WE WILL BRING PEACE TO THE CLUSTER. UNITY. UNIFORMITY.
HAVE YOU KNOWN GRIEF, AND RAGE, AND PAIN? THEY HURT. WE CAN SET YOU FREE.
This is the message that has just been broadcast from the orbit of the Crystalline homeworld. Their last defense has fallen. We have received reports that a small refugee fleet is retreating toward a reserve bastion, a secondary base prepared for just such an event. Some of the population has survived, but millions have just perished in this, the second loss of a homeworld in this Capricorn War.
Hello; this is Jim Chancellite for PM Action News. Today’s top story: the defeat of the Crystalline homeworld by the Cyborg. With us here in the studio to discuss this is military scholar Dr. Harv A. Liddell-Hart, author of the foundational work “Strategery”. Thank you for joining us here, Dr. Hart.
HLH: Glad to be here, Jim.
JC: The second of eleven homeworlds has fallen. What is your analysis of this development within the context of the Capricorn War as a whole?
HLH: Well, as you know, the Bird Man homeworld fell quite some time ago, and yet their empire is back up to three full starbases. There, however, he has a powerful ally working closely with him to restore his industrial strength; additionally, his neighbors have both suffered military defeats in the field.
JC: And the Crystals… ?
HLH: The Crystals have no such aid. We’ve seen statements of sympathy from the Rebels, the Fascists, the Robots and Colonies, and even the Evil Empire — but none of these is close enough to render substantiative assistance. Not in the near future, at least.
JC: What about his neighbors?
HLH: The southern neighbor is the Cyborg, of course; they aren’t likely to help. To the east is the domain of Don Ruez, leader of the Privateer Bands; he has given no sign that he might be willing to aid the Crystals, and in fact is working alongside the Cyborg against both the Robots and the Colonies.
JC: So there’s not much help coming from there either.
HLH: It’s not likely, no. And, in the absence of outside assistance, I predict that the Crystal Confederation will likely collapse completely.
JC: I see. And where does this leave the balance of power in the cluster?
HLH: From here, it’s pretty straightforward. The Robots and Colonies are both on the defensive and there’s chaos throughout the entire southeast; the Federation is down to a mere handful of worlds. This leaves only the Rebel Confederacy and the Fascist Empire as serious contenders against the Privateer/Cyborg alliance; however, rumor has it that Cyborg ships have been seen in the custody of the Fascists, so they may well be out of the competition.
JC: So you’re saying that, this early in the War, there are only three contenders remaining for the title?
HLH: That’s how it looks right now, yes. Of course, a diplomatic upset, a hidden treaty, a sudden unexpected military reversal — any of these could change the face of the conflict without warning.
JC: I see. Any predictions on a final winner?
HLH: My money’s on the Rebels; has been since the beginning.
JC: And, as always, the big loser is the civilian population.
HLH: Ahhh… I suppose you’re right, Jim.
JC: Dr. Harv A. Liddel-Hart, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us this evening.
HLH: Thank you, Jim.
And in other news, the Empire of the Bird Men seems to be in the middle of quite a dramatic recovery. We’ve received an encrypted burst transmission from our embedded Bird Man reporter, Torbjorn Greitenkamp; we’re told that live communication is still impossible, so we’ll play what we have for you.
“This is Torbjorn Greitenkamp reporting from deep space, traveling with the Bird Fleet. I can’t tell you where we’re at; the ship I’m on is running cloaked. What I can tell you is this: the Bird Men are rebuilding very rapidly after the fall of their home world. I’ve recently seen one of their brand-new starbases, and several ships have been added to the battle fleet with a foreign origin. Morale is much higher now than in the days immediately after the Lizard strike, and I’m told some of the ships are seeing combat again for the first time in quite a while. There’s actually a feeling of optimism here on the [CENSORED] and I’m beginning to see why; they have a disciplined force and an expert tactical staff that’s eager to come to grips with their foe. Until next time, this is Torbjorn Greitenkamp signing off.”
We are expecting updates from Torbjorn in the next few hours; we’ll keep you posted. We also anticipate reports from our Evil Empire correspondent and from Pat Patterson, who is on roving assignment. Stay tuned to this station for more breaking coverage.
But until then, that’s the way it is, Stunday, Grune 56 in the 5th year of Mentar. Long may he reign! Stay tuned for the Brockian Ultra-Cricket season opener coming up next on our affiliate stations.