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TNC News Archive, 2681.089 ( as reported by Barbara Miles )

"Even as the sector recovers from sitting for decades under the looming shadow of the Church of Man and their ‘Retros, piracy, smuggling, and crime in general all have jumped a whopping seventy-percent in Gemini since the failed preemptive invasion by a new and mysterious alien race; the race designated by Confederation Military Intelligence as the ‘Nephilim, a codename dubbed from the Hebrew legend of the ‘gods inside the earth.

"Sector Law Enforcement TCIS and CICINTEL analysts believe the rise is due to the remnants of the alien vessels left over from earlier battles and dogfights. This organic debris includes anything from a fuselage to a disabled alien capital ship, all of them incorporating unknown and undeniably advanced if unusual technology, something that commercial shipyards and mercenary guilds alike want to get their hands on, either by buying it, stealing it… or perhaps killing for it. In addition to the suspected Tanfen Corporation, two known criminal mafia have spearheaded this movement: Black Hydra and 14K, rival syndicates of Asian descent dating back centuries who are evidently locked in a sort of competition with the other.

"From Confeds struggle against the Nephilim, it seems quite the thriving trade has developed in alien artifacts and technology. Those who deal in such wares are either oblivious or indifferent to the clear and present biohazard threat, with risk of fatal contamination through an unknown viral, fungal, bacteriological, or other medium. This risk may be spread through contact (direct or indirect) with alien salvage. Until further notice, class 5 NBC protocols are being observed during any and all direct contact with Nephilim artifacts, known or suspected smugglers, known or suspected pirates, or any of their personnel and equipment. While the Proxima System in Sol Sector has become the major pipeline in this black market, incidences have arisen and spread across Vega, Epsilon, and, as aforementioned, Gemini, the hub of privateering.

"In response to the unprecedented rise in Gemini, Confederation Sector Command in Perry has dispatched several squadrons of their light fighters to assist In-System militia in hopes of keeping all questionable activity to a minimum…"


Capitol Building; Level 76
Planet Nexus Prime
The Nexus System, Fariss Quadrant, Gemini Sector
APR 20 2681/2681.110; 2005 Hours (CST)

Twelve men and women, dressed in black business suits, complete with tie and slacks, seated themselves at a large, round table ten meters in diameter. The book lamps of each position at the table provided the lighting of the entire ill-lit room. Some of the men and women were young and looked as if they were thirty, while some were older than a hundred, those kept alive by life-prolonging medicines and modern cybernetics. A folder of papers, dealing with the topics of the groups bi-weekly meeting, were positioned in front of each person.

The meeting of the heads of the 14K syndicate, one of the largest mafia groups in the sector and one of the more prolific of known space, was about to begin.

"We will now call this meeting into order," the oldest, most distinguished and most powerful woman in the syndicate announced. The mafiosa. A thick batch of white-gray hair covered her head, and several deep wrinkles were set in her deathly pale skin. The woman, appearing of Chinese ancestry, was fitted with a black monocle-like eyepiece fused into her skull a retinal scanner she often used in the countless interrogations shed overseen in her hundred and forty years. "The main topic of the day is to be introduced by our New Constantinople courier."

"Thank you, our mother," the younger man, almost boyish in many respects, responded. Thirty-two year old syndicate courier Bryan Krella departed from his seat and began to pace around the large round table, raising his voice to the rest of the respected group no, his family. Running a hand through his slick, greasy brown hair, he spoke, "As all of you know, we have had a specific advantage over Black Hydra since their regrettable formation in the Pollux System seven years ago... after one of our less-honorable brethren decided to depart from our syndicate.

"Their preliminary dealings with the Kilrathi factions in the Assembly of Clans, including supplying them with weapons and giving them untrue reasons to hinder all 14K operations in Kilrathi space, have allowed them to gain profit in areas we choose not to, which makes them a considerably wealthier organization. We, however, have always maintained the better half of the market; the more discreet, the more lucrative. Shockingly, over the past seven days that has changed.

"After Confed Special Operations forces, chiefly their touted ‘quickike carrier, the Hades-class TCS Cerberus, swept through here and put a stop to alien activity, the aliens left their broken toys behind. Nephilim ship debris has been kicking around the sector for the commercial developer and mercenary alike to pick up and sell. The operatives of Black Hydra have taken this to their advantage. Over the past seven days, we believe they have recovered over sixty percent of the alien wreckage. Black Hydra is going to sell the advanced technology to their numerous contacts, and doing so has given them a tighter foothold in the market, giving them the necessary nudge to put them ahead of us."

Several of the men and womens faces never altered from their ever-stoic exteriors, but the whispers of concern could be heard amongst those at the table. The mafiosa of the 14K spoke, "Courier Krella, what are you suggesting we do about these... unfortunate events?"

"It isnt ‘what I suggest, our mother, but rather ‘who." With that, Bryan pressed a button on his wrist-top computer PPC.

In response, an invisible door opened up from the wall of the wide rotunda, and in walked a man clad in all black. A black flightsuit under a leather bomber jacket complemented the pale mans deceptively innocent hazel eyes and shock of nearly black hair. He stood still, in military fashion, right when he was done entering, then crossed his arms over his chest. Dark as night but bright as day, his stone-set face bore a cold, icy look that commanded domination and superiority.

Serve the Prince...

"He is a mercenary, one of the best. He calls himself a ‘developed killing-machine, and that is no exaggeration. Before championing the now-dispersed Black Lance "

"Ah, the brutes responsible for the war in the Border Worlds eight years ago," a man interrupted.

"Responsible for the deaths of billions on Telamon IV from their Bio-Convergence weapons as well," spoke another.

Bryan coughed, and started again, "Yes, well, he was borne into Confeds Genetic Enhancement program, one of the few unofficially funded programs to come out of their late Black Projects Division, and spliced to perfection." He smiled tightly, acknowledging his good fortune in finding such a mercenary. "Needless to say, he is ideal for our needs: to do whatever is necessary to put Black Hydra into ruin, and us back at the top of the market." Krella was talking to both the group and the mercenary. "We will pay him seven million credits up front, his asking price, and another five million when we are assured of his missions completion." Krella nodded toward the black-dressed man. "With our mothers allowance, of course...?"

No questions, no hesitation, as long as the Prince pays...

The mafiosa thought for a moment, then answered, a note of credence to her voice, "Yes. He will do. I couldnt have made a better choice myself, Courier Krella." She nodded to the man in black, and he smiled respectively in acknowledgement to her and the mission before him.

A few moments of silence were then broken by the question that had to be asked. "Who is he?" a voice from the table queried.

The mafiosa knew the mercenarys face, his name and his tightly-guarded past. She leaned back in her seat, satisfied that Black Hydra was about to face hard times. Finally, she answered the voice, her eyes fixed on the dark figure standing before them:

"Ive heard about him. He calls himself... Seether."

Only the phoenix survives chaos...