The INV Hengist Duval lurched into orbit above Gliese A3, a small, barren rock with an even smaller moon. The planet was home to a lucrative mining operation run by the Gliese 900.1 Liberals, the system’s current stewards. Minerals such as bauxite and lepidolite were transported from the surface regularly to Ford Dock, a tiny outpost with limited personnel.
The massive Majestic Class Interdictor boomed and groaned as it exited warpspace, leaving trails of dark matter in its wake that gradually dispersed as it slowed to a halt.

“Destination reached, sir.” announced the Chief Navigation Officer. “All systems online. Detecting a large number of heat signatures nearby, friendly and otherwise.”

Axius Lucretius of Emperor’s Grace allowed himself a small smile. “Looks like we are late to the party...

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“Everything is going according to plan, Senator.”

Marquis Axius Lucretius sat alone at a terminal in the communications room aboard the INV Hengist Duval. The huge Majestic class Interdictor was currently based outside Paez Terminal in the Gliese 900.1 system. Lucretius had requested the sole on-duty comms officer to go down to engineering on the pretext of investigating some lost transmission data. The young officer, new among the crew, was only too happy to assist a member of the Imperium who held such high rank and she immediately hurried off on this fools errand, leaving Lucretius to his own devices. He had then quickly set up a connection to Emperor’s Grace’s main HQ on the surface of HR 706 IV.

“Excellent.” came the reply. “We have been following the progress of the mercs that you employed, and we have been pleased with the outcome thus far...

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Hangar 35, Lewitt Port, Gliese 900.1 System

Furieux swore loudly inside the roomy cargo bay of the Viridian Embrace. He had taken the Lakon Type-7 out  on loan only a week ago from a dealer on Schuster Hub in the Wuru system and was beginning to think it had been a bad idea. On two separate occasions he had scraped the rear of the ship when attempting to dock, not being comfortable in piloting such a large vessel. The second incident had seen some internal damage done to the ships air recycler. While only minor repairs were required, access to the life support panel was difficult to reach. Air quality within the ship was poor however,  leading to the pilot experiencing dizzy spells while in flight...

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Amabassador Russe Jenker and Chairman Agner Muxx of the sat facing each other in the main office of the Gliese 900.1 Liberals. The situation in Gliese 900.1 had become desperate. The Liberals had witnessed public approval for their company sink massively over the last few days. The party was floundering against the might of the present Imperial factions that had gained a major foothold within the system, in particular Emperor’s Grace, the rising stars of the local political stage. With the assistance of a mercenary group known as the 8th Dragon Squadron, the Emperor’s Grace had reached immense popularity among the citizens of Gliese, much to the detriment of the independents who had reigned in the system for decades.  Agner Muxx, leader of the Gliese 900...

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At 1700 local time, the Star & Garter on Lewitt Port was quiet. Bernie, the bartender, was busy restocking the coolers in preparation for the later arrival of pilots belonging to the 8th Dragon Squadron who appeared to have quite an insatiable thirst for all things alcoholic. Bernie’s supplies of Centauri Mega Gin had also become quite low, a favourite among a few select members of said group with a penchant for something a little stronger than the more commonly ordered Gerasian Geuze Beer.

The bartender had served only a few people today and the majority of seats within the establishment were empty. A couple of local traders sat chatting quietly among themselves at the bar nursing their drinks, while in the corner, the best seats in the house, sat five of the 8th Dragon Squadron pilots.

“So...

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