Hypernews Network (Interceptor)

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From the X-COM: Interceptor Game

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Release of New Computer Operating System Delayed
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Ninsoft Corporation announced today that the release of their new operating system, "Portals 67"
will be delayed for at least another few weeks. "With the exception of one game in early 1998, no
piece of computer software has ever been released on time," said an irritable Willy Fence,
president of the computer/entertainment conglomerate. "It's high time all the damned cyber-geeks
got used to it!"
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Long-Anticipated Operating System Gets a New Name
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The marketing department of Ninsoft quietly announced a name change for the mega-corporation's
new operating system from "Portals `67" to "Portals `68". "The vicious rumors that the name
change is an indicator that the product will be delayed couldn't be farther from the truth,"
says Nick Thomas, Ninsoft marketing guru. "It's simply that '68' is a much more user-friendly
number than '67'. Marketing surveys show that people hate all the sharp edges on the number '7'."
The operating system is still in beta test at this time.
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Another Name Bites the Dust: A Farewell to "Portals `68"
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Accompanying the rumors that Ninsoft's new operating system might release as much as two years
late, comes yet another name change for the product. Goodbye "Portals `68" - hello "Portals
`69". "Some people think this is an admission that we really are running two years late," said
marketing rep Nick Thomas. "Not true. It's just that, demographically, we have found that many
consumers - especially the 18-to-30 crowd - really like '69'. We have lots of surveys to back
this up." The product is now entering its fourteenth month of beta testing.
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Ninsoft Scraps New Operating System; Releases New Game Instead
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In a recent press conference, Ninsoft president Willy Fence announced that "Portals `69"
formerly "Portals `67" then "Portals `68") will not be released as an operating system. Instead,
the software will be released as an entertainment title called "Bughunt - the Quality Assurance
Simulator". "It's the first game of its kind," touts Fence. "Well, at least its the first game
here players were EXPECTED to find the bugs..."
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Influx of Raw Materials Revitalizes the Mega-Primus Project
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The construction of Mega-Primus, which had been going slowly due to lack of resources for over
two years, is now going full-speed ahead thanks to the influx of raw materials from Outposts on
the Frontier. Mega-Primus, the self-contained city concept that is meant to greatly improve the
human condition on Earth, is expected to be completed and fully-operational by spring of 2080,
just one and a half years behind the original schedule.
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City "Recycling" Projects Continue
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For those of you keeping track, you can add New York and Chicago to the list of cities that have
been "recycled" for raw materials and equipment in "Operation: Reclaim". The two cities in the
North American Alliance were among the largest and most populous in the world until global
pollution forced their evacuation in the early 2050s. New York and Chicago join Paris, London,
Washington DC, Madrid, and Poughkeepsie as cities chosen for leveling, material reclamation,
and replanting as progress on Mega-Primus commences.
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Hybrid Culture Unearthed in Roswell
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A small colony of Sectoid-human hybrids was discovered last week, living in the sewers and
catacombs beneath the ruins of the Roswell Urban Complex in New Mexico, NAA. X-COM Psi-Squad
troopers, investigating reports of worker illness on the "Operation: Reclaim" city recycling team
working at the Roswell site, took the 456 members of the underground community back to the
Galactic Science Corps Labs in X-COM's Central City base in the Illinois desert for observation.
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Hybrid Colony's Origins Tentatively Traced to Mid-Twentieth Century
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The colony of Sectoid-human hybrids found in New Mexico may well have origins that go back well
past the start of the First Alien War. In fact, Scientists say that the alien roots of the hybrid
race might go back as far as 1947, when a craft of alien origin reportedly crash-landed in the
desert near the then small town of Roswell. If found to be true, this find would completely
contradict the government document "Roswell - The Absolute Last Report" published in 2047 on the
one-hundredth anniversary of the incident.
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Sectoid-Human Hybrids Demand Freedom
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Roswell's last, most famous residents - some 456 Sectoid-human hybrids - have demanded that they
be set free from the "guest" facilities at X-COM's Central City base. The GSC scientists who have
been studying the curious beings have been barred from commenting on the situation by the
director of X-COM's Earth Corps and government officials of the North American Alliance. X-COM's
official statement on the matter is that, until more is learned about these people, they are a
security risk that must be contained.
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Religious Cult Demands the Release of the Roswell Aliens
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Members of the Cult of Sirius, a group of alien sympathizers established in the mid-2040s,
have demanded the immediate release of the Roswell hybrids from captivity in the Illinois desert.
The Cult's leader and founder, Roscoe Ulysses Sirius, says that the Cult has documented proof
that the hybrid beings have been the subject of heinous experiments at the hands of GSC
scientists. The group even claims to have a holo-vid showing an autopsy being performed on a live
member of the Roswell group. X-COM and government officials dismiss the stories, calling
them "patently ridiculous".
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Roswell Hybrids Released - An Editorial
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The Sectoid-alien hybrid beings have been released from the Central City X-COM base after their
leader convinced misguided X-COM and Government officials that the hybrids were not psionic and
posed no threat to anyone. In an exclusive interview Mary Francisco, benevolent and beautiful
leader of the hybrids and their newly-formed political organization, the Mutant Alliance, says
that she simply explained the situation and officials saw it her way. After talking with Ms.
Francisco, this reporter - who, admittedly, had his concerns about the possible threat these
beings posed -- cannot help but see things from the Sectohumes' point of view. I, for one, am
ready to take up arms, if necessary, to see that the Sectohumes are never imprisoned again!
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GSC Probe Detects Signs of Interstellar War
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The Galactic Science Corps deep-space probe "Ranger 3", thought to be lost in space since shortly
after it was launched in late 2063, began transmitting again last week, relaying images that have
sparked rampant speculation in both scientific and military circles. The images, transmitted from
approximately 60 light-years from Earth, reveal the remains of what was apparently an interstellar
war of vast proportions. Since visual analysis does not reveal the origins of the warring species,
so "Ranger 3" is currently gathering debris samples for testing purposes.
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Debris Analysis Deepens Interstellar War Mystery
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Analysis of the debris collected by deep-space probe "Ranger 3" in the Huer sector has answered
many questions about the apparent interstellar war that took place there - and raised many new
questions as well. All of the debris gathered is alien in origin. Many of the samples match the
same, general molecular structure as debris samples from alien ships in the Frontier. Other
samples, however, are composed of materials never before encountered by Earth science. The GSC has
catalogued the samples, and hopes "Ranger 3" continues to operate long enough to shed some light
on this mysterious new alien race.
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Probe Scans Reveal Evidence of Terran Presence in the Huer Sector
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High-detailed particle analysis of the site of an interstellar war in the Huer Sector has revealed
an ion particle trail consistent with that produced by old-style sub-light displacement drive
systems used aboard Earth vessels years ago. Though it is impossible that a sub-light vessel
could have traveled more than 60 light-years in less than five years, some sources claim that this
could be evidence that the "UGS Patton", an X-COM military vessel that was presumed destroyed in
Mars orbit five years ago, was actually transported to a different sector of the galaxy and may,
even now, be attempting to return home. GSC scientists are attempting to re-activate the drive
systems on the "Ranger 3" probe so that it can follow the trail of this phantom Terran vessel
and, perhaps, resolve the mystery. 
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GSC Loses "Ranger 3" Comlink; Probe Presumed Destroyed
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While following the ion trail of what was apparently a Terran spacecraft in the Huer sector, the
GSC probe "Ranger 3" was apparently attacked and destroyed by an alien vessel. The last image
from the probe's tracking camera showed the approach of an alien spacecraft. This ship was,
according to a spectral analysis performed by the probe, Sectoid in origin. Shortly after the
image was received, "Ranger 3's" telemetry was abruptly lost. Although they intend to send
another probe and, perhaps, a manned mission to the Huer sector to continue the search, it may be
years before the GSC discovers whether the suspected Earth vessel is actually the missing "GSC
Patton".
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Mine Workers to Picket "Patton" Ceremony
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Workers in the Mars Elerium Miners Organization (MEMO) plan to hold a peaceful demonstration
outside the newly built Patton Spacedock facility at Mars Colony 1 next week. The demonstration is
to coincide with the dedication ceremonies, which will feature a speech by Premier-President
Cameron. The miners hope that this public display will bring the poor working conditions and low
pay of the Martian Elerium miners to the attention of the governments of Earth.
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"Patton" Crew Honored in Ceremony
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Five years after her mysterious disappearance on the first planetary survey mission to Mars after
the Second Alien War, the "UGS Patton" and her crew were honored at a ceremony at Mars Colony
1. "The officers and crew of the "Patton" were prime examples of dedicated scientists who were
willing to give their lives in their quest for knowledge," said North American Alliance Premier-
President Cameron. "It's a shame they never got to see the face of their enemy before they
perished." Although several hundred members of the Mars Elerium Miners Organization held a
protest outside the newly dedicated Spacedock complex, there were no reports of violence of any
sort.
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Premier-President Cameron Assassinated!
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Just two days after delivering a commemoration speech for the new Patton Spacedock at Mars Colony
1, North American Alliance Premier-President Cameron was shot and killed by a sniper who had
apparently been hiding near the leader's transport. Although the assassin has not been
apprehended, medical experts have recovered the assassin's weapon, an old-style plasma rifle of
the type used during the First Alien War. Authorities have called in the newly-formed Mars
Security force (MARSEC) to investigate.
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MARSEC Launches Investigation into Mining Union
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Mars Security, the company in charge of the investigation into the assassination of Premier-
President Cameron last week at Mars Colony 1, has launched an in-depth investigation into the
recent activities of MEMO - the Mars Elerium Miners Organization. This investigation comes as a
result of the mining organization's recent public protests against poor working conditions and
low pay. MEMO officials deny all allegations against the organization. 
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Seven Killed in Martian Street Skirmish
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An argument escalated into gunplay yesterday when government forces opened fire on thirty members
of the Mars Elerium Miners Organization who were staging a protest outside the governor's palace
on Bradbury Street in Martian Colony 1. "The protesters were non-violent at first," says Mars 
Governor Val Smith. "Then chants turned to taunts, taunts turned to threats, and...well, then
this tragedy." Among the dead were five of the protesters and two of the palace guards. As a
result of the incident, MEMO president Murray Ryan has refused to cooperate in any further MARSEC
investigations.
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Cameron's Killer Identified - Violence Ensues
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After an exhaustive investigation, MARSEC investigators have traced the weapon that killed NAA
Premier-President Cameron to Lee Baldwin, vice president of MEMO, the Mars Elerium Miners
Organization. Apparently tipped-off by an inside informant, Baldwin's deserted home had been
equipped with a sophisticated explosive booby-trap that killed twelve of the MARSEC strike team
members sent to arrest him. The discovery that MEMO was behind the presidential assassination
plot has led to widespread riots throughout Mars Colony 1. 
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Martial Law Declared at Martian Colony 1
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After three days of continuous fighting between mine workers from MEMO and the Martian
authorities, Governer Smith has declared a state of martial law in the colony. MARSEC, the Mars
Security Force, has increased its presence in the colony by over one thousand troops. Crack
MARSEC strike teams are combing the colony, quelling pockets of violence along the way. 
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Peace Reigns Once Again on Mars
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After seven days of fighting, which left a total of 95 dead and 190 injured, MARSEC troops have
managed to end the riots that have held Martian Colony 1 in their grip for so long. Conceding
defeat, Murray Ryan, president of the Mars Elerium Miners Organization, turned himself over to
authorities. Ryan has been charged as an accessory to the murder of NAA Premier-President
Cameron, who was assassinated several weeks ago by Lee Baldwin, Ryan's second in command. Baldwin,
who fled the Colony shortly before he was to be arrested, has not yet been found.
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Pro-Alien Cult Clashes with Government Over Frontier Policies
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Members of the Cult of Sirius conducted a loud but ultimately non-violent demonstration outside
Congressional Plaza in New Washington today protesting what they called "X-COM's gross
mistreatment of (their) alien brethren" in the Frontier. The cultists claim that the alien
attacks on X-COM and civilian ships and installations on the Frontier are provoked by Earth's
unwanted presence in what was, obviously, an alien-controlled area of space. The Cult's leader,
Reis Markus, insists that Earth's recurring problems with alien invasions would end if we simply
left them alone. Newly elected North American Alliance president Healey is expected to comment on
the situation in her State of the New Union address.
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President Healey Cautiously Defends Cameron's Interstellar Policies
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In her State of the New Union address last week, North American Aliance Premier-President Healey
stood behind the policies and edicts established by former Premier-President Cameron for X-COM
off-world conduct, while still expressing "empathy and understanding" for the pro-alien members
of the Cult of Sirius. Reis Markus, the Cult's leader, expressed outrage and exasperation at
Healey's statement, calling it "the typical non-position of a typical Extropian politician".
Protests by Cult members continued unabated following the Premier-President's speech. 
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Dozens Injured as Cult Protesters Turn Violent
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More than thirty people were hospitalized and hundreds were jailed when members of the Cult of
Sirius, protesting the "mistreatment and harassment of alien citizens in the Frontier", traded
chants and placards for stun gas and incendiary grenades outside the gates of Congressional Plaza
today. Congressional guards, with the help of Marsec security forces, were able to contain the
protesters and end the violence before it escalated too far. Reacting to the incident, Premier-
President Healey ordered the immediate arrest of the Cult's leader, Reis Markus. Markus, who
submitted quietly to security forces, denies any foreknowledge of the incident, but praises his
followers for "acting on their conscience".
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Cult Leader's Escape Praised as an Omen
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After only three days as a prisoner, Cult of Sirius leader Reis Markus was found missing from his
cell in New Alcatraz penitentiary this morning. Marsec patrols have conducted extensive sensor-
searches of "The Rock" itself and the surrounding mining colonies in the asteroid belt, but no
sign of the prisoner could be found. Although prison authorities presume that Markus was killed
in a depressurization incident while trying to escape, members of the Cult see his escape as an
Omen. They believe that Markus was taken aboard an alien spacecraft and transported to the
Frontier as a military advisor for the aliens. "There will be retribution," said Kate Thryn,
acting leader of the group. "Reis will lead our alien brethren to victory over their oppressors.
Our alien saviors will then descend upon the Earth and eradicate the non-believers in a storm of
fire." Despite the claims of Cult members, the scan-logs of the prison show no sign of alien
presence in the asteroid belt at the time of the prisoner's disappearance. 
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Global Panic Ensues Over GSC/X-COM Intelligence Leak
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Riots erupted in cities all over the world after an undisclosed source in the Galactic Science
Corps headquarters in Geneva released information regarding an alien transmission recently
intercepted by X-COM forces in the Frontier. The message apparently contains images of an alien
device known only as the "Doomsday Weapon". A GSC briefing that accompanied these images
indicates that the alien device could destroy the entire surface of Earth with a single blast
from its weapon. According to the message contents, the alien device is nearing completion. Once
this news broke early today, the population of the world was thrown into complete chaos. World
leaders, most notably Premier-President Healey of the North American Alliance, have tried to
quell the panic by pointing out that X-COM is preparing to launch a full-scale attack on the
alien weapon. No details on when this attack is to occur have yet been revealed.
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END FILE
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X-COM's saga continues on Apocalypse.

See Also