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 from Colonial space. We go now to our embedded Colonial reporter, Hephaestus Tyrol, who is traveling with the Colonial Fleet. Are you there, Fess?
FT: I– [more static] here…
[even more static]
It looks like we’re having some technical problems getting in touch with Fess Tyrol, but we’ll try again later in the broadcast. For now, though, we’ll check in with D’Anna Beers, our embedded Robot reporter. What’s happening there, D’Anna?
DB: There’s a celebration going on here, Jim, as reports of a military victory at planet Spaceball have just been confirmed by the office of the Imperious Leader.
JC: What happened?
DB: A Cyborg carrier cube was destroyed in orbit a short time ago. Reports of heavy losses in the Robot fleet are being glossed over by local news outlets, and this is being lauded as a great victory.
JC: Can you elaborate on these reported losses?
DB: With military security as tight as it is, it’s tough to know for sure, but we have reports that two small escort carriers were destroyed along with their entire crew and fighter complement.
JC: Two ships for one! That sounds like a costly victory.
DB: Yes it does, Jim, but I have it on good authority that High Command believes it to be a reasonable cost. A Cyborg Biocide-class carrier is considered by some to be the most powerful military vessel in the cluster, though at least on paper the Evil Empire’s Gorbie-class carrier is its equal.
JC: Indeed. Is there news of further Robot plans?
DB: Only rumors, really. The earlier Robot plan of “Aggressive Defense” seems to be having some effect, and it is reasonable to assume that they will continue this in the face of continuing front-line raids by the Privateers.
JC: I see. Thank you for that, D’Anna.
DB: Thank you, Jim.
And I’m told we’ve re-established contact with Fess Tyrol over in Colonial space. Are you there, Fess?
FT: Can you hear me now?
JC: Yes, we can hear you.
JC: Uh… So can you tell us what’s been happening over in Colonial space, Fess?
FT: Well, reports are still coming in from the front; apparently, the Privateer Bands attacked a Colonial battlestar to soften it up for a sneak attack from the Cyborg, where it was subsequently destroyed. Remote southern colonies have also been destroyed, and with minimal losses to the attacker.
JC: This is the second big defeat the Colonials have faced in recent days. How is morale in the Colonial ranks?
FT: Not good, Jim. The defensive fighter squadrons are still flying, but there have been reports of mutiny from no fewer than three ships, with crews refusing to dock at any station with a suspected Privateer presence. Without shipments of essential parts, ammunition and materiel, the more distant colonies have little chance to repel the invasion. There are reports of riots and rumors that some of the ship captains are talking about changing their allegiance to other factions.
JC: Now that’s unusual at this stage of a war. Are we really seeing another contender drop from the ranks this early? It seems… somehow premature.
FT: Well, the Admiral has been closeted with his senior advisors. There’s something happening, but we have no way of knowing what; security is tight on this one.
JC: Do you think there’s a chance that he’ll resign? This is the third major error in his brief tenure as Fleet Admiral.
FT: As I said, we have no way of knowing at this point. All I can tell you now is, there’s no clear contender for a replacement.
JC: I see.
FT: For now, we’re all just waiting to see what news comes out of Colonial command.
JC: Well, thank you for your report, Fess.
FT: Thank you, Jim.
Well, that’s the way it is today, the 5th of Frobozz in the 5th year of Emperor Mentar, long may he reign. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.