Now it is time for the quarterly greatness of the Galaxywide NewsNets. We've now progressed to stories set one year after the Battle of Yavin. From Ord Grovner comes the report that two Imperial Star Destroyers have exterminated the Eyttyrmin Batiiv pirate group. The pirates were a massive organization, with eight thousand pirates in one hundred fifty craft, facing two Victory-class Star Destroyers. The pirates chose to fight it out when the Imperial force came for them, resulting in a three-day battle that annihilated the pirates and destroyed their base. The Star Destroyers took heavy damage, but fewer than three hundred pirates escaped and they were completely broken as a force. It's a great story, a few paragraphs evoking an epic incident, but it actually didn't originate with the NewsNets. The story is as old as WEG, originally told in a vignette in the original Star Wars Sourcebook. It was referenced in Galaxy Guide 9, which established the Khuiumin Survivors. This is just another case of WEG's great tradition of drawing on its own rich back catalog, finding an existing story and referencing it in the NewsNets. Of course, this tidbit would see its ultimate popularization when Michael Stackpole drew on it for I, Jedi, choosing to use the Khuiumin Survivors as a major part of the plot. In our next story, we get something of great interest to Jello: the debut of Imperial Advisor Alec Pradeux. Pradeux, introduced here as one of Palpatine's closest advisors, makes his appearance as an Imperial spokesman, revealing at a press conference that investigation of the Candorian plague outbreak that killed everyone on Dentaal -- something it was ominously threatening last issue -- was the result of none other than those dastardly Rebels. The Empire investigated, and it turns out that Candorian plague came out of those dangerous Alderaanian bioweapon labs, one of many samples that made it offworld before the Emperor could cleanse Bail Organa's threat to the galaxy. Which makes a great cover for any more Imperial bioweapon attacks. The Empire has found out that the breakout occurred when the Rebels were loading the canisters to ship to Imperial Center when they accidentally released the virus. One of my favorite magnificent Imperial propaganda juxtapositions: "We can only be thankful that the vermin choked on their own filth before they were able to unleash it upon millions of innocent Imperial citizens. Naturally, we at the Palace mourn the passing of Dentaal." Darpa SectorNet reports from Alabar, Esseles that the Empire has ordered sixty million more probots, in addition to one hundred fifty million already built in the past two years. These Navy contracts will result in more work on Esseles, where Dynacorp builds the hull pods and Sendarl Electronics contributes the sensory arrays. TriNebulon News reports on the ongoing saga of Fitz Roi, who has abruptly moved from his family estate on Lenniera to Calamar, Esseles. Maybe he wants in on some of those probot jobs. Roi continues to be a mildly amusing parody of wayward stardom, as he appears to have just gotten bored with the monotony of home and picked Esseles on a lark, went on a "journey of rediscovery" in the Outer Colonies and is now big on the Bith, and talks about how he's glad all his sponsors have dropped him because now he can do whatever he wants and slum around like in the good old days. There's also a brief interview with a suitably vapid fourteen-year-old fangirl. Finally, we get our first report from the famous Nal Hutta Kal'tamok. Established in the first NewsNets article as a famously professional underworld journal, this is the first time we've actually gotten a NewsNet from it. Here, our impeccably connected underworld sources relay the fact that the Empire has in one day nationalized the major manufacturers of black-market assassin droid components in the Mid Rim. Imperial troops abruptly seized the assets of Bansche Tech on Chamble, Sencil Corp on Churba, Reiber Manufacturing of Jeyell, and and SGI Systems of Druckenwell. This not only limits the supply of assassin droids, but spells danger to the companies' buyers, whose identities could potentially be learned from the companies' records. Already, many notable officials have disappeared, either arrested or fleeing in advance of arrest. This is also a significant blow in the corporate world, as Bansche and SGI were major corporations holding a diverse array of legitimate assets, all suddenly nationalized, their publicly traded shares worthless (a throwaway line here continues the NewsNets' conception of Corellia as a major financial center, an aspect I really, really like because it makes perfect sense but has nothing to do with Corellian stereotypes). The Ralltiir Exchange may finally be done for, with this crash coming on top of the Imperial blockade. This will probably eliminate the Mid Rim assassin droid manufacturing market, and buyers will have to turn to the Outer Rim and Corporate Sector for their supply as prices for remaining droids go way up. If you remember the Tombat, the mysterious cat burglar from earlier issues, "he" has struck again (world-famous cat burglars are one of those wonderful staples of fiction that have completely colonized fiction despite having almost no presence in the real world, like suave international agents, private eyes surrounded by constant murder, and omnipotent government conspirators). Moff Jerjerrod has had his vault burgled during a high-class party, and his staff is furious, according to the amusingly gossipy, frankly embarrassing report by Core News Digest. They're keeping the local police out and conducting the investigation themselves. Valuable artwork was taken, with important records and data left alone. This is an embarrassment for Jerjerrod, the moff of Quanta sector, since he was celebrating his fresh appointment to run Imperial Energy Systems, a new Ministry of Energy division created to develop large portable power plants. I really love any time actual government functions and ministries are mentioned and personnel are actually placed in them. This is the first Tombat strike since a heist on Spira during the Regatta; you may remember that last issue, Tanda Marelle reported on the Spira Regatta. In Eldrooden, Eldrood, Colonial News Nets reports that Earnst Kamiel has been captured. A leader of the Justice Action Network, the most famous band of anti-Imperial terrorists among fandom, he was responsible for bombing Imperial buildings all over the Colonies. He was caught arriving on Eldrood with false ID papers, and will be extradited to Haldeen sector. The mention of bombing government buildings is weirdly timely, given this issue is dated May 1995, and would of course have been worked on before that; the Oklahoma City bombing occurred in April 1995. From Curamalle, Corulag comes the story on new tariffs. COMPNOR has succeeded in placing tariffs on high-end agricultural exports from the Bormea sector. As doubtless designed, this has had little effect on most of the highly developed worlds of the Bormea sector (I love how much WEG did to develop the Bormea sector specifically -- there's a whole tangent I could go off on here), but is hard on Chandrila, which has a big agricultural sector unlike the others. Chandrila is the biggest source in the Core for perishable luxury foods and spices, and this could cripple its economy. Governor Holleck of Chandrila has vowed to get the tariff removed, and suggests the government might take strong steps to improve its relations with the Empire. It's back to the Bakuran storyline from last issue as we learn that Nereus has reached a settlement with the Bakuran Senate. Nereus won't significantly restructure the existing government, and they'll subordinate their constitution to an Imperial charter. Orn Belden puts a positive spin on things, noting that the Empire could have pushed them all aside but they were able to convince Nereus that it would be in everybody's best interests if he kept the existing government stably in place. Nereus does a great job of selling Imperial rule, highlighting Imperial economic aid, spending on military upgrades, and boosting government services, as well as four thousand scholarships sending Bakuran students to Imperial universities (a SAGroup program, of course). This has been a great example not only of showing the Empire taking over a world, but also the way the PR machine was able to spin it and the Empire was able to appear genuinely benevolent and beneficial when it wasn't being resisted, the way people can buy into it. And it's also a fantastic example of the Adventure Journal tying into a big novel. We're getting key backstory for a major setting here, and it's pretty seamless. Another great NewsNets. A couple storylines from last issue continue to percolate, small running side stories like Fitz Roi and the Tombat are served, and we get some great detail and really interesting pieces filling in the setting. The Galaxywide NewsNets continue to set the standard for ongoing excellence in the Adventure Journal. Each issue, they reliably knock it out of the park, filled with great little factoids and evocative stories. Next time, we'll get a piece on scouts, the third-to-last segment of this issue.