This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!
Good evening; I’m Jim Chancellite. The top story for today is the apparent departure of the entire Cyborg fleet from the field of battle. We go now to Ace Reporter Pat Patterson, on location at the site of the Cyborg military capitol. Pat?
PP: Thank you, Jim. I’m standing here on the world of Remit, formerly the homeworld of the Cyborg Collective here in the Capricorn War. Not long ago, this world was home to ten million Cyborg drones. Now, it lies in ruins, pocked with craters and covered in smoking rubble.
[cut to video]
This is file footage of a Biocide-class supercarrier, crewed by a specially-trained Federation crack assault unit. This craft, code-named “Armageddon”, was at one time considered the most deadly ship in the entire Echo Cluster. Tacticians of the Coalition General Staff believed this vessel could easily defeat any two ships sent against it, suffering only minimal damage in the process. Homeworlds fell before the might of this super-weapon, which struck terror into the hearts of soldiers throughout the galaxy.
Today, this ship still exists, but the location is unknown. With the recent retirement of the Federation commander, the redoubtable Ciocco, it has returned to Cyborg control, but this ship and sixteen of her deadly sisters have vanished from the field of battle. All told, over one hundred Federation and Cyborg vessels have disappeared, and the once-mighty planets of the vast Cyborg Collective are falling, undefended, to the ships of the Coalition Fleet.
Four days ago, the planetary capitol of the Cyborg was captured by a small squadron of the Colonial Fleet. And now, there stand fewer than one third of the Cyborg worlds that existed at the peak of the Collective’s power.
PP: [voiceover] But what has happened to the mighty Cyborg fleet? And why have they permitted the combined navies of the Coalition Fleet to move, virtually unopposed, throughout the Cyborg worlds, striking apparently at will? This man may have some answers — retired Lieutenant Colonel Tolliver South of the Space Marines.
[cut to video]
TS: …If you add up the total combat power of all of the battleships and supercarriers presently in the Echo Cluster, you can see that the Cyborg Fleet actually slightly outweighs the combined firepower of all the other navies. Now, that’s very simplified, of course. There are several factors that can’t easily be considered in a comparison of this nature, not least of which is the Privateer ability to rob, board, and capture enemy vessels.
PP: But still, that’s a lot of firepower. Why did the Cyborg retreat? Why aren’t they fighting?
TS: Again, it’s more complicated than it appears. But the simple truth is that they had no reliable defense against capture by Privateer and Imperial Bird Man tow-traps. Most empires can rely on minefield defense to at least slow an enemy attack, but here the Cyborg faced massive counter-mining and minesweeping efforts by the combined Coalition forces. There was, quite simply, no way to do more than delay the enemy’s advance.
PP: [voiceover] And how did this seemingly unstoppable coalition come about in the first place?
TS: At one point, remember, the Cyborg were actually allied with the Privateers, one of the main factors in his current difficulties. He had also had dealings with at least two other major powers, either of which could have prevented this situation from coming to pass. You might be tempted to say the Cyborg miscalculated, or that the treachery of other powers undercut him, but remember — it’s never actually that simple. There’s always more to these things than you can see on the surface. But — bottom line? It all came down to diplomacy. It always comes down to diplomacy, in the end.
[back to location]
PP: And that’s what led to this, the complete destruction of the Cyborg bureaucratic headquarters here on Remit. We’re told that the Cyborg can recover even from this, the loss of their home world, and that they could even completely rebuild at any single point in the cluster. But at this point, such a comeback is starting to seem less and less likely. And the big question on everyone’s mind is this: What happens next? Without the Cyborg to fight, what will happen to all of these navies that are wandering around looking for a war that nobody else seems to be joining?
From the ruins of Remit, this is Pat Patterson reporting.
JC: Thanks, Pat.
And that’s the way it is, today, the forty-tweenth of Shazzbot in the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Emork. Long may he reign!