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WHEN IS IT?...
ELITE IV:THE NEXT ENCOUNTER is set a couple of hundred years after FRONTIER:FIRST ENCOUNTERS.

WHAT'S GOING ON?...
For the past year or two, rumours have been floating around about strange ships of unknown designs being sighted in the frontier border systems. All vessels that have encountered these ships have either been completely destroyed, or severly damaged. Those who have escaped such attacks tell stories of vessels, who's design is more like some kind of creature than that of a ship, that without provocation zoom in and attack with a clinical precision rarley seen among pilots. Of course, the people who tell these tales are usually old Space-Bums, Deep-Space Miners, and Frontier Explorers who have been away from civilization far to long, so usually these stories are shrugged off as DSP*, or the over-active imagination caused by one drink too many.
So, these tales of 'alien creature ships' became somewhat of a legend amongs the frontier systems. Many of the inner-system populace dismissed it as the frontier systems' way to drum up a bit of business with the hopes such stories might attract some tourism. (Actually, this assumtion was re-inforced by the fact that several frontier businesses started 'Charter Tours' to some of the systems where these alleged attacks had taken place, but these endevours ended abruptly when all the Tourist-Ships eventualy 'dissapeared'.)
In fact, it wasnt until the highly respected and trillionare playboy, Arthur Jenkins claims he had a 'so-called' encounter with an alien ship, that people started thinking there may be more to the story than the simple ramblings of a bunch of Space-Drunks.
Arthur bought and decked out a brand new KOMODO CRUISER with the intention to set out for the frontier systems and prove these stories are "An utter load of Itorilletian bunk!" However, just 6 weeks after he set off on his quest, a mining convoy traveling through the [INSERT NAME HERE] system happened accross an escape pod drifting aimlessly through the system. Apon retrieval, the Miners were suprised when inside, they found the wealthy Arthur Jenkins unconscious and barely clinging to life.
Arthur was returned to the Core Systems (part of his astronomical health insurance), and spent 2 weeks drifting in and out consciensness, babbling incoherently. When Arthur finally regained full conciesness, his eyes were wide with fear, his hair color had faded, and all he could do was scream "I SAW IT! I SAW IT! IT'S COMING! I SAW IT!", while he seemed to stare into the very pit of fear itself. He was commited to the asylum on [INSERT SYSTEM NAME HERE] 2 days later. However, it should be noted that INRA have denied any and all knowledge of any alien ships in human space, with the exception to the systems at co-ordinates [INSERT CO-ORDS HERE] which are closed to humans due to the fact that these systems are reserved soley for the THARGOIDS, whom under the 'Hotice Peace Treaty' of [INSERT DATE HERE] have agreed to remain within these systems ONLY. No Thargoid leaves, no Human enters.
Is there a threat from another alien race that we havent encountered yet? Who knows. Why dont you go for a look yourself?
*DSP - Deep Space Psychosis