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2227.05.08 - Zot Cluster, Strategic command

The Zotialith People need your help to decide their future.

At the gates of our homeworld, isolationist slavers spit on our egalitarian dream. If we don’t free the oppressed and welcome them, who will?

Our next neighbor, a delusional machine intelligence who sees other species as mere sustenance, must also be stopped.

And beyond, out of reach, a ruthless xenophobic megacorporation with a militaristic agenda is growing. Fast.

What should we do?

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2227.05.08 - Star charts

Here is an overview of the current galactic situation.

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2229.09.18 - Zot Cluster, Molbion starbase

The People of Maz have spoken unanimously: slavery is unacceptable. The Xanir Planetary Administration must stop their unethical business or be dismantled.

In an attempt to free the oppressed, the Admiral has devised a bold pincer attack. Our main fleet is entering Kathea while Fluffy is handling the distant Courus system.

So far, the Xanir outposts look sloppily guarded. Is it a ruse?

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2230.10.20, Uncharted space, Rotanev

Hundreds of light-years away, our most daring explorers have met the Ars Artem, a community of vibrant aliens living aboard a space station. Much to our surprise, and to our relief, they have dedicated their lives to arts and culture.

Meanwhile, after thirty years leading the Zot Cluster, Ockten Komplinart has stepped down. Our new Presiding Speaker is Rinnid Petron, a reformer and a caring scientist, dedicated to building the society of tomorrow.

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2231.02.04 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Eruxo Enterprises are now officially our rivals. They sent us a message saying that "if you are not a client, you are competition." We knew these despicable ultracapitalists would become our mortal enemies the second we met them. Not to mention they are also slavers, and slavers of the most cowardly kind, since we don't even share a border... yet.

With a bit of luck, they'll start a war with the Prime Animus. We'll finish the winner.

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2232.06.27 - Xanyr Planetary Administration, Mardom

After we invaded one third of their territory, the Xanyr defense force finally showed up in the Schinik system. We were damaged from previous battles and outnumbered, yet we beat them to a pulp.

More slavers ships were later sent in Mardom, our last and main objective. They fled as soon as they saw us, only to come back with a much bigger fleet...

We smashed them again. And they capitulated. As expected, slavers truly are a pathetic bunch.

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2232.07.30 - Djomar United Colonies, Seb

We have met two far-off empires. The Djomar United Colonies, while being a democracy with a bit of egalitarian values, is also strongly xenophobic. They are hegemonic imperialists... and very powerful.

The Prikkiki-Ti are utter sociopathic reptiles who told us to quake in fear because our doom is approaching. They are fanatical purifiers... and ironically, very close to their own doom, since Djomar is apparently about to conquer their two last planets.

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2232.12.30 - Unsurveyed system, Seinided

We were wondering why one of the slavers systems was uncharted and unclaimed. Turns out it is the home of a gigantic ether drake, rivaling moons in size and mass. A majestic and highly aggressive creature, with seemingly huge destructive capabilities.

It appears to be guarding a planetoid that initial scans indicates is exceptionally resource-rich. We will leave it alone... for now.

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2234.04.21 - Zot Cluster, Hoshfir starbase

We launched a surprise attack on the Prime Animus in order to liberate the Curator enclave. It has been inaccessible for years due to the single Olbers hyperlane being under the automata’s control. Fluffy will take care of it.

So far, a small Prime Animus fleet attempted to take down our heavily guarded Hoshfir starbase and got wiped out. For a so-called machine intelligence, the Prime Animus is quite bad at maths.

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2234.12.01 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime

Our new colonies are full of surprises.

A while ago, we discovered ancient terraforming installations on Hoshfir Prime, mostly dormant, but causing atmospheric instabilities. We’re trying to restart the terraforming process, hoping it won’t make the planet unlivable.

And now, on Sigma Draconis Prime, we've stumbled upon some kind of dimensional portal. We have no idea where it may lead, nor what may come through, but we're investigating...

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2236.07.13 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime

Our scientists have managed to open communications through the dimensional portal. To our amazement, it leads to a mirrored version of the Zot Cluster. Our Presiding Speaker spoke with their Presiding Speaker.

They don't travel through hyperlanes, but use "warp drives". And they are fighting "warp beasts", which seem to assail every known civilization in their universe. We've established an inter-dimensional trade to help our mirror-selves.

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2236.09.02 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We're facing a crisis. Our citizens don't breed fast enough to manage our expanding territory.

We could easily enlighten the primitive Fungoids on Hesstamur II and invite them to join our Communal Parity.

We could free the remaining Xanyr systems and welcome their Arthropoid slaves as Zot citizens, but it would mean expanding even more.

Or we could build our own robotic citizens, but the tech isn't ready, and our experience with robots is awful so far.

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2236.12.34 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Eruxo Enterprises have declared war on the Prime Animus. It's a sound strategy, since we are currently conquering the other side of the Animus territory. This means we just have to move faster...

Another problem we have to deal with is a shortage of consumer goods. The war effort against slavers and robots is successful, but it's taking its toll on our economy. Our empire sprawl weights heavily on our bureaucratic structure.

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2237.06.30 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Djomar United Colonies tried to insult us, though their babble is so unimaginative that we're quite amused. They called us "rocks", which is indeed very true.

Regarding the Prime Animus, we freed the Cebelrai system and ended the war. The Maxima planet is inhabited by pre-sapient ape-like creatures that were apparently used as some kind of livestock. Maybe we'll attempt to genetically uplift them when we'll get the technology.

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2240.01.01 - Zot Cluster, Sigma Draconis Prime

Great news! The Mirror-Zot Cluster reports that their economy is booming, thanks to our inter-dimensional trade and their recent victories against the warp beasts.

And our hazardous terraforming project on Hoshfir Prime is successful, with incredible results! Thanks to a combination of nanites and new alien biota, the planet's ecosystem has changed into an actual paradise, even more suitable for Zotialith life than Mazov Central.

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2247.03.27 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We have started to enlighten the Fungoids on Hesstamur II. It will take a while, since we also need to teach them communism. In the meantime, we also freed Xana, the former capital planet of the Xanyr slavers.

However, we underestimated the Prikkiki-Ti. The crazed little lizards may look harmless, but they've spread like locusts and conquered 22 systems, including half of the Djomar Colonies. They're now at the gates of the Prime Animus!

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2248.01.05 - Zot Cluster, Xana

The former capital of the Xanyr slavers is an overpopulated hellhole mainly controlled by criminal organizations. Despite martial law and crime reduction programs, violence and corruption are so deeply ingrained in the Xanyr mindset that the situation seems almost hopeless.

Freeing the planet had a huge impact on our economy, causing major productivity loss in all sectors. All Zotialiths are now struggling to stay afloat and absorb the population surge.

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2253.07.07 - Zot Cluster, Xana

The situation on Xana is abysmal. Narcotics abuse has spread planetwide, causing major socioeconomic distress. However, our new Governor is ruthlessly crushing the local crime syndicates, so we may have a chance to stabilize this nightmare of a planet.

Our economy is slowly getting better, thanks to massive efforts to integrate the freed Xanyr slaves. Cohabitation with our new Arthropoids citizens is still complicated, but we can't leave anyone behind.

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2254.03.29 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Having mutual rivals, especially the genocidal Prikkiki-Ti, makes diplomacy with our neighbors easier. As a token of good faith, we've sent large quantities of alloys to both the Djomar United Colonies and the Prime Animus.

Djomar opened their borders, which is appreciated but useless, since the crazed lizards are between us. The Animus offered energy and minerals in return. Maybe we'll manage to unite against Eruxo Enterprises and the Prikkiki-Ti...

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2254.04.29 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We've formed a non-aggression pact with the Prime Animus. This would have been totally impossible a few years ago, but they're surrounded, and smart enough to seek allies in dire times. We've also signed a research agreement, and we've both re-opened our borders.

This means we're now free, if the need should arise, to send military forces through their territory to fight the mad reptile crusaders or the bloodthirsty megacorp.

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2254.09.13 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

A new bunch of dangerous lunatics has contacted us. For once, not utter xenophobes, which seem to populate the whole universe, but plain old ultra-militarists with an strong authoritarian side.

The Yssravannar Trade Association are located between the galaxy center and the Djomar United Colonies, so hopefully they won't bother us before a while... They’re a bit more friendly than Eruxo Enterprises, but ruthless capitalists all the same.

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2255.02.05 - Star charts

The Prime Animus is caught between two brutal warmongers. We will probably need to intervene soon.

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2255.02.10 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We are proud to announce that thanks to our media expertise, Mazov Central has been officially chosen to host the Galactic Market among a plethora of contenders.

The People of Maz are celebrating the delicious irony of this victory. We've played the rampaging ultra-capitalist powers at their own game, since their most important transactions will now happen within the borders of the only communist cluster of the galaxy.

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2255.03.01 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

After decades of struggle to survive and free the oppressed, we're at a crossroads. Our society is ascending to a new level, but what will be the next step?

Keep expanding and crush the puppets of the capital, strive for knowledge and technological excellence, deepen our democratic and egalitarian values, or enhance our increasingly complex bureaucracy?

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2258.02.02 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The People of Maz have decided to focus on a truly united society. Various diplomatic operations have been initiated.

We've accepted a bilateral defensive pact with the Prime Animus. Yssravannar and Djomar did the same, meaning the dreadful Prikkiki-Ti are now stuck between our two alliances. We've also signed non-aggression, commercial and research pacts with Djomar.

Is our corner of the galaxy finally entering a new age of peace and prosperity?

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2258.08.16 - Zot Cluster, Xana

After ten years, order has finally been restored on the former Xanyr slavers capital. The Xana crime syndicates have been dismantled, substance abuse has dramatically decreased, planetary production deficit has been corrected, and martial law has been lifted.

It is a new era of harmony for our Arthropoid citizens, who have abandoned their obsolete and harmful power structures to fully embrace the Zotialith egalitarian values.

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2259.11.28 - Zot Cluster, Inegore

A large group of criminals, presumably former slavers and Xana crime lords, are attacking trade routes in the systems we've liberated from Xanyr influence.

They call themselves the Ghost Flotilla and have gained control of the Inegore outpost. We're sending the Scarred Stratum fleet to deal with them. Space pirates won't be tolerated under Zotialith rule.

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2260.08.02 - Eruxo Enterprises, Eruxo Prime

The ideologies of our old rivals have shifted. Under the pressure of an internal faction called the Committee of Scientific Ascendancy, Eruxo Enterprises have become slightly less xenophobic and more outwardly materialist.

We probably won’t avoid war in the future, but this might ease diplomatic frictions, since our Communal Parity also value materialism, though only in moderate proportions.

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2261.01.13 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We've sent massive amounts of organic food to the Xanyr Planetary Administration and signed a non-aggression pact with them. Being lenient to slavers isn't our style, but we've decided to try a peaceful solution to end to their reign.

Their territory has shrunk dramatically and they're on the verge of collapse. If we could gain the trust of their more open-minded citizens, annexing and absorbing them could be done without bloodshed.

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2262.05.24 - 2259.11.28 - Zot Cluster, Inegore

Admiral Nock-Sheen has jokingly confirmed that the Ghost Flotilla is now made of actual ghosts. To prevent future piracy threats, we've started to build defense platforms in all high-risk systems.

Meanwhile, we've been contacted by the Hydari Confederation, a theocratic republic. Surprisingly, while spiritual, they're not fanatic, and even value equality. We could get along... Too bad they're located on the other side of the galaxy.

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2263.02.05 - Zot Cluster, Strategic Command

Our allies from Djomar want our help for a pincer attack on the Prikkiki-Ti. These xenocidal reptiles are a major threat to the galaxy and must be dealt with quickly. But we have a logistical problem.

We can’t access Prikkiki-Ti territory. The ruthless Eruxo megacorp controls the former Prime Animus hyperlanes that would lead us there. Worse: if the Animus gets involved, we won’t be able to defend their systems without attacking Eruxo first.

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2264.01.10 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our scientists hesitate between two research domains. While not mutually exclusive, they might change our whole society.

Gene tailoring would allow us to make our own bodies more adaptive and efficient, and able to grow and learn as fast as carbon-based life forms.

Robotic engineering would let us build synthetic citizens to perfectly suit our needs, but with potentiality even more ethical and societal issues to deal with.

What should we focus on?

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2266.03.30 - Zot Cluster, Strategic Command

Djomar United Colonies have declared war on the Prikkiki-Ti Purifiers without us. Our main fleet is on the way to claim the hyperlanes blocked by Eruxo, but even if we manage to quickly secure these systems, we will need years to reach Prikkiki-Ti territory. We can still help Djomar economically, but they must fight the crazed lizards alone.

Meanwhile, Yssravannar and Hydari are sending us gifts. It seems our friendship has become quite valuable...

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2268.01.27 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our eminent socio-engineer Jhagg Dock-Naest, who contributed to countless societal improvements since the beginning of Space Age, has died suddenly of a strontium stroke, at the age of 141.

It is a time of mourning, but also of celebration: Igvi-Azut, a promising young technologist from the Xana forge world, will replace them. He is a former Xanyr slave, and will be the first non-Lithoid citizen to join the Zotialith scientific committee.

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2269.07.07 - Zot Cluster, Eye of Bal

Gleem Staneef, our lead engineering scientist, has died in odd circumstances at only 146 year old. The investigation isn’t complete, but some evidence hints at Eruxo Enterprises. This direct threat didn’t stop our attack on the hyperlanes they’re monopolizing: we’re reached our objectives.

In dire need of a quick replacement, we turned to the Curators from the Eye of Bal blackhole, and hired a brilliant Molluscoid scholar simply known as The Mentat.

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2274.02.13 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Djomar United Colonies and the Prikkiki-Ti have agreed on a status quo settlement to end the war. It seems that Djomar did well without us. They've managed to reconquer a couple of their reptile-occupied systems. Djomar also founded a federation called the Grand Alliance, which the Prime Animus and Yssravannar have joined.

Power is shifting. We'd better get an invite soon.

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2275.05.01 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our bizarre war against Eruxo Enterprises has finally come to an end. Despite scouting through a dozen of their systems, we haven't encountered a single Eruxo ship. Only empty outposts that offered little resistance... Did they just go bankrupt?

We've only claimed the three hyperlanes we needed to move freely towards the Prikkiki-Ti, but maybe it's time to launch a major offensive and crush Eruxo's devious ultracapitalist ideology once and for all.

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2277.01.01 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The People of Maz have been invited to join the Grand Alliance at last... but not as full members. Instead, we’re mere "federation associates". Other empires fear our military power even more than our strong egalitarian values, and want to keep us on their side.

In any case, we need to be cautious. We've learned to trust the robotic mind of the Prime Animus over the years, but Djomar United Colonies don't hide their appetite for conquest and domination.

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2280.08.23 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Xanyr Planetary Administration has agreed to become our vassals. Over time, we know that we will replace their archaic slaver mindset with true communist values.

They also warned us that beyond Eruxo Enterprises lies Ganvus, a small but immensely powerful empire, founded eons ago by a species far more advanced than anyone we've met. Hopefully, the Ganvus Ancients are only watching us, and don't take part in the galactic turmoil... yet.

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2283.07.11 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

In order to keep up with the massive structural improvement programs we’ve launched on all our colonies, we had to double mineral extraction. The means of production have been delegated to an assembly of self-administered mining cooperatives.

We've also dedicated huge efforts towards our military fleet reorganization, meaning our naval capacity and command chain have improved drastically. Better safe than sorry...

2286.05.03 - Star Charts

The war between the Grand Alliance and Eruxo Enterprises has ended, and borders have shifted. Djomar United Colonies have expanded a lot, including through a couple of wormholes, allowing them to spread into distant systems.

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2289.05.11 - Zot Cluster, Hesstamur II

After more than fifty years, our subtle indoctrination program designed to enhance the primitive Qlorvinserian society is finally bearing its fruits. Their brutal despotism has evolved towards a more democratic and egalitarian system.

It will still take a few more decades before we can safely attempt first contact, and then decide if we can offer them the keys to Space Age.

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2291.05.08 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We've begun to incorporate our Xanyr vassals into the Cluster. In a few years, The old slaver empire will be no more, and its inhabitants will become full Zotialith citizens.

But outside our borders, as Djomar keeps expanding through the Grand Alliance, the future is unpredictable. Maybe we should free Eruxo or Prikkiki-Ti systems before they claim them... Even if we're on the same side for now, their greed could destroy the delicate balance of power.

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2292.01.07 - Zot Cluster, Scorpio Prime

An excavation on Scorpio Prime revealed an extinct species which was tightly monitored and ruled by an omniscient supercomputer. Out of curiosity, we've reactivated the "Oracle"... It could apparently predict the future with 75% accuracy.

While potentially dangerous, it would also be extremely useful in helping us govern our expanding empire. An AI envoy could provide insight on Mazov Central, or the Oracle could automate our administrative network.

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2292.06.10 - Zot Cluster, Scorpio Prime

We’ve decided to accept the Oracle’s envoy, but a bizarre hyperspace glitch has duplicated them. So far, the two copies seem absolutely identical, and extremely efficient in enforcing stability and unity, thanks to their crime prediction algorithms.

We will probably assign one of them to the governance of the Xana sector, where riots and other issues are to be expected once our Xanyr vassals will be fully absorbed into the Zot Cluster.

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2292.09.08 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our Presiding Speaker Rinnid Petron has died of natural causes at the age of 150. New elections will be held in three months. While crime is almost nonexistent in the Cluster, many citizens are already seeing the Oracle as a potential candidate.

One of her avatars has joined the Free Thought Foundation, our major party, and has become a prominent member. Current polls show 42% voting intention for the Oracle, which is more than for any former candidate.

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2292.12.06 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Oracle has been elected Presiding Speaker of the Zot Cluster. We've become the first nation led by someone different from our founding species, not to mention an artificial, millennia old entity, brought back to life thanks to the wonders of science and archeology.

Despite her creators being long extinct, the Oracle has adapted very quickly to our own needs and values. Some say the cost of knowing the future is the future itself, but we shall see...

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2293.08.04 - Zot Cluster, Xana

Our vassals from the Xanyr Interplanetary Administration have been officially integrated into the Cluster. Through the combined work of the Oracle and the Xana governor, the power transition has been very peaceful.

To stay on par with the dynamism of our new Arthropoid citizens, we've launched a global genetic enhancement program that will soften our strong sedentary tendencies. Mineral lifeforms are not known for their mobility, but we intend to change this.

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2298.07.15 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We had to declare a new war upon Eruxo Enterprises. They couldn’t stop contesting our borders over the hyperlanes we had previously secured, and kept displaying an increasingly menacing stance. Coincidentally, Djomar has started a new war against the Prikkiki-Ti.

We’re also saddened to announce the death of Governor Unyoff Petron, who was managing the Mazov Central sector since almost a century. He's been replaced with the second avatar of the Oracle.

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2299.01.20 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

A new political faction calling themselves the Zotialith Preservation Vanguard is pushing hard to assert the primacy of our Lithoid citizens.

While this could be explained in the wake of the Oracle becoming our Presiding Speaker, this is also a worrying source of dissension that could damage the very foundation of our Communal Parity.

But we value democracy. What should we do with these supremacists?

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2300.06.23 - Eruxo Enterprises, Jarad

Our scouts have discovered a natural wormhole in Jarad, a system we're about to free from Eruxo's influence. With a little luck, we could use it as a conduit through subspace, and get access to a friendlier sector of the galaxy.

We've also met the Numistic Order. They belong to an organization of nomadic merchants and seem to be specialized in rare and ancient devices. Our scientists have shown a lot of interested in acquiring a few of their artifacts.

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2300.07.02 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Once their puny fleets took a beating, Eruxo Enterprises admitted defeat faster than expected. But before we could notice anything, they played a dirty bureaucratic trick to keep the Jarad system out of our peace agreement.

It was the only system we were actually interested in because of its natural wormhole. Needless to say, after the mandatory 10 year truce between our two empires, we may show a bit of animosity.

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2302.05.04 - Uncharted Space, Mihil

Thanks to the recovery and study of many alien artifacts over the last century, and to our recent acquisitions from the Numistic Order, we've finally been able to locate a new hyperlane.

It should lead us to the home system of a very ancient species we’ve dubbed as the Precursors. Their world lies at the periphery of the galaxy but within our borders, in Mihil, a system we couldn’t detect until now.

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2303.03.06 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Much to the surprise of our people, after our new presidential elections, Ockten Staneef has replaced the winning Oracle as Presiding Speaker.

Instead of a second mandate, the Oracle has chosen to swap her seat with her opponent and become the new Governor of the Hoshfir Prime sector instead. No doubt her predicting algorithms have played their part in this strange decision.

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2303.08.07 - Zot Cluster, Yuhthaan Majoris

Our archeological efforts on the Precursors homeworld have revealed lots of historical data. It seems that after two millions years, desperately looking for intelligent alien life, they met a younger species, and ironically, their own doom. They panicked, tried to eradicate them, and lost the war.

We've also found an ancient Cryo Core that could drastically reduce our fleets' energy consumption, and fabulous quantities of minerals and rare gases.

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2304.02.20 - Zot Cluster, Hoshfir Prime

In an unexpected turn of events, we had to welcome a whole flotilla of Prikki refugees fleeing Djomar's forces. The reptiles were wandering helplessly from system to system in hope of settling somewhere before running out of supplies.

They look a lot less aggressive than their crazy leaders, and more grateful than genocidal. Maybe we should, as comrade @rezmason suggested, offer them to sunbath on top of our Lithoid citizens to make them feel at home.

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2305.06.23 - Zot Cluster, Ishtrum

The People of Maz are partying like there’s no tomorrow. Our adopted space amoeba and interstellar mascot, the glorious Fluffy, has reached her hundredth birthday. Far from suffering from old age, she's grown to titanic proportions and has become a giant living weapon, more powerful than any known battleship.

She’s currently celebrating by devouring a few dozens of pirate spaceships in our peripheral systems.

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2311.11.16 - Zot Cluster, Brallix

Some suspicious friends of the Numistic Order have left a derelict ship orbiting around the sun of the Brallix system. While we will indeed fine them for polluting our space, we’ve also sent a recycling team aboard the wreckage.

They’ve managed to recover partial references to unknown alien technologies, and we now have enough data to build our own droids. Scientists are excited. Should we proceed?

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2313.06.06 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Oracle has been reelected as Presiding Speaker of the Zot Cluster. Her first decision was to enhance the genes of our Prikki refugees to make them more sociable and productive.

In their decadent society, they were part of a highly inefficient system. Delegating as many tasks as possible to anyone belonging to a lower caste was the norm. They're now happily extracting minerals, with an expertise barely rivaled by our best miners.

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@ice Oh jeez, there goes the neighborhood. That was quick.

I guess we'll soon find out if sentient rocks fossilize.

@rezmason Haha yeah, it seems the Cluster is having its Cambridge Analytica moment. However this is quite strange, since the nation is more united than ever. Maybe the upcoming addition of a bunch of planets filled with Arthropoid folks is stirring the xenophobic pot, but it doesn’t show in the polls at all. Or maybe democracy has been literally hacked ages ago by this future-predicting AI, long before the Cluster even existed...

@ice Have our sentient rock ambassadors attempted to let the lizard empire's representatives sunbathe on top of them? We might see some progress by appealing to their basal needs.

@rezmason That’s a great suggestion, we’ll see if they’re open to this idea! (though realistically this will probably end in a bloodbath.)

@ice Man, working toward galactic peace is like blood from a stone

@rezmason Haha :) I guess galactic peace is simpler to achieve as a devouring swarm. No wasteful diplomacy, no shameful compromises, no internal politics. War replaces all time-consuming and inefficient interactions. Even better, everyone is united -- against you, sure, but united nonetheless. And finally, peace is total and definitive.

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Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.