BECK: Hello and welcome to Empire Report. I’m Beck Russum, alongside Alan Nuevo with the news you need to know from across the empire.
ALAN: It’s great having you behind the desk again, Beck.
BECK: Yeah, feels good to be back from assignment.
ALAN: Well, I know I’m not the only one who missed you around here.
BECK: I appreciate that. Honestly, hosting this show with you has been a dream come true, but I’ll always have a soft spot for fieldwork. Most of you probably don’t know this, but at the start of my career, it was just me and my Mako chasing down stories.
ALAN: You did some outstanding reporting, particularly that piece on slavers operating in Nul. I remember thinking how incredibly brave you were to put your life on the line to expose the haulers at the center of that operation.
BECK: That’s very kind of you, Alan. Thankfully, this assignment wasn’t nearly as dangerous.
ALAN: Yes, you were originally in Prime last week to cover their massive Citizen Day celebration, but it turned out there was a bigger story breaking.
BECK: That’s right, Alan. The morning after Citizen Day, rumors began to swirl that a major crime spree had hit the system. After a number of trusted sources provided confirmation, I stayed in-system and uncovered exclusive information about exactly what happened and who was affected.
ALAN: First, let’s go to Terra where earlier today law enforcement officials held a joint press conference with the Advocacy regarding this recent string of high profile burglaries, and asked the public for help in tracking down the perpetrators. Here’s Leo Sagara, Prime’s Chief of Police, discussing the case and the reasons behind taking this local matter to the wider empire.
[ Leo Sagara stands at a podium in a drab briefing room. Various local law enforcement officials and Advocacy agents flank him. ]
LEO SAGARA: In the early evening on the tenth of October, we began to receive numerous reports of break-ins at private residences in and around the Prime metropolitan area. The timing and similar methodology, along with evidence collected at the scene, led us to believe that these incidents are related. In each case, the perpetrators skillfully bypassed security systems, targeted and stole certain types of valuables, and vandalized the residences in a similar matter.
A number of these incidents occurred simultaneously, which indicates that multiple, coordinated teams carried out the robberies. It also suggests a sizeable and sophisticated criminal organization might be behind the operation. Due to this factor, and others that we’re not currently at liberty to reveal, the Prime Metropolitan Police Department has asked the Advocacy for assistance with this investigation.
We’ve also decided to appeal to the public for help. The extent and nature of these crimes indicate a high probability that the operation may extend beyond the Terra system. If you have any information related to these or similar crimes, please contact the Prime Metropolitan Police Department. We’ve set up an anonymous comm line and will be offering a reward for any information leading to an arrest.
[ Back to Alan and Beck. ]
ALAN: While law enforcement officials have refused to comment further on the matter, Beck has uncovered further details that provide a stunning look at the breadth of this heinous crime spree and those affected by it.
BECK: The robberies occurred during Prime’s massive Citizen Day celebration, which attracted millions of participants from across the empire. According to my sources, some officials fear the perpetrators might have used the extremely busy spacelanes after the celebration as cover to escape the system. The chance that the offenders might no longer be in the Terra system drove the Advocacy to get involved with the investigation and for law enforcement officials to appeal to the wider public for help.
ALAN: Thanks to Beck, Empire Report has been able to confirm that the list of victims affected by this brazen crime spree includes prominent local business owners and philanthropists, sataball and vid stars, and political figures. Many of the victims appear to have been directly involved in the celebration itself, leaving our sources to theorize that they may have been specifically targeted because the perpetrators knew they wouldn’t be home for an extended period on the day in question.
BECK: Of particular note is that Empire Report exclusively learned that the residence of Terran Senator Mira Ngo was targeted. Senator Ngo, a vocal and longtime supporter of Terra-centric policies, was a featured speaker at the celebration and used the occasion to officially announce her candidacy to be the next Imperator.
ALAN: The break-in and subsequent investigation were why Senator Ngo cancelled the six-system campaign tour announced during her Citizen Day speech. The tour was meant to start in Prime and stop in every system on her return journey to New York City, where she intended to once again submit legislation that would move the UEE capital from Earth to Terra.
BECK: The announcement of Senator Ngo’s candidacy was the major headline coming out of Prime’s Citizen Day celebrations, but has now taken a backseat to this developing story. Senator Ngo was the first Transitionalist to collect the requisite number of signatures and officially register her candidacy for the 2950 election. Other Transitionalists have expressed interest in succeeding Imperator Costigan, but have not yet filled the needed enrollment signatures with the Imperial Election Bureau. Of course, it is too early to see if this interruption to her campaign plans will have a negative impact heading towards January’s primaries.
ALAN: A spokesperson for the Ngo campaign would only say that the Senator and her family are fine and are confident that law enforcement officials will find the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. There is no word on when Senator Ngo will resume her campaign.
BECK: We need to take a quick commercial break, but don’t go anywhere. When Empire Report returns, Victoria Hutchins has filed a story from Hadrian after investigating a dramatic spike in ship disappearances within the system.
ALAN: Also on today’s show, Colt Legrande sits down for an exclusive interview with Nadia Padgett, the new manager of the Idris Air Hawks. He’ll ask how she plans to turn around the struggling sataball club while also managing the expectations of the club’s notoriously irritable owner.
BECK: We’ll be back with more Empire Report after this.