Sector 24: Black Hole!Humanity as a whole is stunned today over the loss of a piece of the very foundation of our modern civilization. Alliance High Guard Command, once thought to be an unshakable behemoth looming over sector 24 and protecting us from danger, is no more.
On September 12th, shortly after 4:00 P.M., flight control operators in sector 24 announced that they were detecting an unknown wormhole event. With their curiosity piqued, several alliance pilots responded to the call by jumping into sector 24 to investigate. What they found there was a natural wormhole in the upper edges of the sector.
Before anybody had a chance to investigate further, an unknown starship came gliding out of the wormhole. The alliance pilots in the sector were quick to scan the vessel, noting that standard sensor profiles didn't apply to this ship, proving that it was of truly alien design and not a starship designed by anybody or anything that we've ever had contact with before. They also noted unusual mass and gravity reading coming from the ship, though nobody is sure whether these readings were entirely true or merely our technology being fooled by something we couldn't hope to understand.
Those in the sector at the time immediately sought contact with the alien, who responded in extremely crude English. The alien talked of imparting a gift upon us. At no point did the majority of pilots in the sector suspect that this one alien ship with its gift would result in the downfall of an iconic space station.
After the brief contact in which the alien explained the gift, it began moving toward the lower end of the sector. Ships in the area reported that the alien ship began to build up some kind of energy before collapsing in on itself, creating a black hole in its wake.
High Guard Command immediately ordered an evacuation of the space station. Alliance pilots rushed to the station to rescue their starships, assisting others where they could. Prisoners and non-military personnel were among the first to be evacuated from the station, followed after some time by flight control operators and a primate being studied by station scientists.
In the chaos of evacuation, it took quite a while to realize that the wormhole in the sector had stabilized, perhaps a consequence of the alien being destroyed and losing the ability to block travel, or perhaps a consequence of the black hole. Nobody is certain. However, once alliance pilots realized this, they braved the danger and traveled through the wormhole, where they reportedly met another alien.
The sector they found themselves in, colorfully designated Wormhole Island, was filled with natural wormholes and a single alien vessel. The pilots in Wormhole Island communicated at some length with the alien. While no representative of the Galactic News was present, second-hand stories provided enough information to state that the aliens clearly did not understand the concept of alliances or distinguishing factions. They claimed that the gift, the black hole, was in retaliation for the crime of theft committed against them by humans, presumably the Confederation of Terran Nations. No other concrete information was garnered from second-hand accounts. More information will be provided as it becomes available and can be at least partially verified.
Once the alien abruptly departed the sector, evacuation of High Guard Command continued throughout the night. Despite the fact that a black hole was ravaging the sector, people were still confident that High Guard Command would prevail, surviving even against a black hole! Unfortunately, on September 13th, High Guard Command's luck ran out.
After a report that the station's stabilization thrusters could no longer sustain the station's position, it began its slow but inevitable trek toward the black hole's event horizon. Final evacuation of the space station was ordered, encouraged by the fact that the station's emergency evacuation systems were offline and that anybody caught on the station when it approached the event horizon would surely die.
Just as the station was about to be consumed, a Praelor Resati starship jumped into the sector. It communicated a standard warning of hostile intent before launching a device and essentially throwing itself into the black hole. Scans of the device revealed it to be a form of Praelor jumpgate. The pilots in the sector immediately began firing on it, bombarding it with lasers, cannons, pulse weapons and everything else they could think of, but computer reports indicated that the gate was shielded. Further analysis revealed that the power source for the shield was the black hole itself. Without a means to prevent it, Praelor starships poured into the sector through the gate.
The attack on sector 24 was easily repelled. High Guard officials suspect that the Praelor were unaccustomed to the effects of the black hole and were testing the waters, as it were. Unfortunately for us, the gate remains in sector 24. General George Peterson was quoted as saying: "We believe the Praelor are attempting to establish a foothold in sector 24. If these reports are accurate, they've shielded their mission gate using power garnered from the black hole itself. We're not certain how to proceed other than the obvious, which is to repel any invasion from the gate until somebody can figure out how to clean this mess up..."
For now, the best anybody can do is attempt to repel any Praelor "missioners" coming through the gate and hope that we can get back on our feet before they send the real bulk of their forces through.
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