Star Army

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  • 📅 September 2023 is YE 45.7 in the RP.

SANDRA [SANDRA] YNP probe cannibalism attacks; minister seeks calm

A black-haired, tan-skinned Nekovalkyrja's image quickly fades into view on the image panel. She is centered in the camera, with a shadowed electric blue background. She wears a matte-purple wool blazer, with a cream blouse underneath. Her hair is flawlessly pushed behind her black-tipped ears, framing her face in front of a dark curtain of silk.

"Good evening, Yamatai — this is SANDRA."

Off to the Neko's left, on the panel's border, the word "SANDRA" vertically appeared. Below the Neko, inside a little graphic, was the Neko's name — Ogama Mio. It was written in Yamataian and Nepleslian, though the Neko spoke Nepleslian.

"The Yamatai National Police have launched an investigation into the attacks on pro-foodstuffs supporters amid the so-called 'cannibalism debate' going on in the Senate."

Cut to aerial footage of a building on fire as firefighters seek to put out the flames. The building is a total loss; a graphic below the scene shows the location as the western edge of Port Xenn.

"YNP investigators say they have 'solid leads' after homes in three communities — Malifar, Port Xenn and Winstonville — were burned to the ground by pro-burial activists seeking to quash debate about the Senate bill. Initial police presence, made possible by the YNP and with officers on loan from the Kyoto Municipal Police, maintained order in the affected areas for no more than five consecutive hours, the YNP said.

"An arrest has been made in the Port Xenn incident; the YNP has the man, a 24-year-old Geshrin, in custody on an investigative hold."

Cut to a polished, professional-looking man in a Nepleslian suit, wearing his YNP badge in the breast pocket. A graphic below him shows his name: Eli Pershing, Special Agent-in-Charge, Port Xenn office.

"The YNP will continue to investigate these incidents until all of the perpetrators are apprehended and the victims receive the justice they deserve. The opinions of individual citizens, and their expression, is a right of the people that cannot be encroached upon, even by other citizens."

Ogama returned to the screen.

"SANDRA polling shows that a vast majority of Yamataian citizens reject the idea of eating leftover NMX rations, especially as supplies from neighboring planets have reached starports and have begun to be distributed to the neediest towns. The source of the current tally in the Senate is unknown, as senators now cast secret ballots."

A graphic appeared next to Ogama's head as she paused. It showed a tilted KZ GSP with the slide locked back. Below were the words, "Guns being sent to activists."

"The Tania Police Department said concerned citizens have broken up a pro-foodstuffs group that received weapons from Nepleslian citizens. The weapons were sent as part of the 'Guns for Geshrin' program started by activists in Nepleslia who want to help Geshrin citizens 'defending their families from the predations of their supersoldier 'protectors' and Mishhu stragglers.'

"Police told SANDRA two men who were organizing the enclave were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, threatening a peace officer, unlawful importation of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a weapon. The weapons and activists were planning on establishing an armed enclave within city boundaries to kill Nekovalkyrja who approached and threaten their sympathizers. It is the sixth armed grouping of Geshrin and Yamataian citizens against Nekovalkyrja in Tania in a year. The weapons were confiscated and destroyed."

Ogama paused again while a new graphic came near her head. It showed an older gentleman with a greying goatee and an Oxford dress shirt's collar on his neck. Below, in light blue, were the words "Minister seeks to calm public."

One of Ogama's ears twitched — an on-the-air habit of hers — before she spoke. "Amid the food shortages and the debate in the Senate, the Imperial Government has been pleading for calm as food aid continues to pour in from neighboring planets and domestic food aid is processed. Four hours ago, in an unprecedented appearance, the secretary of the Civil Defense Ministry, Rickard Deggerman, spoke to SANDRA seeking to frame the debate as a meaningless one to Yamataian citizens, and to emphasize the importance of rising above what he calls 'squabble.' "

Cut to an image of the minister sitting at the desk in his office. His hands are folded in front of him on the desk; his thinning grey hair framed his head while he leaned slightly forward toward the camera. He wore a black suit with a shiny blue tie, and his shirt was starched and stiff.

He clearly is Nepleslian.

"Fellow citizens. I come before you today not with a plea, but with a reminder. A reminder of what it means to be a part of this great Empire, which we cherish and which so many of our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers have died to protect.

"The reminder is this — no matter what debates we have, no matter what squabbles we endure, and no matter what anyone says about us, we remain the greatest force for good in this small part of the known galaxy.

"It is a fact that brings us pain and suffering, but it is a fact that has stirred us to fight on fronts where no one else would, and to never give in to the evils that continue to threaten our way of life.

"At times, we falter. Video published yesterday show police standing by as a man was beaten during scuffles between pro-foodstuff and pro-burial activists. Those policemen have, under my direction, have been stripped of their powers and responsibilities and disbarred from serving as peace officers of this nation. They retain the right to air their opinions, and as pro-foodstuff activists, I have no doubt they will, among many others. But they will not do so as officers of the law on this planet — we cannot tolerate such reckless and degenerate behavior.

"What we as Yamataians must always keep close, in our hearts and in our minds, is that we must respect one another, especially in these times of great need. All of us ache — from hunger. From the sickness of mourning. From battle. We have frayed nerves amid a frayed society. But whether it gets better does not rest upon the phenomenal use of government powers, or in the military might of our Star Army.

"It rests with us, reaching out to our fellow beings, near and far. In times as painful as these, our souls will not be soothed by strife among our neighbors. Now, more than ever, we must save one another from the harm brought by others.

"Amid our neighbors publicizing the negative among us, they have missed out on the amazing deeds and efforts we have mounted. From vegetable gardens to neighborhood watches, from town halls to village reorganizations, from protecting those with unpopular opinions to reaching common ground amongst ourselves — we remain a great nation that is getting better under the specter of catastrophe.

"We must remain respectful of our galactic neighbors as well. Nepleslia used to be part of us, but they still remain our best friend in this war. No matter what is said of us from them, we must be respectful. It is not our place to assume things about their pursuit of the perfect society, and we should not criticize them for pointing our shortcomings.

"So many of us already have our focus where they need to be — on each other. We must keep it that way. If we do, we will come out of this not only better, but with even greater honor.

"My fellow citizens, we must remind ourselves that in this dark hour, the dawn is just over the horizon. So long as we look ahead and to each other, the light of the day will touch us again.

"Good night, fellow citizens. May we all be blessed."

Cut back to Ogama.

"This is SANDRA."