This is your Action News reporter, coming to you live from inside the Capricorn War with a special report!
Ace reporter Pat Patterson here. Now that the security restrictions have been lifted, I can finally reveal that several members of the Planets Magazine staff have been embedded within the various military headquarters around the Cluster. It is our intention to report from the front lines of this conflict, giving you the reader the opportunity to see what space combat is like, up close and personal!
First, we’re checking in with Torbjorn Greitenkamp aboard the Birdman battleship [CENSORED]. Torbjorn, can you hear me?
TG: Yes, Pat, I can hear you just fine.
PP: Can you tell us what it’s like being aboard a Bird battleship?
TG: Well, for one thing, it’s extremely difficult trying to shave.
PP: I had noticed the new beard. Very dashing.
TG: Thanks! The trouble is, when we’re cloaked, it’s impossible to see my reflection in the mirror. Or much of anything else, for that matter.
PP: I hadn’t realized. This must be a side effect of the cloaking field, then.
TG: Not quite, Pat. They blindfold me whenever they are cloaked.
PP: …I see. That explains it.
PP: And your ship has been cloaked since…
TG: Since we first got underway.
PP: So you haven’t seen anything at all, then.
TG: Not a thing. I did hear some loud noises last night, though.
PP: Very interesting. Thanks for that update, Torbjorn.
TG: Thank you, Pat.
That was Torbjorn Greitenkamp coming to us live from the heart of the Bird fleet. And now, for a contrasting perspective, we go to the lovely Olen Hyven-Kilma aboard the brand-new Evil Empire industrial craft, the Merlin One, where the commissioning ceremony should be just about to get underway. Olen?
OHK: Actually, Pat, that’s not quite where I am.
PP: No? Where are you, Olen?
OHK: Aboard a small escape pod, Pat, about one klick from the Imperial homeworld.
OHK: It’s a military term, Pat. It’s a measure of the distance that a starship can travel at one-tenth warp.
PP: I see. So what are you doing on that pod, Olen?
OHK: Not much, Pat. It’s just me here, and the only porthole points right at the sun. I’ve got my spare blanket covering it now to keep out the blinding light. Curi-
PP: No, I mean– sorry, didn’t mean to cut you off. Go ahead.
OHK: Curiously, sunlight doesn’t provide much warmth at this distance, but it’s still amazingly bright.
PP: So why don’t you tell us about the chain of events that led to you being in that lifepod?
OHK: Well, I’m not really sure, Pat. I was… er… conducting a private interview with a crewman in a sealed compartment off Deck 328 when alarms started going off. He directed me here, threw in my clo– er… equipment, told me not to touch anything, and rushed off.
PP: And did you? Touch anything, that is?
OHK: …uh. And then I heard a loud bang, and I guess I passed out. When I came to, the door wouldn’t open.
PP: Olen… is your pod still connected to the Merlin One?
OHK: Let me check. [pause] No, Pat. No, it’s not.
PP: …Well. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Olen. Probably just a glitch. We’ll contact Imperial Command from here and see if we can get this sorted out.
OHK: Thank you, Pat.
And while our people are doing that, we’ll go over to our embedded Cyborg reporter, I. M. Locutus.
PP: Do you read me, I.M.?
IML: TRANSMISSION RECEIVED.
PP: …well. That’s good, then.
PP: So, I.M.: Any news on those rumors of a secret Cyborg/Privateer treaty?
IML: DELETE. DELETE.
PP: I’m sorry, I.M. I can’t quite make you out.
IML: INFERIOR LIFE UNIT DETECTED. UPGRADE NOT POSSIBLE. DELETION IN PROGRESS.
PP: …I see. Thank you for that insight, I. M.
IML: DELETE. DELETE. DELETE.
And this just in, ladies and gentlemen: We have confirmed that a large explosion rocked the Cluster last night. It’s too early to tell for sure, but it seems likely that the brand new Imperial Merlin has been destroyed. I’m being told that we have a statement from the Imperial flagship.
“I’m not going anywhere. I will be here the rest of the game. I can Dark Sense with any ship, even a SDSF. I can build SSDs at any starbase given to me. The war against the Bird will not end until he is dead!
Never give up!
– Darth “Mike” Vader
We’ll be sure to bring you more news when we get it. Until then, this is Pat Patterson, from within the Capricorn War, signing off. Good night.