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Withmore Globe

A division of the New Light Media Entertainment Group. All rights reserved since 2075.

PERTINENT PENANCE

Last week the city saw the grand opening of the new corporate-funded structure that aims to serve one purpose: lock up the sacks of filth that infest this fine City and keep them down below and under our feet where they can't harm our children and families. Read More

Following piqued interest from the City Council to fight the Red Sector plague that threatens our very own wellbeing, we have personally seen how New Light Media has generously backed the funding of this new facility that aims to ease the burden on the WJF and TERRA, sub-delegating tasks that nobody wants to do such as dealing with vagrant filth and maintaining criminals at bay in their new modern precincts, which counts with the state-of-the-art security technology such as Tiger autocannon guns and mean men with batons.

I was fortunate enough to receive an early tour of the new Sector Correctional Facility and the staff were kind enough to disclose some information with me, related to the new technology they've developed to address the problem of potential prison overpopulation and the excess of shitheads sharing iso-cubes like sardines in a can; one moment, smartasses, because NLM is one step ahead of you.

The brand-new Time Dilation drug is a new substance that will make you want to kill yourself, in essence. But speaking in more scientific terms, the Time Dilation drug alters the perception of time by the person consuming it, essentially making them live in slow-motion.

The drug has acquired a number of street-talk terms such as Slow-Mo and Ti-Di and has been described as being as a severe psychological torture, causing wreck and mayhem in the minds of the people taking it.

Just imagine sitting in a cube and batting an eye, because yes, you need to blink. Now imagine that batting an eye is the most scrutinous process you've ever performed in your life: it feels like an eternity before your eyelids can close and open again. That's Slow-Mo, and while some of my peers have questioned its moral value, I flick them off. Want to know why? Because THEY DESERVE IT!

The prison has seen the most repulsive personalities inhabiting its precincts: we've seen Angus Killian, Epoch Hendriks, and a whole array of disgruntled Mix parodies-of-gangers who are THERE because the LAW put them there for heinous crimes such as HOMICIDE, TERRORISM, AND KIDNAPPING.

I have to congratulate the City, as a witness to their genius and supremacy; For a criminal, a regular sentence will be perceived as eighteen to thirty-six months, while for the rest of us sound-of-mind individuals, it'll feel like two or three days at most, allowing for the quick processing of inmates while ensuring that the severe punishment is enough to prevent a plethora of future crimes.

Not all things are good nonetheless, as the prison staff has seen its own share of hiccups too in its performance. During an interview process, led by Street Judge Amon Janz, a Junior Guard and former convict and murderer who goes by the name of Rais Lee, escorted the Judge to the prisoner's cell. Not long after the Judge persuaded the prisoner to start spilling the beans about his mischief �and don't all Mixers pretend to act tough and like bad boys until they see shiny armor and a big gun, when they piss their pants- the Mixer, whose identity will remain a secret for the naivest audience, slung threats to the guard� who proceed to ATTACK and KILL him AND his cell partner while they were handcuffed!

At first, I thought this was perhaps an ill-disguised attempt at an early escape from their sentence, allowing the inmates an early (though fatal) release, however this occurred on the same day that they were due to be released. I was baffled when I heard the news � this was worse than any other punishment because HOW are they supposed to REMEMBER their punishment if they are MURDERED before being given the chance to update their clones? There�s a reason we built the prison, otherwise the LAW would have fined or executed them in the first place!

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET MIXER TRASH RUN AN ORGANIZATION!

And THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE PRISON need to place HIGHER STANDARDS on the new hires to avoid this kind of petty and pathetic incidents that scream nothing but incompetence. This undesirable trait is already abundant in Red, do we need to have it in the facilities that have been generously granted to them by the corporations? I SAY NO. And while the guard was executed by the Judge and rescinded of his duties, it's just a matter of time before the next guard goes rogue and commits the same acts, or worse: causes a tragedy within the walls of SCF.

This is why we, hardworking corporate citizens, implore their bosses to remain vigilant and prove us wrong. Prove to us that the SCF can work as we intend it to work: as a space for the improvement of Withmore City, our beloved, fine city.

Dark Days

Angus Killian's murder spree comes to a close.

Monday, December 04, 2012

It has been another dark day as several more of our valuable corporate citizens have been murdered in a killing spree that begun several days ago, when serial killer and madman Angus Killian, returned to Withmore.

In a previous article, I mentioned how dangerous my job would be - but I had no idea until I followed a tip that led me into contact with notorious Black Tide terrorist, Nicadameus Fraiser, who returned to Withmore City shortly after the Clone Banks were destroyed. Surrounded by Frasier and his goons, I was told about the explosions, then handed over to a hooded companion, someone whose face I recognised as soon as it was revealed: Killian Rez. Angus. Read More

CyanideGimp on the Grid - whatever name you want to call him.

He took his time with me. He slashed my skin apart, opening wound after wound. The irony wasn't lost on me as every beat of my heart, both sustained my life... and brought me closer to death. None were as painful as the moment that he took away my beauty. One of his gnarled hands wrapped around my throat while the other slid the sharp, cold blade into my eye socket until I was left with nothing but a gaping hole. Pump.. pump.. pump. Every rapid, terror-filled pulse pushed the last of my consciousness away.

I am only alive to bring you this story because of the brave vigilance of Field-medic Rejind who heard public discussion about the assault, investigated and relayed information to the authorities that recovered me. He was also the medic who administered the life-saving treatment that I required. I was lucky to have survived.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for my fellow colleague, Litso Dimulya. I met Litso for the first time yesterday after being returned by the WJF to the protection of NLM Corporate Security. She was so very gentle and kind - and sympathetic after her own personal experience. You see, Litso was another one of Killian's helpless victims, murdered in cold blood after being lured into a stolen cab - CHEX vehicle C326 and she wasn't the only one.

This evening, Doctor Dace Railey from Westside Elective Clinic, became another victim. Dr Railey is someone much beloved by dear friends of mine - all of them good people who worked hard to earn their places in the Corporate world - who constantly strive to improve themselves and provide valuable contributions to society. While I barely know the woman myself, what I do know of her is that she is an innocent woman and she didn't deserve to die.

This believe was affirmed when a friend of Dr Railey attempted to call her after hearing about the abduction, This friend stayed on the line, enduring a conversation with the twisted tongue of a predator, relaying information in an attempt to save her live. Killian answered the phone and agreed to an exchange - my life for hers. A stupid thing to agree to, oui, but those who know me, know that I have a difficult time sitting idle in an apartment while innocent people are being murdered. Especially after the heinous crime he committed earlier that day.

When I woke up that morning, I'd been informed that Killian had been apprehended by Judges and was undergoing treatment for Degenerative Clone Disease (DCD) so that he could be incarcerated. Unfortunately, he managed to escape, but an anonymous tip revealed his location. In a valiant attempt to contain the madman before he could hurt any more civilians, Judge Janz followed Killian down into the mix, but was outnumbered, overpowered and tortured to death. He lied to me, with promises that the good Judge would be let go if I'd meet him at the Drome � something I foolishly considered until sources warned me that the Judge had already been murder. He told me the same lie, agreeing to releasing our innocent Doctor.

What I didn't know at the time though was that CHEX C326 wasn't the only stolen vehicle in operation. No, Killian had stole another taxi, C675 - the one he was telling me to get in. But he couldn't hold up his part of the deal because Dr Railey wasn't going to be released. Epoch Hendricks and Lana Aila murdered her in the back seat of cab C326 while he fled the scene. That's when the WJF stepped in, using a Locust Cargo AV to hoist up cab 326 - passengers and all - dropping it off in the brand new Sector Correctional Facility where Hendricks and Aila will now serve their time.

In just a few days, I've witnessed hero worship from confused and delusional mixers who believe that he is going to provide them with some kind of revolution, but you poor, confused souls couldn't be more wrong. Angus Killian is a madman. Literally, one of the most complicated cases of DCD. He's a broken record, doomed to repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

The manipulations of Killian are indiscriminate. Sure, his current preference for chaos is to ignite the criminal mixer population into action against corporate citizens, but take it from someone who knew him in a past life - Angus Killian is a dangerous lunatic. He is encouraging the mixer population to rise up, inciting acts of violence that led to the recent, grievous attack at New Light Station.

Why? Because he was turned on, by another notorious criminal. Someone who ripped all the chrome from his body, without anaesthesia, in a shack in Bansuporu Park before being left for dead in the wastelands with nothing but a canteen full of piss. He has died so many times, that he can't even remember who he loves, or who he hates. So he hates us all. But this all happened because of.. you guessed it.. another forsaken criminal, Mark Grey. Ivan. D. Why do these criminals all have so many names? I'm starting to notice a pattern here. But anyway, most of you won't remember him, not unless you search the grid for old news. Killian didn't always used to be so bad - he was a decker, a good one too. But Grey pushed and pushed, killing everyone that Killian loved. All of his friends. That drove him to sell himself to the highest bidder and jack himself up with more chrome than anyone should really be able to survive. Those two fought so often.. that eventually, Killian ended up becoming exactly like the man that he hated so much.

And that's where we end up today. Remember my lesson, people. I'll repeat it, so it sinks in: The mix is a cesspool where filth breeds filth. It rots anyone that lingers too long, just like how it's rotted Killian's mind away. Don't make me write it again.

Until next time, our cherished readers, here's an exclusive peek inside the new Sector Correctional Facility:

[A photograph of SCF - Processing: This spacious room seems to get a lot of traffic, a trail of scuff marks clearly visible along the floor from the constant foot traffic of inmates and facility personnel alike. A watch desk sits a short distance away from the southern wall, allowing facility personnel to keep a careful eye on the procession of inmates in their distinct jumpsuits. Through the west, you can see the first row of the prison's isolation cubes awaiting their immediate residents. An iso-cube control kiosk is here set into the wall near the door, casting a soft glow. A framed poster titled 'WCS' on the wall finishes with the tagline 'Withmore depends on City Services'. Jericho is here, locked in the grasp of Lorraine Seabrook.  Judge Hart is maintaining a vigil.  Angus Muir is standing here.  Dru Coetzee is sitting at the watch desk.]

Caption: The Processing Room - where criminals are sorted into their cells. Unfortunately, while given a tour of one, I am not permitted to share photos of secure areas with the public. I'm sure you can all appreciate why. Nonetheless, the cell that I saw was a simple room with all the basic amenities - one of the ones given to sleepers, who will now be carried into them by TERRA or WCS personnel instead of left at the coffins.

[A photograph of SCF - Visiting Area: This large, plain room is utilitarian and has so little in the way of decoration that anything without function stands out like a sore thumb. A concrete floor has been painted a shade of medium gray and covered with a thick layer of shining epoxy. A circular reception station stands in the center of the room made of translucent white polycarbonate with metal accents, its surfaces scratched and dinged up over time. On its counter is a single fake-looking plastic plant which could use a good dusting. Hideous pea green airport-style bench chairs have been lined all around the edges of the room with the seat-areas faded slightly, obviously host to many past visitors. The dingy white walls do little to remove the feeling of claustrophobia one might get in this windowless, near-featureless space. A sign over the eastern door states: 'ALL Visitors MUST Check In At Desk'. A black camera hangs from the wall watching the area. A framed poster titled 'SCF' on the wall finishes with the tagline 'The Sector Correctional Facility, a place for rehabilitation'. Dennis Harewood is patrolling the prison, beatboxing under his breath.  Judge Hart is maintaining a vigil.  The reception station is empty, in the middle of the room. The bench chairs are lined in neat rows along each wall.]

Caption: The Visiting Area, where the slow realisation that nobody cares enough to visit will slowly dawn upon you.

[A photograph of SCF - Cafeteria shows: A large, checkered tile room flooded by the artificial blue glow of the overhead fluorescent lighting. The drab beige walls are completely bare save for a notice board and a large framed T.E.R.R.A. recruitment poster. Agents in jumpsuits or plainclothes march through the serving line at the counter along the north wall, taking trays of food to the numerous long tables that take up most of the room. The meal counter is lined up along the north wall, condensated with the moisture of many steam trays. Pauline Chiu is fast at work behind the meal counter.  Saul Pine is most certainly not passing out seconds.  Judge Hart is maintaining a vigil.  The southern cafeteria bench is vacant. The central cafeteria bench is vacant. The northern cafeteria bench is vacant.]

Caption: The Cafeteria, serving sloppy synthesized meat-foods to inmates.

(Edited by NewsDesk at 1:41 am on Dec. 7, 2102)

Phantom Friday

December 01 2012

The greedy hands of the grim reaper wrapped their shadowy fingers around the life force of the infamous Kobayashi Hiro today, in a very public and extremely excruciating expiry.  

It was a gruesome display, captured live from FreeSky and broadcasted to millions of viewers across the Dome. As we watched on, news flooded in about the destruction of several Genetek data storage facilities in an act of extreme terrorism that resulted in a massive loss of life and a significant loss of clone data. Fortunately for citizens of Withmore, no attacks were reported within our own city. Genetek has confirmed that they are working to restore the lost clone data. Read More

Grand Inquisitor Anderson revealed in a public statement, that Kobayashi Hiro was involved in the act of theft of Corporate property and secrets, resulting in the mass-death of several hundreds of people through a cascading series of events.

"While [the events of the day] may very well been out of his control, he was the catalyst for this tragedy and will be remembered as such." announced the Grand Inquisitor, "Former Citizen Kobayashi Hiro, to be known henceforth as the terrorist Kobayashi Hiro is now deceased without clone data."

The Grand Inquisitor reassured the city that the events that were broadcasted live by NLM were no cause for alarm, as the mysterious viral infection that brought about the very public and excruciating death of Kobayashi, was contained and dealt with.

Many thanks are given to NLM�s courageous John Fergeson who braved the horrific events in order to bring this footage to the people, which is programmed to be broadcast again today on Channel Two.

(Edited by NewsDesk at 3:21 pm on Dec. 2, 2102)

Guess Who's Back?

Aurelie Claudel's First Article Since Cryo

I WOKE UP from cryo about a week ago. Can you imagine it - waking up one morning and remembering yesterday as clear as a crystal, except that today isn't the -tomorrow- that you were expecting? One day, you're a superstar living a glamorous life in a penthouse with champagne and the next, you're sitting in a shady bar with a rum in hand, listening to the monotonous conversation of a passive society drag on.

And I'm not talking about those times when you've spent all night dancing and partying and consuming vast quantities of alcohol, no - you tend to wake up from those, several hours, several days later, capable of picking up the pieces. Read More

Like when the legendary Jesus Christ was buried in a cavern and arose from the dead, 3 days later, so was I resurrected.

Relationships, like sharks, have to keep moving to stay alive. That's how I reasoned when I lowered down beneath the cool fog of a heavy slumber; eight years would create ample distance between me and my treacherous past. Eight long fucking years, but my face - the product of generations of meticulous eugenics, an asset that was blasted out along the waves of NLM until it penetrated the vision and minds of a passive consumer audience, nightly on Channel 68 - my face is still the same when I look in this grimy, god-knows-what covered mirror. The memories of Killian Rez, Navarre Russo, Jimmy Babylon and Seven Ecks - they're still as fresh as a squeeze of lime in a margarita.

The silence was a blood-curdling scream of anguish, set out to break my soul; any attempt to reach out to the numbers that had been etched in my memory were rewarded with a cruel beep and a sterile pre-recorded, "Invalid number, please check the number and try again." Any notion of a friend had been sacrificed. I was on my own again.

Any immigrant will know that feeling as they step through the gates. Primary needs became a concern. Without friends, you're fucked - a real friend is a rarity, a priceless treasure, the most valuable antique - they'll pull you from the dark and lead you to the light. Without a safe place to sleep, you're beyond fucked - I'd wake up in the dirty shack of a ripper, warez ripped from my flesh - and a few organs missing too.

My life was no longer a champagne dream, but a cold hard smack in the face as reality sunk in. And where does every nobody with nothing belong in this town? That decrepit, vile pit of snakes; the Mix.

There's a reason why we're all warned to stay away and Saturday, November 11, was no different. The streets were narrow, bums and street urchins haunting me with their haggard, malnourished faces. A sweet scent lingered from above; a floral bouquet, a hearty meal, a musky perfume. It did little to conceal the noxious stench of rotting meat and feces that wafted up from below. In the neon lights of a flickering hotel sign, I spotted a giant; seven-foot-tall and built like a bear with muscles that rippled with every movement.

A figure soon emerged from the shadows, the fiery mouth of a pistol gleaming in the dim light of an overhead street lamp. Footsteps pounded the pavement. The bewildered giant dropped into a fighting crouch and prepared for an attack.

There's nothing you can do against the splatter of blood and agony that occurs when a male appendage is punctured by a hurtling piece of metal. Another bullet ripped a hole in his ear. Not one to stand idle and watch, I sprang towards the assailant, grappling his bony form in my arms. But it was all in vain - my grip slipped on the dark fabric of his shroud and I watched as the giant hulk fell to the ground.

It must have been the fifth bullet that ended his life; cranial pulp splattered on the unforgiving asphalt, blood oozing from a gaping hole in his skull. As the commotion ended, the door to a rundown motorhome parked beside us opened. From every nook and cranny, Mixers came crawling out, idle spectators eager to ogle the aftermath.

My experience in the Red Sector was not uncommon. It was at that very same location that criminal Epoch 'Inko' Hendriks permanently murdered nurse Sriman Sho, dragging him behind the New Rose Hotel and stabbing him to death. Sho, who went by the alias Rune, was an an immigrant employed at Constantine General Hospital (CGH), a hospital generously funded by corporate sponsors in order to help the underprivileged.

This very same criminal is the one responsible for the previously unsolved murder of ViriiSoma's Avarius Pike when he was once a TERRA agent, fighting an uphill battle against the rampant crime that plagues Red Sector like a indiscriminate virus. An anonymous source revealed that Hendriks grabbed Pike from behind and slit his throat before burning the body and all evidence.

One may wonder why our esteemed Corporations bother to continue providing support and aide to a sector so completely overwhelmed by criminal activities, but the vermin that prey on its staff are unlikely aware of the importance of such an establishment. Before my cryo, CGH did not exist. If anyone needed treatment, their only real option was FullerMed - the place where gangers and criminals go to have bullets removed and sword wounds stapled. I've been in it: you're as likely to die from the filthy conditions as you are to get robbed on Fuller Street when leaving it.

Unlike the inaccurate and quite frankly, venomous drivel that leaks from the mouths of the unsavoury- Corporations are not the enemy- they are. Their violent attacks and vicious lies prevent the injured and ill from seeking the treatment that they often desperately need. One such lie I've heard, is that the paperwork from CGH is sent to the WJF. Investigating the matter, I found this was simply not true. After speaking with several of the staff members, it became obvious that trust was a fundamental issue with their patients. Mixers are wary of any and all corporations, even when it comes to receiving lifesaving medical procedures in their own sector.

It is not easy to find sources and the new role that I have is dangerous, however silence is a disease. Only by speaking up and uniting together against this common enemy, ignorance, that future generations will have any hope for peace. For now, it is my hope that Justice will be served, swiftly and to the full extend of the Law, to violent criminals such as Epoch Hendriks. And to all the zealous fans of Mixer-wannabe superstars, like my former onscreen fiance, Juicy Vee, take heed of my advice; the Mix is nothing like the romanticized fantasy portrayed purely for sensationalized entertainment, no - the Mix is a cesspool where filth breeds filth. It will rot anything that lingers too long.

NEWS ALERT: RLF bombs multiple Red districts

Secondary explosions. Hundreds wounded. Gone political.

Today at 16:00, explosions started happening around the lower sector of the city. Cries for help lured emergency personnel and other first-responders who were caught in secondary blasts.

SIC alias 'Sirus' started spewing verbal diarrhea over the radio waves, expounding on a rudimentary, simplistic, radical view on politics based on the kind of thinkers that have been excluded from credible academic courses for generations.

Mixers predictably reacted like animals, confused and shocked then angry and stupid, attacking each other over who got to loot the shattered corpses of the victims, mostly gangers and other criminals. Read More

Outside of the comparatively small affected areas, life carried on like nothing happened, with Mixers ready to celebrate while their fellow trash people rotted in the streets, the debris of their shabby construction projects strewn everywhere.

Overall, this is just another proof of the madness of RLF and of the Mixer vermin. While increasingly political, the terrorists' thoughts are "immature, paranoid and psychopathic" according to political scientist Lindsey Robertson, professor at Withmore University. "It is simply impossible to accept giving up individual freedom for political freedom in the context of zero-sum societies with high levels of trust eccentricity (over five points) between social layers. Synthesizing cross-media content as part of the reinvention of best-of-breed educational platforms has repeatedly shown this to be true."

The WJF assures us that immediate preventive measures will be taken and a risk-assessment for corporate areas will be processed post-haste. This does not, of course, mean it will waste any resources should the violence remain isolated. The Force continues to be a global model for the efficiency and effectiveness of our system of Law.

WJF Press Release: WSB Robbery Foiled.

Official Press Release
Withmore Justice Force

Bank Robbery Frustrated by Judges
10th October, 2102

On the ninth of October at approximately 23:00, bystanders reported disturbances at Withmore Savings Bank central branch on Soma Street in Gold Sector. A solitary Judge unit responded, only to be stunned by a sonic grenade which did no harm to the Law Enforcement Officer, despite knocking out the innocent bystanders.

Response crimes in Gold Sector vary from ten to eighty seconds, in average. The response time for the Judge units called for the altercation in Gold fell within this margin, and soon the gunslinging criminals were surrounded by a small squad of the elite lawmen. Read More

Deadly gunfire broke the hubbub of the streets as the Judges unwielded their firearms and, outnumbered two to one, subdued the criminals, rendering them dead. No civilian casualties were reported.

The Medical Response Team successfully resuscitated the five perpetrators, to be brought into interrogation at the Hall of Justice. Shortly thereafter the identities of the criminals were confirmed, mostly all residents from Red Sector: Jak Din, Epoch Hendricks, Wilco Robbins, and Jason Stettem. An additional perpetrator named Zhang Jei, a former Corporate Security worker, was also caught as he attempted to escape the scene of the crime.

Further forensic investigation concluded that the criminals were working on an underground tunnel that would break into the vault of the bank. However, little did they know that the vault at the time was empty due to protocol procedure in the bank operations. This poses new challenges for the safety of our city, such as the trustworthiness of corporate citizens who could pose a threat of espionage or infiltration, and the infrastucture which connects Red Sector with Gold Sector, issues which are being addressed today. With this in mind, it makes sense that the City is so keen on reporting fellow coworkers who might be consorting with "unsavory individuals".

A total of three high-caliber firearms were confiscated, along with three blades or other melee weapons. Promptly the Citizens were executed and sent to iso-cubes for an indefinite amount of time. This is the first attempted bank robbery in three years for the main branch of Withmore Savings Bank.

The Justice Force commends the labour of Judges Steele, Hart, and Janz for their bravery in the field, as well as the crucial cooperation of our Medical Response Team, the WSB staff, and the citizens who had to endure this tragical experience.

And as always, we remind you to obey the Law at all times, and report all crimes to the Hall of Justice.

Gun License Crackdown!

WJF vows to crackdown on licences

Read More

In a statement released earlier this evening by the Hall of Justice, the Withmore Justice Force has vowed to crackdown on what some citizens have been calling 'an epidemic of gun violence' by tightening the rules governing who is allowed to get a gun license and why.

In years prior, the licenses were hard to come by, being approved only for corporate security agents, private military contractors, bodyguards, and protection company employees.

In recent years the rules have gotten laxer and any corpie claiming to 'need to protect themselves' that didn't have a criminal record would typically be able to acquire a permit.

The new crackdown doesn't seek to audit existing licenses so much as lay the groundwork for restricting new permits to the uses outlined above, that were more typical in years past.

Corporate Security agents will still be able to get a license for a weapon, but this license will only remain valid during the time they are employed and becomes invalid if they lose their job, quit, or transition to a non security position.

Some have suggested that this new policy will lead to corruption within the WJF, as well to do corporate citizens offer bribes to Judges to push through their licenses where they might otherwise be denied. Only time will tell.

Life Among The Stars

A brief look into the disciplined spacer society of FreeSky

by Hellcat, Withmore Globe Editor

With the PRI merger underway, the opportunity arose to visit FreeSky and the nearby Kashflo Kasino with associates at NLM to see how, if at all, the incidents leading up to the historic merger affected those who chose to make their fortune amidst the stars.

It's hard to place if the atmosphere around FreeSky is any different following the hostage situation last month involving the Skywatch Asteroid Fleet Endeavor. The people here all seem to move with purpose, carrying themselves with a duty-oriented mentality that seems to be present everywhere you look. It doesn't take a genius to understand why, of course. Read More

With repairs still well under way a year and some chyen after the explosions which tore through the upper sections of FreeSky, the remaining limited real estate is designed to maximize efficiency--a core tenet of the station's design, everything has purpose, nothing is wasted.

Things look a few steps short of pure chaos as I step off the ramp of the Abbondanza, the orbital runner responsible for ferrying high rollers to and from the Kashflo Kasino. Spacers and tourists alike are packed shoulder to shoulder as they are processed through the lines at the disembarkment atrium, harangued on all sides by vendors peddling knick-knacks and clothing of peculiar, off-world fashion. Peacekeepers, the FreeSky equivalent to our own Withmore Justice Force, oversee things under a stern visage. They're easy to spot in the crowd, sporting gleaming black armor and helmets with glowing red eyes. It's not a job I envy, despite the imposing look.

After taking some time to adjust to the recycled air and artificial gravity of the station, I manage to find one of the off-duty Peacekeepers getting what looked like some much-needed R&R at the promenade's most recognizable hangout spot, the Cafe Au Revoir. Though initially skeptical, he agreed to talk shop over scotch as we took in the view of the station's exterior through the massive wall-sized window. Peacekeeper Reynolds, as he prefers to be called, settles into a corner table with a wide view of the bar, and I don't need to see his face to know he's only half-paying attention as he keeps tabs on the comings and goings of the patrons. At his request, we dispense with the pleasantries and get down to brass tacks.

Reynolds is quick to tell me that he's not at liberty to discuss the finer details of the investigation into the events leading up to the SAFE fleet incident, but that there wasn't much in the way of progress to report on even if he could. He is pretty open in admitting that the Peacekeepers lack the investigative resources of Withmore's Justice Force, stating quite plainly that "keeping the peace is as good as we get." I ask him how residents of the station--the career spacers, not tourists like myself--took the news of the fleet hijacking. If some of them had reconsidered their way of life considering the situation. He gives a subtle shake of his head, then motions around the room with a broad sweep of his hand. "You choose to live up here, you accept the risk. Lost a brother last year. Still here. I know he'd be here if it had been me. Can't accept the risks, got no business being up here in the first place."

He excuses himself from the table with a weary sigh, as a fight appears to be seconds from breaking out across the bar between what I later learn are the crews of rival salvage vessels. Though tempers appear to be running hot, Reynold's very real threat of confiscating and stripping their ships for parts to help the station seems to put an end to whatever dispute. The crews retreat to their respective seats to glower angrily at each other.

The trip back to the casino leaves me plenty of time to ruminate. It's a curious creature that opts to live out their life in space, and if anything, this conversation has made it clear to me that it is not a life for the faint of heart. FreeSky is a tougher place than most give it credit for, and the people who keep it running move and act with purpose, a trait I wish I saw more of amongst my peers. It's a hard life for hard people, but the view's worth it.

---

Can you write worth a damn? Do you have an inquisitive mind? Are you not stupid? If the answer to all of these is yes, the Withmore Globe might have a place for you. Gridmail a resume and a sample article to NewsDesk for review.

What PRI really means for you.

An in-depth look at the merger and its lasting effects.

by Hellcat, Withmore Globe Editor

These past few weeks have seen shifts of titanic proportions in the business world that will have lasting impacts still felt long after you, I, or anyone else under this dome finally punches out. The eleventh hour acquisition of the sinking manufacturing and robotics megacorp Shinohara Heavy Industries, by Skywatch Orbital Research will officially make the newly formed Planetary Resources Incorporated capable of utilizing its own manufacturing and distribution networks to actualize the projects the original research and development megacorp--Skywatch--was stuck farming out to other corporations. Read More

This lack of external reliance slingshots PRI right up into the biggest of the big leagues, allowing them to undertake any number of projects one hundred percent in-house.

What's that mean to the everyday citizen? Mia Tanoko, one of the newly appointed public relations representatives for PRI stationed here in WIthmore, had some things to say on the subject when I called her up.

M.T.: "We're looking at a brighter future, if you'll pardon me trotting out the tired sayings. All of the research potential of Skywatch coupled with Shinohara's resources to build it? Humanity as a whole should be expecting some big changes in the coming decades, that's for sure."

H.: "You mean aside from the fact that we'll have space rocks playing musical chairs as our second moon?"

M.T.: "*laughter* The SAFE fleet - yes, it was intentionally called SAFE, you can all stop asking - is definitely the crown jewel in PRI's brand new portfolio, but if you look at the kinds of things Skywatch and SHI have done independently before today, you'll realize there's some very big potential now that we've joined forces."

H.: "Things that you're not prepared to talk about yet, I understand. Now, many people have pointed out that mergers of this scale usually take months, if not a couple of years, to come together. What prompted the shotgun wedding?"

M.T.: "Our partners on the project were sinking fast, is what. At the time, we at Skywatch didn't want the corporation to be susceptible to an internal takeover or be forced to start selling assets, anything that could have jeopardized the success of the mission or resulted in our people being stranded in deep space. When you see something like this, and you have the means to do something about it, well� Skywatch did the right thing. We kept them alive."

H.: "And what about the leadership? With mergers like this, surely some people won't be seeing it as 'the right thing' when they're being sent home with a pink slip."

M.T.: "*dry laugh* That's a great observation. It's never perfect, but I'd like to think we minimized the negative impact. Of course, former Skywatch leadership assumed controlling roles in top positions. Tabitha Swift is the CEO, just as she was at Skywatch. We of course had to do some internal housekeeping after that unfortunate business with the hostages, but I'd like to think we didn't have to shake things up too hard for it all to fall into place. I won't get into the nitty gritty, but it's safe to say that around ninety percent of the people who had a job with SHI found themselves with jobs when the ink on the merger dried."

Tanoko concluded the interview by stating that the effects of the merger will probably not be immediately noticeable, with changes slowly being rolled out as departments on both sides adjust to the new lay of the land. She stated while they do consider them important, things like rebranding old merchandise, refurnishing the local office and even deciding what to do with Shinohara's deathball team are currently taking a backseat to the completion of the SAFE fleet's second phase.

"I can't tell you when it'll be done," she said in parting. "But you'll know it when you see it, we'll have a second moon."

---

What kind of effects did the events of the SAFE fleet have on people already living in space? Check the Globe over the coming days for interviews with residents of FreeSky, members of the Peacekeeper forces and more.

---

Can you write worth a damn? Do you have an inquisitive mind? Are you not stupid? If the answer to all of these is yes, the Withmore Globe might have a place for you. Gridmail a resume and a sample article to NewsDesk for review.

BREAKING NEWS! Merger of Skywatch and SHI made official.

Planetary Resources Inc. is new cross-industry powerhouse.

As this reporter sits amidst top Skywatch and SHI executives, overseen by UN officials, the ink is drying on what some are calling the largest merger in history, and you�re reading it here first.

Planetary Resources Incorporated has made it�s debut as the newly formed company from these two monolithic titans of industry. Read More

The energy in the boardroom is immeasurable, as the announcement of the continued SAFE fleet project will serve as their spearhead campaign, reaffirming not only another monumental step in human history, but showcasing their prowess as the foremost leaders in innovation.

It is clear to all that this is just the first great step of many to come from the combined resources and unified vision of an idyllic future for mankind. Despite the setbacks of this last week, PRI has forged themselves even stronger than their predecessors, facing all adversity with tenacity and sheer business acumen.

Readers can be assured that the Globe will be your premiere source for coverage of all of PRI�s future accomplishments.

Skywatch makes bid to buy out Shinohara Heavy Industries.

Merger may be floundering megacorp's last hope for survival.

In a statement released by Skywatch officials this morning, the respective company has announced their offer to buy out what they referred to as the �shell of the once great corporation� Shinohara Heavy Industries. Mia Tanoto, Skywatch PR, stated that executives from the highest echelons convened in an emergency meeting to finalize an offer that they considered a charitable and generous proposal to Shinohara.

Their gracious tone was met with resounding applause, as Skywatch�s track record of altruistic action remains firmly crystallized, dating as far back as the construction of Miami Dome. Read More

NLM reporters were given an inside look on deliberations, as all signs indicate that Skywatch is not only more than prepared to follow through, but do not expect SHI to turn down their offer.

Surprisingly, Shinohara officials gave no comment at the time of this article, many of whom seemed entirely unaware of a buyout until approached.

New Light Media promises to keep extensive coverage on these ongoing matters.

SHI buckling under recent stress?

Manufacturing megacorp struggling after recent events.

It's been a tumultuous week for SHI. Their stock, previously on the uptick from speculator interest in the on-going contract to deliver mining tugs to the Skywatch Corporation, has begun a downward spiral as investors lose confidence in the brand.

Skywatch has been none too kind to SHI, blaming them fully for leaking the access codes to the vessels being used to slingshot an asteroid into N.E.O. SHI's CEO buckled under pressure from Skywatch to pay the ransom demanded, and the ships were eventually returned to Skywatch control. Read More

However, this had led many shareholders to call for the embattled CEO to resign.

Skywatch representatives have made it known that they are looking for alternative suppliers for future ship building, though it remains to be seen if they will really pull the contract from SHI or if SHI will be able to convince them that they can still execute the remainder of the contract with fewer hitches in the future.

The once bright future of SHI has darkened slightly, but many investors still believe the strong earnings and brand recognition mean this is merely a setback and not the start of a full on decline in the company's bottom line.

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