The seat of power within Aleph Null had witnessed another full revolution around its star. Two hundred and seventy years of living without the yoke of oppression from the Tyrants and the Old War. A slave rebellion which chased the oppressive ways into the darkness between stars. The sacrifice of millions - maybe billions of men, women, and creatures who wanted a better life - weighed upon Aleph Null and its sister systems. Somerset in Alpha was still awash with the ruins of old Tyrant installations drifting listlessly through space, whereas Albion had them slagged, recycled, or wholly appropriated, naturalised and celebrated in the case of Orbital Object: Null. Albion's protector loomed large in the sky above Regum, currently in line with the lofty spires of the city and illuminating it from behind, bathing streets in the lustrous aura as the planet's magnetosphere reacted to Object Null's hearbeat. King Charles Lysander II was compelled by his subjects and advisers to give the new decade an introduction, as well as cite and applaud the previous ten year's achievements. For the most part in the world around Aleph Null, the last decade had been stable - placid save the usual troubles: Pirates and privateers in the outer rim, outbreaks of polygons and bounders within the Red Tide boundary, and the simmering tension with Fudou in the Acala System - Albion's most reliable gateway to the rest of the universe. The strangest event of the decade had to be what happened in the city-state of York, with the attack of the unidentified monster upon fuel refineries - and all hands were on deck to figure out the identity of the Weird thing, if it was a Weird at all. Within the sphere of Albion royalty was the natural death of Septimus Lysander in PA 265, and the ascension of Charles II. The new king had seen his father carry out the symbolic position with gusto, understanding that the federation of nation states that Albion lived under were united by and represented abroad by their king. The ongoing policy with Acala was keeping things smooth, but Charles II had noticed an uptick in demands from the gateway star, mostly from merchant triads lobbying New Kashmir from Fudou. The king knew that their demands could only be offset for so long, and perhaps different avenues needed to be fostered or created; Already was Albion's defence force and trade preference working in Acala's favour, so the king thought. The introduction was laden with addresses to each of the nine and one city-states of the planet Albion, their governors - who had released separate messages relating to the new decade - each pivoting on their respective state's issues, tribulations, and fortunes throughout the period, where the overall tone was buoyant. King Charles II gave his utmost thanks to the governors and their administrative teams for remaining robust and responsive, and not falling into complacency for their peoples. Upon that note, Charles II touched upon an interesting communications disruption during the end of the decade. "...A notable event from the previous year was the first public transmission from the planet of Ranil'Inas, home of the Raiconian Alliance." The King said, "Until now, the Raiken people have chosen to remain isolated from the galaxy, and Aleph Null has always respected their decision to be on their own. If the Raiconian Alliance decides to engage with Albion, we would be happy to open a dialogue." Nothing within Charles' cadence or tone indicated a distaste for the Raiken, but he wasn't sure if there was anything he could offer from the top of his head - the needs and structure of their society were wildly different from Albion's. The challenge for a diplomat assigned to Ranil'Inas was to find common ground between the two peoples. Positive comments and touchstones were levied to species who'd taken stock in Aleph Null: Ever-changing and adaptive Sourcians, the newly created and recognised sentient Belza, the enigmatic Units and their subjects within the dense Unity Protocol, and even a metaphorical bone was tossed toward the well-behaved Chelti. For societal affirmations, there was Somerset in Aleph Alpha, Cel Tonna and Xaimni in Symphony (previously Aleph Gamma), and New Kashmir and Celai on Acala were called in as Albion's friends by Charles, historical allies with an ongoing partnership codified by deeds and ratified by history. Individuals and companies betwixt species and planetary lines had made deals with Albion's economics as its backing, trading, exchanging, and measured their currency. "...with a new decade dawning upon us, it is important that while we look towards a bright future, that it does not blind us and lead us astray." King Charles wrapped up his address. "We may be in good times right now, and good relations with our neighbours and trade flowing smoothly and free, but that is no reason to become complacent." Acknowledging that good times were sustained through vigilance reflected Charles' pragmatic mindset - he may have inherited during a strong position, but to keep it that way would require his and his subject's ongoing attention - he trusted his governors to manage affairs at home, but different stages had different audiences and expectations. "The world is larger than Aleph Null, and actions elsewhere upon the galactic stage cause ripples which can affect everybody." Aleph Null was a ripple in of itself, and Albion was once an instigator on such a massive scale for its own interests. Was it Remorse? Projection? Or being cognisant of previous actions? Nobody would've denied the threat the Tyrants posed to civilisations and humanity, but Albion's past actions were measured from the last blast Orbital Object: Null fired - a violent and bloody flag hoisted upon the broken skull of genetic and mnemonic tyranny. "One ripple can cause a wave - we Albionites understand this, as have wrought changes of such a scale in the past, and shall never forget the sacrifices and pain made to bring about the times we live in now. We shall keep our heads up, and our eyes clear; Working towards the best possible outcomes for Albion's people and its allies." Charles waited for the applause to end before his closing line. "So, with great pleasure, I reaffirm that Albion rises, now and forever. Thank you all, and I wish everybody a happy new year."