Following a spree of sightings and reports of strange anomalies throughout the past few weeks, the TEC High Command revealed a startling discovery during a short emergency press conference held at the Naval orbital HQ at DIAM IV this morning. According to information released during the conference, a number of unidentified objects have been spotted in orbital patterns around several uninhabited planets within the TEC-Vasari neutral zone established during the cease-fire conferences last year.
Although the objects were initially suspected to be a radical new Vasari ship design, preliminary analysis using SPECTRA deep space imaging probes has revealed their hull composition to be utilizing unknown materials and methods of construction. Unofficial sources claim that this has led the Coalition High Command to strongly suspect that the objects are, in fact, ships belonging to a hitherto unknown alien race, although no official statement of that nature has been put forward by the CHC at the time of writing of this article.
"public safety and property is in no way threatened"
When pressed for more details, rear admiral H.C. Howards, who presided the conference, replied that “steps are being taken to ascertain the exact identity and nature of the unidentified objects” but offered no additional explanations.
This long-range thermal image was taken by a private prospector ship.
Rear admiral Howards then went on to assure the press that "public safety and property is in no way threatened" by these events and stressed that the arrivals had so far limited their activity to trans-orbital maneuvers the purpose of which does not appear to be hostile.
The Vasari Holdings embassy has declined to comment on these developments, although certain sources within CHC confirm there has been an increase in Vasari naval activity along the affected sectors of space.
What are they?
That is certainly the question which weighs most heavily on everyone’s minds. The New Frontiersman posed it and more in an interview with the renowned scholar, exobiologist and current head of the Department of Interspecies Communications at the Julard Institute of Nova Scotia, Dr. Heinmann Steller. We bring you most notable excerpts here:
NF: Dr. Steller, first, do you believe that we have encountered a new alien race?
H.S.: Professionally I am inclined to wait and see, since we certainly do not have much information to work with. Personally, I do believe we are looking at an unknown alien civilization and the prospect is very exciting to me.
"If the Vasari debacle has taught us anything, it is that first contact situations are potentially extremely volatile and certainly sensitive."
NF: Many of our readers will be undoubtedly worried about these events. Do you believe any fears are justified?
H.S.: To be succinct – I do not. Although such things are perfectly understandable, especially when we remember the first contact with the Vasari, there is no reason right now to fear these newcomers. Whatever and whoever they are, they do not appear to be hostile.
NF: You said “right now”, do you believe things might change in the future?
H.S.: There is simply not enough information to be certain about anything right now.
NF: Doctor, what should, in your opinion, be the next move for Coalition High Command?
H.S.: If the Vasari debacle has taught us anything, it is that first contact situations are potentially extremely volatile and certainly sensitive. Alien civilizations might reason on entirely different grounds than us, and this must be considered thoroughly before any overt move is made.
NF: Do you have any parting words for our readers?
H.S.: Yes, I would use this opportunity to invite everyone stay calm and suspend their judgment about our apparent new neighbors until more information is obtained. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that it is not only them being observed by us, but also the other way around – thus, to invoke an old adage, we should treat them as we would like to be treated.
(full interview on page 54.)