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by Maise Bukara
ZN Foreign Affairs

It seems not everyone is happy with eco-hacking, no matter its indisputable effectiveness in terraforming planets with unprecedented rapidity. Belvun, for one, is launching claims against Daliona, blaming Dalish planetary experts for the accelerated deterioration of Belvun's natural environments.

   "You don't use eco-hacking techniques to terraform planets and then expect people to live with the consequences," says Trav Harkins, a Belvish environmental official. "That's utter negligence of responsibility."

   Qarl Alamid, the director of the Malamara Laboratories on Kailun Island, Marakuri, shares a similar sentiment. He is supervising the production of the Faustocine formula, a compound that should heal at least some of the damage done to Belvun in recent years.

   "Daliona does have a large degree of responsibility," he said. "We are seeing a problem hundreds of years in the making. Eco-hacking wasn't tested for the long-term. Until the past decade, nothing was known of the repercussions of sustaining a civilization on a planet that was terraformed using eco-hacking techniques."

   But not all Dalish scientists seem to share Director Alamid's apologetic sentiment. Blaker Numeron, an ecologist from the Misha Environmental Institute, believes Daliona's responsibility expired centuries ago.

   "This is no longer a question of who is responsible," Numeron said. "We finished terraforming Belvun in the 36th century. Yes, we have promoted the continued practice of eco-hacking to sustain Belvun's environments, but as a whole, the Belvish Embassy is ignoring its own faults. Instead of investing in their own environmental agencies to tackle the issues, they waited until things got out of hand before going to Undil and Daliona for help."

    With the progress of the Belvun Recovery Treaty, proposed by the late Ambassador Conner Lance of Undil, now headed by his successor, Michael Rafting, the efforts to return Belvun to a healthy state seem manageable. The treaty does not blame any one planet. It instead recognizes Belvun's crisis and seeks only to end it. What happens after the crisis ends, however, is another matter entirely.

   "Belvun didn't take action when action was desperately needed," Numeron told Zenith. "Ellaciss City fell out of the Belvish Embassy's sheer negligence, and it doesn't seem they learned anything from that evacuation. Steps need to be taken to ensure that a failure on that level doesn't happen again, and to the best of my knowledge, Belvun hasn't changed its policies. That's the true crisis."

Thorpe Tower, Daliona's center for planetary negotiations


Itchiness and socket abraisons have affected thousands

by Saiko Miokara

Do you have opticons? Been rubbing your eyes a lot? You're not alone. It seems opticons have turned out to be just as annoying as they are useful.

   Hayden Planoa, inventor of the opticon and the first to have hers surgically installed, says she was wary of this consequence, but didn't think people would mind as long as a treatment came along.

   "Opticons don't have natural lubrication like our eyes would," Planoa said. "You're going to experience discomfort and itchiness. I'm aware of this, and I'm working with the professionals at the Misha Medical Facility to develop eyedrops to combat these symptoms."

   Planoa has issued a recall on her so-called 'first gen' line, stating that the original models seem to cause the most discomfort. What has many buyers worried is how they will upgrade to newer models until a lubricant is developed.

   Planoa's opticons are in use all around the globe, and even in the spaceport in orbit above Thorpe Island.

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   "[Opticons] really are one of the most genius inventions of the century," said Evana Kosteric, a tech expo panelist who showcased Planoa's invention as one of the Top 10 Devices that will Change Work Efficiency Forever. "This isn't an unfixable problem. A setback, yes, but there will be a treatment."

   When we asked, Planoa confirmed that opticons are watertight.

   "That was the very first problem I tackled," she jokingly said. "People can live with itching their eyes a few times a day. But if they couldn't even go for a swim, nobody would be happy."


To act on your recall, contact your local medical facility.


'No plans' for Daliona to settle a planet in near future, say experts

Some wonder why Daliona has seemingly taken a passive approach to exploring the Milky Way

by Aianna Kulakoi

Artist's rendering of how Earth may have looked

Where did Daliona's space program go? That's what many people are starting to wonder as the decades drag on and still no plans have been made to settle a tenth planet in the Bubble.

  "In the era following Benedict Drake, Daliona was the leader in discovering, exploring, and settling planets," said Keaun Opolla, director of the Interstellar History Museum on Gorgico Island. "In more recent times, Rygin has done all the exploring and settling, and the Dalish have been unnaturally content to let the Ryginese become the dominant leader  in settling

the exoplanets we've deemed fit for human habitation."

  Opolla raises an interesting point: Rygin, a planet that was settled concurrently with Daliona prior to Drake's famous manifesto, We Cannot Be Content, saw little growth in its space program until late in the 2nd Millenium.

  "Drake definitely influenced the growth of Daliona's exploration and technology sectors," said Opolla. "He promoted rapid expansion. At some point, we stopped expanding outward and instead focused on making internal technological progress.  We

saw that shift occur at the same time Rygin's space program began a series of interstellar expeditions, which led to the settling of Husteng, Melles, Narviid, and Undil."

   The fact of the matter is that Daliona hasn't settled a planet since early in the 3rd Millenium -- that planet being Belvun. Could it be a coincidence that Belvun is now experiencing major environmental fallouts?

   Whatever the case, if Daliona wants to remain a power in this millenium, one thing is certain: we need to prioritize our interstellar programs -- starting now.

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