The Omega Grid is a secret communications network used by the Empire, as revealed in Galnet by Captain Saskia Landau of ACT in early 3308.
Subversion by the NMLA
Omega Grid technology was used by the Neo-Marlinist Liberation Army (NMLA) in a plot against the Empire, as was revealed by a series of Listening Posts found in February 3308. The first listening post was pointed to by a Galnet post and subsequent locations were revealed in follow-up inbox messages in the game. The set of messages can be followed by starting in the first (HIP 290) and the next phase will be revealed upon scan.
The messages used a simple substitution cipher where some of the substitutions are given but the rest must be deduced from the partially decoded message. Decoded messages have been formatted for readability, and minor typos corrected.
The decoded messages follow:
From a signal called ‘Imperial Beacon’ around HIP 290 B2c
This is Torquatus. Abandon work on establishing a new NMLA figurehead. no existing candidates have sufficient support to replace Theta Seven. His martyrdom was expected but has unfortunately happened ahead of schedule. For now concentrate on avoiding detection. There will be other chances to remove the remaining Duvals.
Commanders who scanned this listening post received a follow-up inbox message the next day:
Commander, this is Captain Landau.
The deciphered message from the HIP 290 system revealed the name ‘Torquatus’, who we believe to be Senator Ursula Torquatus. This is a revelation, since she has avoided all suspicion until now. The fact that she openly identified herself proves that she believed the Omega Grid was totally secure.
Now that our detection strategy is confirmed, we have triangulated signals from a second beacon somewhere in the Saffron system. l have provided another partial cipher key that should apply to its contents. Please continue helping us to track down the NMLA’s benefactors.
From a signal called ‘Unidentified beacon’ close to Cresswell Starport near planet Ectoplasm
Ursula, it’s Alberto again, you have to help me. I’ve left Capitol with my family to avoid IISS questioning. What if that Landau woman really can crack our Omega Grid? Karl promised me that was impossible! You know I’ve always been loyal to you and the other lords but never dreamt our work could expose me personally. Do something!
The reference to Karl is a reference to Karl Nerva – previously mentioned in Galnet in relation to the IISS secret prison where the Theta Group was held, and also denying the existence of the Omega Grid.
The follow-up message the next day was:
Your contribution to ACT‘s work is proving to be invaluable.
The Omega Grid beacon you found in the Saffron system provided the names of two more senators: Alberto Gereon and Karl Nerva. They were working with Ursula Torquatus and others who refer to themselves as ‘Lords’. How far does this conspiracy reach?
With the data recovered so far, we theorise that another Omega Grid beacon exists in the Maidjin system. l have provided another cipher key, but again it is incomplete. l have faith in your ability to overcome this.
A signal called ‘Network Beacon’ is near 5d. Decoded message reads:
Colonel Brock reporting to senator Nerva. We’ve had to disband the remaining training camps, my soldiers caught and executed several ACT agents among the latest intake. If you want us to continue working for the Lords of Restoration we must renegotiate our agreement the current situation is not sustainable.
The name of the colonel is not clear from the message – subsequent Galnet messages made it clear that the name was Brock.
The follow-up message the next day reads:
The beacon you found in the Maidjin system has provided a huge piece or the puzzle!
Darkwater Inc is one of—the largest private mercenary groups in the core systems. We now have evidence that it provided military training to NMLA terrorists. Darkwater’s employers referred to themselves as the Lords of Restoration, but the significance or this name remains unclear.
Thanks to this and other breakthroughs, we have identified the Zhao Jin system as another likely location for an Omega Grid beacon. Our analysts had difficulty establishing the latest cipher key, so we are relying on your expertise to decipher whatever messages you may find.
The message is held in a signal called ‘Communication Beacon’ around planet 5 a. The decoded message reads:
This is Torquatus. Colonel Brock, our agents within Imperial Intelligence have warned us that ACT is making progress on accessing our network. You are ordered to transfer Cryogenic Pod E-16 from the Summerland Complex to an alternative system as soon as possible. This must be our top priority. If we lose Arissa, the project is finished.
Darkwater Inc has Summerland as its Headquarters according to the system’s description.
The final follow-up message reads:
With your assistance, we have solved a year-long mystery: the whereabouts of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval.
The message found in the Zhao Jin system confirms that the Lords of Restoration ordered Darkwater troops to abduct the Emperor and keep her captive. This implies that their agents within Imperial Intelligence have been falsifying her communications with the Senate ever since. Specialist operatives have now been dispatched to locate and recover Her Majesty.
On behalf of ACT, thank you for playing a vital part in this work.
Captain Saskia Landau
There was a follow-up Galnet post indicating that Emperor Arissa Duval was successfully rescued.
Thanks to Valerie42 and Redden Alt-Mer for early decodes