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War Vessels Stolen in Raid on ISC Depot

A contingent of constabulary destroyers swept across allied space toward a distant ISC shipyard early this morning after the station transmitted a string of urgent calls for aid. Communication beacons traced over ten individual distress transmissions from the facility, which was primarily known for housing specific starship classes which consistently undersold on civilian markets. Among these are the relatively new freight carrier, the classic voyager, and most concerning, the lightly-armed frigate.

"We've had a frigate surplus for nearly a decade now," says Thomas Fern, a representative from the Interstellar Shipbuilding Corporation. "Less than ten frigates have sold on the civilian market in the past two years, despite their low price point. The truth is that most pilots would rather spend a little more for better-fortified classes like the gunship and the destroyer. We've stored frigates in this facility for nearly five years, since the shops need that space for higher-performing starships."

Fern went on to describe a plethora of automated procedures that were taken to secure the shipyard, but minimal personnel actually reside on the premises.

Footage from surveillance cameras displayed nothing out of the ordinary until 3:25 AM Galactic Standard Time, when the ever-present light from an electromagnetic forcefield sealing off an auxiliary hangar went abruptly dark. Power across the rest of the remotely-located space station went out shortly after, and the cameras remained black for several seconds while backup life support and power generators kicked in. Conforming to protocol, the on-duty officer immediately notified Varoshna and regional security, but the transmissions failed to reach communication beacons and marked the first of several in a buffer that wasn't released until half an hour later.

In the meantime, black-clad figures descended through the open hangar entrance with bulky jetpacks strapped across their shoulders. Constabulary officials estimated that over 50 intruders entered the bay. Each wore a conspicuous helmet with metallic antennae protruding from the top of the skull, though their features were concealed by opaque face shields.

After reviewing the footage, members of the constabulary unanimously agreed that the team lacked the cohesion of an experienced infiltration crew, but their disorganization made little difference.

During the fifteen-minute infiltration, figures can be seen fanning out across the bay to torch the hatch of each starship. ISC representative Fern described the hangar as being one of several that contained the surplus of frigates. Many were reported to be market ready, but most were the result of dormant construction efforts after declining sales.

"The internal wiring was completely finished for everything," Fern elaborated. "To do otherwise would be a security risk for everyone in the bay. I'm talking about missing parts. Some of them don't have FTL drives yet, we didn't install the full complement of weapons on others since we needed them for other projects, even outer hull plating is missing from a few. The craft are still pressurized, but they won't hold up in a fight. You know, if you're an optimist like me, you could see that as good news!"

After each intruder torched their respective hatch, they entered a frigate, regardless of its condition. One by one, the frigates flew through the checkpoint vacated by the security field, and into open space.

In all, 40 vessels were stolen from the shipyard. The facility's power returned nearly 20 minutes later, after which communications were able to get through. Security teams have swept the area for forensic research, and several private firms have been taken on to augment personnel and strengthen shipyard security.

Surveillance footage has been transmitted to tactical analysts to discover more about the intruders, as well as the destination and purpose of the displaced starships. Little is known, though rumors have circulated to the Galactic News suggesting that this could be a move to supplement the ranks of a newly-formed terrorist group. The group reportedly fled allied space earlier this year to join with the Praelor Ontanka, and nothing is known concerning their methods or whereabouts. This organization will continue to follow the issue. In the meantime, the galactic constabulary urges anyone to come forward if they have information pertaining to the theft or its culprits, and to avoid contact with unknown persons if at all possible.

Dated: 08/10/2367



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