ACTION NEWS: Standoff In Shipbuilder’s Strike

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with an update from the Capricorn War, deep inside the Echo Cluster. Good evening; I’m Jim Chancellite.

Tensions continued to rise in the ongoing shipbuilder’s strike here in the Echo Cluster. There’s not one but two competing standoffs on the picket lines, one in Bird space and the second deep inside Rebel territory.  Coming to us live from the Hidden Rebel Base, here’s embedded reporter Wish Keydrinker.  Are you there, Wish?

WK: Right here, Jim.
JC: What’s going on out there, Wish?
WK: Well, I’m standing right now in front of the concealed launch hangar in the main crater of an active volcano, and things are really starting to heat up!
JC: With the strike?
WK: No, Jim; with the active volcano. Frankly, I don’t understand why the Rebels hide their hidden bases in such unpleasant spots. There’s a lovely 50 W planet not ten light years from here, completely undeveloped, but instead here we sit in an active volcano. The last base was on an ice planet and the one before that was inside a planet-sized ball of Glurch. It’s no fun to cover, I can tell you that.
JC: It… uh… “Glurch”?
WK: It’s a Maxwell solid formed by the crosslinking of a polyvinyl alcohol with a boron compound. But that’s just the science; for the rest of us, think of a planetoid made entirely of a nasty sticky green slime that doesn’t follow standard Newtonian mechanics. Played merry hell with the microphones.
JC: I’m sure that’s fascinating, Wish, but what about the shipbuilder’s strike and the standoff?
WK: Ah. Yes, that. Well, it’s kinda complicated…
JC: Simplify it for our viewers, will you, Mr. Keydrinker?
WK: Eh… right. Well, we’ve just heard from the Secret Headquarters, where enigmatic guerrilla leader Jay Zan, former Professor of Applied Ergonomics at the University of Northern South Dakota in the Hoople system and now on prolonged sabbatical, has just announced his new strategy for breaking the strike by, apparently, not participating in the strike.
JC: Err…
WK: That’s what I said, Jim. It doesn’t make any sense at all to me, but I’m told it’s the latest thing, all about repositioning oneself within a reality continuinuinuinuumm… uh… let me check my notes here… through an “abstract remodeling of initial tensor conditions” and the “reparadigmation of anticipated stressor structures within the reality algorithm”.
JC: But what does that mean?
WK: As best as we can tell, they’ve stopped building ships in order to end the strike.
JC: And… is that expected to work?
WK: Apparently so, Jim. It’s all very hush-hush, but we’re told that it convinced union boss Charnov when he visited late last week. According to my sources, he called it “Real, kinda, quantum, like.” He went on to comment, “Yeah, what the perfesser just got done saying, kapeesh? Reparadigmation, sorta thing. Absolutely.”
JC: It does sound like he’s convinced.
WK: That was our opinion down at the bar– er, I mean, the “Reporter’s Convivium” last night.
JC: Ah. Yes, we’ve heard about the “conviviums”. Which reminds me: the producers would like to discuss your bar– er… “convivium” bill during the next break.
WK: For purposes of essential research only, Jim.
JC: I’m sure. Take care, Wish.
WK: Thanks, Jim.

And now we’ve got another viewpoint on the same story from deep within the Empire of the Bird Men, where Torbjorn Greitenkamp has sent out this exclusive dispatch from his position, embedded with the Bird Fleet:

TG: The status is on high alert here aboard the Bird battleship [Censored] as the standoff with striking members of the ECSU reaches its second week. This vessel, along with her sister ships [Top Secret] and [Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film], have been detailed to monitor the situation and take, quote, “whatever action seems necessary”. Even the official accounts vary, but the last report was that striking shipfitters have apparently chained themselves to the hull of a composite vessel slated for demolition and recycling, in protest for this method of getting around their picket line. The vessel in question is cubical in shape and contains engines, weapons, torpedo tubes, and other essential components for ship construction, all apparently originating in non-union shops. It was created for ease of reprocessing, but that plan doesn’t seem to be working. Signing off from Bird space, this is Torbjorn Grietenkamp for Action News.

After the break, we’ll hear more about the controversy surrounding the return of James “Jimmy” Hoffman, influential labor leader and suspected mob boss. Ace Reporter Pat Patterson will be joining us live from Union HQ on New Detroit. But first, this word from our sponsor.

This is Planets Magazine Action News.
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