This is an Action News Special Report. The Capricorn War: Conflict In Echo Cluster!
Hello; I’m Jim Chancellite, filling in for Pat Patterson, who is on assignment. Today we bring you an inside look at the hidden Rebel Base, somewhere deep inside the Capricorn War. Embedded with the Rebel forces is veteran correspondent Wish Keydrinker; we’ve got him on a subspace radio link. Hello, Wish; can you hear us?
WK: Yes, Jim, I can hear you.
JC: What’s the situation over there, Wish?
WK: It’s an amazing sight, Jim. As you know, the Rebels are traditionally outgunned, lightly armed and poorly supplied. They set up temporary bases on ice worlds and in abandoned temple structures, relying on a flimsy chain of small hyperspace transports to support their industry. And yet, I look at these soldiers and pilots, some of them starving and no two wearing the same uniform, and I see true enthusiasm. These are some excited warriors, Jim.
JC: So I take it the rumors of a Confederation morale problem were…
WK: Yes, vastly exaggerated. These people are downright eager to get into combat with their enemy. Even the legendarily short-lived fighter pilots are fervently hoping for battle.
JC: Fascinating. And is there any word on when such a battle might take place?
WK: Not yet, Jim, though I’ve just heard that a major announcement is due to be made any minute now.
JC: An announcement?
WK: Yes, apparently from the high command. It’s likely to be Admiral Squidface, but it’s possible that the reclusive professorial scholar that guides this rag-tag band from behind the scenes, the legendary J-Zan himself, will speak. We haven’t been told much, but — just a minute — yes, I’m hearing… Ah! I’ll patch in to the intercom now.
“…the notecards, yes, yes… Right; now how do I broadcast? This button here? But it’s on already. Ah; er… Right.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is J. Zan speaking.
First, I’d like to congratulate you all on the wonderful job you’ve been doing. Our new hidden Rebel base is coming together quite nicely, and I’m told the completion date has been moved up to this afternoon. We’ll be finished eight days ahead of schedule. Well done; well done indeed!
Now, this brings me to my second point: shore leave. There will be extra leave for the construction crews before we begin your cross-training sessions; this is, of course, a reward for the… er… rapid completion. Now, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, you’re all adults I know, but… well, the fact of the matter is, every time crew goes on leave we run into this, and we have people in sickbay for months!
Look, you are all issued military-grade… err… precautions. It’s regulations; you’re going to bring protection with you anyway, so use it! Remember: Cyber-crabs are very contagious! Even the most brief casual contact with a cybernetic organism can transmit the disease, and the thing is, you can’t always tell the difference. There are Cyborgs everywhere, and the sickness is catching. It’s embarrassing, painful, and most of all it’s bad for the war effort.
So remember your protection, and use it. Don’t be stupid.
Now, go and enjoy your leave. Class– er, I mean, dismissed.”
WK: And there you have it, folks: the wisdom of Professor J. Zan. Impressive.
JC: Very. Well, take care of yourself over there, Wish.
WK: Will do, Jim.
And now an update from Empire space. Many of our viewers have written or called to express their concern about our reporter Olen Hyven-Kilma. You may recall that she was stranded in deep space inside an Imperial escape pod. We have stayed in close contact; the Empire’s search and rescue forces are on the job, but Olen’s pod is still out there. Fortunately, it’s rated for up to three years survival, and she has been sent instructions on how to activate the military-grade coffee station. We’ll keep you updated as changes occur, but for now, our thoughts and prayers are with you, Olen.
Turning now to Bird space, we’ve got contact with our reporter Torbjorn Greitenkamp, embedded with the crew aboard the battleship [CENSORED]. Are you there, Torbjorn?
TG: I’m here, Jim.
JC: Ah; I see you’re not wearing your blindfold today.
TG: That’s right. I’m told that the [CENSORED] is undergoing routine maintenance for the next few days.
JC: So have you seen much of the ship, then?
TG: I’ve now been permitted to visit three rooms, Jim. The lounge was most entertaining.
JC: We in the newsroom have been very curious about the name of the ship, the [CENSORED]. It seems very unusual.
TG: No, Jim. Actually, it’s a traditional name that has been used for several famous ships throughout Bird history. The original [CENSORED], along with her sister ships the [CLASSIFIED], the [TOP SECRET] and the [CONTENT REMOVED FOR SECURITY PURPOSES] were the triumphant vanguard at the famed Battle of [ICANTEL-YU].
JC: Fascinating. Thank you for that bit of history, TG.
TG: My pleasure, Jim.
And now, on the lighter side of things, we’ve just had word that Action News ace reporter Pat Patterson is on his way back to us after a brief stint on a Crystalline prison ship. Apparently, due to some confusion over his travel permits, Pat was briefly detained and, in his words, “given a thorough clean-and-polish”. Fortunately, all is well now, and we look forward to his speedy return.
Finally, we have this statement just in from the Colonial homeworld:
“This is Fleet Admiral Gnerphk. Following several suspicious actions by our president, his cabinet, and certain members of the Quorum of Twelve, a top-secret military investigation has uncovered evidence of corruption, bribery, high treason and an egg-and-cress sandwich at the very highest levels of power. Due to the military emergency, I have declared martial law throughout the Colonies pending the trial. I want to assure you that the accused will be given ample opportunity to defend themselves before we hang them for high treason. Thank you.”
And that’s the way it is, today, Saturn’s Day the 15th, in the fourth year of Emperor Mentar. Long may he reign!
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.