ACTION NEWS: The Balance Of Power Shifts Slightly

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. The top news story for today is the recent shift of materiel from the Privateer Bands to the Empire of the Bird Men. We go now to ace reporter Pat Patterson, who is at the Senate Logistical Monitoring Station, just outside of the Capricorn Sector. Pat?

[scene: Pat Patterson with planetary background]
Thanks, Jim. I’m standing here just outside the Corso Lunaris monitoring base. Behind me you can see a veritable forest of antennae, scanners and other monitoring equipment designed to track proceedings within the Capricorn War. These are decoded within that bunker over there [points] into the periodic “Statistics Report” from which we can follow the progress of the War, and incidentally from which victory conditions will be determined to have been achieved (or not) much later on.

Now, this most recent report, the 36th, has just been released, and it shows a surprising shift of both power and military vessels between empires. Here with me to talk about this is Sir Reginald Billingham-Thwaite, the official SLMS liason for the sector. Thank you for joining us, Sir Reginald.

SRBT: A pleasure, sir.
PP: Now, I understand the Senate has a strict neutrality policy in these matters. What can you tell us without breaching confidence?
SRBT: Well… *ahem* I can give you the raw data, you understand, but not any conclusions. For example, I can tell you that the “GS Gaius Baltar” was destroyed near planet 010, north of Colonial space, but I can’t tell you if it was a Colonial ship or… er… how it happened to explode, just that it did.
PP: I understand. Our sources tell us that it discovered a well-defended Cyborg planet.
SRBT: And I can neither confirm nor deny.
PP: Gotcha.
SRBT: What we did see was the normal expected variation in vessel counts. Some players lost a freighter and gained a warship (or vice-versa); this is perfectly normal. A capture, for instance, would be a credit to one player and a loss (in the same column) to another. Following so far?
PP: Yes, I am.
SRBT: Well, we’re showing… the loss of two freighters by the Cyborg and a corresponding gain by the Federation — not conclusive of anything, mind you, but potentially suggestive, considering. And…
PP: Yes?
SRBT: And a loss of eight warships plus substantial Military Score, with a corresponding gain in each by the Bird Men (making allowances, er-hem, for the new starbase construction et cetera, dontcherknow).
PP: Which would mean that the Privateer Bands are giving the Bird Empire several warships, perhaps captured Lizard battleships, maybe even that T-Rex squadron that we’d heard about!
SRBT: Er-hem! You might think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.
PP: Ah… That’s a very distinctive phrase, you know. Have you been watching the original BBC version of “House of Cards”?
SRBT: You might think that; you might very well think that — but I couldn’t possibly comment.
PP: I see. Well, thanks very much for your insight into the raw data.
SRBT: Not at all, not at all, my dear sir. Do stop back and visit us again.
PP: I’ll do that. Thank you. Jim?

Thank you, Pat. We now have confirmation that the ship reported destroyed was indeed a Colonial ship, and there’s reason to believe that it did find a developed Cyborg planet. There’s been no report on Cyborg casualties, and no protests from the Cyborg government over the breach of what has been, so far, a relatively peaceful border.

In other news, we’ve got reports that today’s scheduled protest by the Galactic Campaign To Ban Spacemines was delayed when their transport craft “Rainbow Exploder” got stuck in a webfield. There were no civilian casualties and the transport was released; it is now heading for the center of the cluster. Reports of ion storms in their path have been dismissed by the protesters as, and I quote, “government lies to distract us from our noble purpose”. The Space Guard has three patrol craft prepared to conduct rescue operations in case of emergency.

We’ve also received word from the Space Guard that they’ve retrieved our reporter, Olen Hyven-Kilma, from the small escape pod in Evil Empire space where she had been drifting for two weeks. Ms. Hyven-Kilma is reportedly undergoing medical treatment for caffeine overdose, and is expected to make a full recovery.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that’s the way it is, today, the 1st of Frobozz in the fifth year of Mentar, long may he reign. We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion on UI documentation, already in progress.

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