate maximum effort to end the conflict in the shortest possible time.
Maximum effort is the only way to describe the amazing build-up that has taken place literally overnight. Already official circulars list eleven brigade-sized Imperial formations deployed on-planet, in addition to four brigades that apparently were here previously. Even now, large transports are off-loading the heavy vehicles of the well-equipped and hard-hitting 317 Air-Mechanized Brigade, and rumor has it that the build-up is still not complete.
This reporter admits to being overwhelmed by this truly impressive show of force. One can only wonder how long the stubborn but indifferently equipped insurgents on this world can hold out against the ultra-modern juggernaught Army Vice-Marshal Lord Calavan, commander of the 43rd Provisional Army, is preparing to unleash on it? Days? Hours? [JTAS #8]
As the Solomani-inspired insurgency on this rim world has gradually lost popular support and has clearly been beaten militarily, the Imperial travel interdict has been lifted and Scaramouche has now been upgraded to travel zone Amber from Red. Order has been restored in all the major population centers and the Travellers' Aid Society is pleased to announce the re-opening of its class A facilities at Brogan's Down Starport. Travellers are advised to exercise caution, however, when travelling to this world as sporadic fighting still continues in rural areas and local curfew regulations are strictly enforced. [JTAS #7]
The Admiralty was electrified by the reported appearance of a substantial Zhodani war fleet at Ruie (Regina 0209 C776977-7), scarcely a parsec from the sector capital. /the report was carried by the detached scout/courier Wayward Dream. The crew of the Wayward Dream were quickly cloistered by Imperial Naval Intelligence and the ship placed under heavy guard in a sealed hangar bay at Luck Gibson starport. Ground crews at the starport, however, reported that the vessel showed some evidence of battle damage.
While all naval personnel at Regina Naval Base were put on full readiness, all ten heavy SDBs were launched and are rumored to be vectored toward Prometheus, the large gas giant would be a first priority target of a hostile fleet.
Representatives of the diplomatic ministry have pressured the Zhodani embassy for an explanation, but thus far Ambassador Shterbifriashav has been unavailable for comment. Although Ruie is not an Imperial world, a Zhodani fleet almost certainly have had to have violated the demilitarized zone. established after the Fourth Frontier War. Grave diplomatic repercussions are expected. [JTAS #9]
The Duke of Regina, speaking through his seneschal, announced in an emergency press conference that as of 12:01 A.M. this date a formal state of war has existed between the Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate. The seneschal explained that the declaration of war was handed to him by Ambassador Shterbifriashav late last night. The seneschal declined to answer questions, stating that no further information was available at that time. [JTAS #9]
Word has today been received by fleet courier of the invasion of Regina, the capital of the Spinward Marches. Naval spokesmen of the 212th Fleet declined to comment publicly, but in private one naval officer expressed the opinion that prolonged resistance on the world was unlikely in the event of a serious Zhodani assault.
Coming only days after receipt of the news of the outbreak of the war, news of Regina's invasion is a heavy blow to hopes of an early victory over the Zhodani. The fall of Regina could sever the main communications artery to the Jewell subsector, and seriously hinder communication with fleet elements presumed to be fighting there. [JTAS #9]
Army Vice-Marshal Adam Lord Bryor today announced that a presumed state of war now exists between the Imperium and the Sword Worlds, following reciept of word that Lanth (Lanth 0109 A879533-B) was under attack by fleet and ground elements of that state. Characterizing the Sword Worlds' action as "a perfidious betrayal", Bryor dismissed any suggestion that Rhylanor was vulnerable to a Sword Worlds attack.
"In addition to the Imperial Marines on-planet, Rhylanor has 25 active divisions equipped to Imperial standards", Bryor explained. "Even if a Sword Worlds squadron could fight its way through Rhylanor's boats, there's no conceivable way a Sword Worlds army could gain a foothold on-planet. Since Rhylanor is one of the foci for naval reinforcement from Deneb sector, a Sword Worlds fleet would be courting disaster to strike here."
When questioned as to possible plans to retake Lanth, 212th Fleet spokesmen suggested that no such operation was likely to be undertaken in the near future, as most naval assets would probably be concentrated for an attempt to relieve the 43rd Provisional Army along with its supporting naval squadron, at Efate (Regina 0105-A646930-D). [JTAS #9]
The Travellers' Aid Society issued a travellers' advisory, declaring the entire Spinward Marches sector an amber zone until further notice. [JTAS #9]
The local branch of the IISS Detached Duty Office issued orders requiring all detached scout personnel in the Spinward Marches and Corridor subsectors controlling surplus scout vessels and all other retired scout personnel under the age of 66 to report to the nearest scout base for examination.
All scout vessels will be armed and re-fitted for service in scout squadrons attached to the Navy. All retired personnel in suitable physical condition will be inducted into service for the duration of the emergency in accordance with established procedures.
Failure to report for examination during a state of emergency is treason, and a maximum sentence of death may be exacted upon conviction. [JTAS #10]
The Travellers Aid Society announced today that, contrary to rumor, all representatives of the Regina branch of the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society are safe.
"All but a skeleton news-gathering staff has been withdrawn from the system as a safety measure," a society spokesperson said, "but we will continue full coverage of the war as it develops."
The office of the Duke announced that his Grace Norris, Duke of Regina, has been stricken with a variant form of pneumonic virus and has transferred the routine functions of state to a nominee pending his recovery. The brief statement by the Duke's seneschal was made during the regularly scheduled news conference, and no questions were permitted.
Speculation that the Duke has been deposed by rival power factions within the Navy is reported unfounded. [JTAS #10]
Strong Zhodani advances on Louzy and Efate are reported to have been beaten back by Imperial forces late last month. Conflicting reports have prompted the Admiralty to institute a policy of monitoring news releases and rating their accuracy. The ratings for these reports was termed excellent. [JTAS #10]
Long quiescent, the Ine Givar terrorist organization seems to be taking advantage of the dislocation caused by the current war to increase their activities. In addition to reports of activity throughout the war zone, in recent months the Ine Givar have been implicated in numerous acts of destruction and sabotage, including (most recently) the disappearance of the merchant ship Harun-al-Rashid, now six weeks overdue from Equus (Lanth 0807), an explosion and fire in scout base facilities at Meleto (Mora 0407), and the release of a deadly viral toxin into the water supply of the Imperial Naval installation at Bendor (Glisten 0706).
Spokesmen for Naval Intelligence refused to comment on speculation that the Ine Givar might be receiving support from the Zhodani or their allies. A high-placed source, however, said that the possibility of Zhodani or Sword World financial support cannot be discounted.
The most famous pre-war act of terrorism attributed to the Ine Givar took place on Efate (Regina) early in 1105. Until now, no acts have taken place which could be directly attributed to the Ine Givar with the possible exception of the explosion in General Shipyard's Pixie Facility (Regina 0303) later in that same year. [JTAS #11]
Authorities on this agricultural world have announced the discovery and arrest of a number of "sleeper" agents in high places in the planetary government. A press release issued by Naval Intelligence did not reveal names, but said that the agents were citizens of the Sword Worlds, disguised as locals, who had apparently spent years (in one case decades) working their way unobtrusively into the highest councils of the planetary government.
According to the press release, the agents were to break the vital jump-1 route to Regina and the war zone by turning the world against the Imperium, and destroying or impounding supply vessels on their way to the front.
No information is available on how the "sleepers" were discovered. The press release explains that Naval Intelligence does not wish to compromise Imperial agents in Zhodani or Sword Worlds territory. [JTAS #11]
Notwithstanding current military conditions, landing operations or other activity not specifically sanctioned by the Imperial Naval Department will not be tolerated at the following worlds: Pscias (Regina 0506), Shionthy (Regina 0706)), Algine (Regina 0708), Victoria (Lanth 0207), Ylaven (Lanth 0306), Sonthert(Lanth 0308), Djinni (Lanth 0501), and Grant (Jewell 0807).
Subordinate authority for such landings or operations is delegated to fleet commanders when there is incontrovertible evidence that enemy forces have landed on such worlds or intend to do so.
Violations of this directive will be severely dealt with.
By order Santanocheev, Sector Admiral. [JTAS #11]
The office of the Duke denied reports that His Grace Norris, Duke of Regina, had died of a rare form of lung infection. Although declining to answer questions on the Duke's condition, or to reveal the Duke's whereabouts, a spokesman for the Duke's seneschal stated that His Grace was in a safe location, and was recovering rapidly. [JTAS #12]
Unconfirmed reports of the fall of Kinorb (Regina 0602) and Yorbund (Regina 0703) systems to Vargr forces allied with the Zhodani were received today.
The office of Army Vice-Marshal Adam Lord Bryor declined to comment on these reports other than to say that fighting in these two systems continues. [JTAS #12]
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