1500 Dead in Solaris Station MassacreThe CTN struck again in alliance space today, targetting the AIE sector 21, Solaris, at approximately 4:30 PM today. The attack took the form of twelve drone fighters and a ship called 'Power Extreme', which appeared to be a heavily modified version of the Egalitarian ship class which has been deployed as a sniper in previous CTN engagements, using its powerful long-range energy weapons. But today it unveiled a new functionality; the Egalitarian seemed to charge up an incredibly powerful beam weapon which proceeded to slice through the Mastic Wormhole Transport Laboratory, an AIE research institution which reportedly collaborated with Commonwealth scientists in the past to invent the precision wormhole drive. The loss of this orbital facility is a heavy blow to the scientific community and there are rumours that the station was home to newly renewed research efforts into long-range wormhole drives.
Damage to the station was severe on the first use of the Egalitarian's cannon, but the second shot completely destroyed the station releasing a massive shockwave which obliterated one hundred and fifty of the escape pods launching from the station, as well as causing severe damage to alliance ships in the area and destroying the Egalitarian. The AIE reports that no debris was retrieved from the station after the explosion; the Egalitarian, its cannon and the station itself were all completely disintegrated, leaving only a fine cloud of drifting particles.
The casualties were capped at around 1500 killed in the explosion and 3373 people injured. Several politicians have criticized the sluggish response of alliance pilots, who were reportedly unable to stop the Egalitarian from destroying the station despite having a window of approximately ten minutes to react. Hans Slavik, a vocal right-wing opposition party leader in the Commonwealth, said, "This disgrace is why we need to increase military funding in the Commonwealth and in all alliances. We are weak and desperate under this regime, relying solely on the High Guard and a handful of pilots to protect us against external threats. And if we had the High Guard's technology and resources, then we would easily be able to defend ourselves. I don't see why we continue to fund this expensive organization, the so-called High Guard Command, when they cannot even protect us when we are in need."
High Guard Command official Leonarde Constantine stated in response that, "We are stretched to the breaking point dealing with the Praelor. I think I can speak for the rest of High Guard Command when I say that if your treasured battlecruiser pilots cannot defend your space, then you will need to find someone who can. We will not deal with the CTN until the Praelor war is over and we have conquered and occupied the Praelor hive worlds. Nothing less than total victory is acceptable against this despicable menace to our very species."
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