1 pointThe Catian empire has continued its slide into chaos this week, with several of its colonies declaring independence in the wake of a crippling recession brought on by the ongoing conflict in the Abaran and Matar systems. The rebel leadership has cited unchecked slave raids by Arakhari pirates, economic mismanagement and general governmental incompetence as justifications for the colonial revolts, while Catian authorities have denounced the rebels as traitors and vowed to reassert control over the rebellious planets. The spreading disorder in Catian space has also drawn condemnation from the Children, who have openly admitted to funding Arakahri piracy in the region and have pledged their support for the breakaway colonies in their bid for independence. Meanwhile, the see-saw battle for control of Catia's eastern systems continues, with losses reported on both sides as Arakhari and Catian spacecraft clash in the skies above dozens of planets. In the western galactic rim, observers have expressed confusion regarding reports of fighting between Lamian and Vermintide forces in the Tallus system. Humantarian agencies that rushed to the system following rumours of a battle in orbit of the former Vermintide colony world of Patkány are reportedly baffled by the absence of any signs of fighting on the planet. Representatives of the Purrsian aid agency 'Felines without Borders' have announced that the skies above Patkány are completely clear, despite claims from Vermintide diplomats that over 40 ships were destroyed there a few days earlier. Reports from the surface have only added to the mystery, with witnesses alleging that there are no sign of Lamian forces on the planet and no evidence of damage to colonial infrastructure from energy weapons, explosives or orbital bombardment. Patkány's citizens have expressed confusion at the arrival of intergalactic aid organizations, while local hospitals deny having admitted any casualties from the supposed battle. In the face of mounting allegations of a hoax, Lamian officials have continued to insist that a great victory took place in the Tallus system, citing Vermintide's admission of defeat as evidence that Lamia's forces prevailed. Criticism of Lamia has intensified, however, as reports of fighting at Patkány has diverted humanitarian aid from the Tudran system, where Purrsian forces have seized control of the Tatrean colony world of Pysny following weeks of brutal combat that have left an estimated 20 million dead and millions more injured, missing or displaced in the fighting.