The disputed territory, which the Humans call 'Pluto', in honor of their yellow cartoon dog god, lies near the edge of the system and is an important transport hub and source of mineral wealth. It's vast deposits of light, sweet, water ice are a vital fuel and propellent for primitive civilizations, who use it in their interstellar and insystem GUT-drive transportation. Water is also an important constituent of countless chemical life forms, making it a strategic asset for many growing species even after development of hyperdrive and zero-point energy technology.
The IAU's announcement came as a surprise to may observers. Earlier this week, our correspondent on Mars was reporting that a ceasefire seemed likely. "My sources are insisting," it said Monday, "that the IAU is close to agreeing to drop their claim on Yuggoth in order to concentrate their energy on other fronts." There had also been unconfirmed rumors that Earth planned to drop its claim on Ceres.
The exact form of the Earth's attack is still unknown. Fears are growing that the Humans have secretly developed a new weapon of mass destruction. Much has been made of the statement in the IAU resolution, broadcast on the BBC, a Human-language network, that "The eight planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune." Defense analysts largely agree that this statement is an attempt to avoid sanction under the Galactic Planet Killer Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Liberal commentators argue that the statement was actually a gesture of friendship and that Humanity lacks the technology and exotic matter required to build a Planet Killer. Earth's neighboring governments dismiss these clams as wishful thinking.
"The Martian army knows only too well of the Puny Humans' ability to surprise everyone with their weapons capability," the Martian secretary of war (himself a veteran of many Earth-Mars conflicts) commented. "We tried to conquer them five times over the last hundred Martian years. Each time they hit us with deadlier weapons: the ironclad, the A-bomb, the really huge A-bomb. We kept having to build better and better armor each time. They're even protected by a planet-wide biological weapons system: as soon as we arrived, as soon as we drank and fed, their microscopic weapons began to work our overthrow. Our brave infantry were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was horrible. Last year, we went back with state-of-the-art heat rays and shields in an improved ground-based war machine. We gave our men an immunity serum to protect them from the bio-weapon only to find that the Humans had changed [the weapon], rendering the serum useless."
Nearby planets are preparing for a refugee crisis as spaceports on Yuggoth are swamped with thousands of Mi-go colonists fearing the worst. The Galactic Empire has pledged military assistance to the Mi-go government. In a personal address from the Tesseract Office of the Fortress of Arrogance, Emperor Giant W. Brain in a Jar said, "We are committed to helpulating the Sole region achieve peace and unity. The Puny Humans and their Puny Ideology are a destabilizing effluence on the whole area." He reiterated the GE's stance on weapons of mass destruction, "We're also opposed to the prolification of Planet Killer technology, and are prepared to use our full planet-killing might to stop it." He also announced the Homeworld Security threat level had increased from Aquamaroon to the Color Out of Space.