This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!
This is Jim at the studio, filling in for Pat Patterson, who is out on assignment. We’re got a breaking story just in from the Bird homeworld. The following is an official press release from BirdMan HQ.
[cut to video]
(Scene: Deep space. Slow pan down to show a lovely Class M planet with an orbiting starbase.)
This is the planet [INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE]. Lovely, peaceful, it is the center of Bird Man culture and learning in this sector. Nearly four million call this planet their home.
(Camera tracks on a fleet of green scaly starships moving in from the right. Several are battle-scarred and trailing smoke; one appears actually to be on fire. Small specks and flashes appear from the starbase; it soon becomes apparent that these are fighters.)
(Weapons fire erupts from the green battle fleet. Lasers blast; torpedoes launch. The first ship suddenly explodes in a blinding flash. Small explosions impact the starbase; fire blooms under the cloud layer of the planet.)
We were promised peace and unity. Our neighbors were with us in a single accord, to halt the spread of the dreaded Cyborg and his dupes. But not all of us were true.
(More explosions. The second warship takes several hits.)
Treachery has triumphed over honor this day.
(The starbase suddenly blossoms into a ball of fire and begins to fall from orbit. Multiple explosions track across the planetary surface.)
Our home is no more.
(The screen fills with fire, then goes dark)
But we survive. We will not forget; we will not forgive. We will avenge our losses this day.
(The Winged Avatar of the Birds appears on the screen.)
We shall be your doom.
[back to studio]
(Jim Chancellite appears to be in shock.)
My God. Four million — gone. Just like that. It’s… it’s so hard to… I’m sorry, folks. It’s just so hard to comprehend…
(He is handed a paper.)
Ah…um. Yes. *ahem* We’ve just received confirmation; not one, but both Bird Man starbases were hit this turn by Lizard attacks; the second may have been captured intact. There are unconfirmed reports of a Privateer presence in the area, but we have no reason to believe that their Unified Bands participated in either strike. We also have reports that Evil Empire intelligence was used in the planning of the attack, but we have no confirmation there either.
We’re going now to our correspondent in the field, Torbjorn Grietenkamp, aboard the Birdman battleship [CENSORED]. Torbjorn, are you there?
JC: Torbjorn, can you hear me?
TG: Ah, yes… yes I can, Jim.
JC: Can you give us any insight as to the recent events?
TG: No, Jim; I’m still pretty much in the dark over here. All I’ve been told is that there’s been a battle, maybe two, but that the fleet is mostly intact. We’re underway, and… excuse me, Jim.
TG: Ah… It seems we’re about to learn more. I’m being summoned to the bridge, Jim. I’ll call in as soon as I have something for you. This is Torbjorn Greitenkamp, signing off.
JC: Good luck, Torbjorn.
In related news, we’ve just been informed that the shipbuilder’s strike which had been planned to begin tonight at midnight has been delayed due to today’s events. We are informed that union spokesperson Jimmy Hoffman had been present for a negotiating session at the Bird homeworld; no word yet on survivors. His longtime associate and protege, Hans “Feet” Charnov, has informed us here at Action News that the strike will likely begin in 48 hours unless union demands are met. What impact this will have on the Capricorn War has yet to be determined.
And this just in: We’ve received partial confirmation that the Evil Empire is claiming shared responsibility for the Lizard strike against the Bird homeworld. Now, this is still unconfirmed; while the note in question is written on genuine official Evil Empire notepaper, rather than going through the usual channels it was tied to a brick and thrown through a window here at Action News headquarters. Nobody was injured in the transmission of this message.
And that’s the way it is, today, Starday the 16th, in the fourth year of Emperor Mentar. Long may he reign.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.