ACTION NEWS: Military Coup Underway

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. Breaking news is coming in from the Capricorn War. Moments ago, Action News staff received word that a military coup may be underway in the eastern sector, with elements belonging to the Rebel Confederation announcing the illegitimacy of the central Rebel government.

We’re going live now to the front, where ace reporter Pat Patterson is at the scene.  What can you tell us, Pat?

PP:  Thanks, Jim.  I’m standing in the airlock of a Dark Wing Class Battleship belonging to the Rebel Confederation.  Captured several Nu years ago in a joint Rebel-Crystal action, this and several other former Bird Mad vessels were then re-crewed and sent out to rejoin the war, this time on the other side.  And now we have word that these mighty vessels are once again changing their flag.

PP [voiceover]:  The Capricorn War has been marked by short bursts of open conflict interspersed with long pauses for tactical maneuvering.  Vast fleets have shifted from front to front, each angling patiently for advantage, but the forces have been so evenly matched thus far that space battles like this one are rare.

PP [voiceover]:  Instead, space battles have been overtaken by a sort of space trench warfare, a mostly static series of webfields and space mine actions.  Crystalline webs and minefield superiority have been employed to control territory, while most of the planetary conflict has taken the form of planetary siege, raids, and infantry raids.

PP [voiceover]:  The situation had become static.  Then, during a normal minesweeping operation, a heavy Bird Men squadron became trapped between an ion storm and a web field.  Their beams rendered useless by the ion storm, these vessels were rendered helpless.  Rebel ships moved in, towed, and boarded them.  After a quick refit, they were sent to the front lines.

PP [voiceover]:  However, for some reason yet to be determined, the Rebel advance stopped at that point.  Only minor gains continued to be made, while the war intensified on the previously quiet border between the Robots and the Cyborg.  Only in the deep South did the Bird Men maintain contact with the enemy, opposing Fascist and Colonial forces.

PP [voiceover]:  And now, this unaccountable pause has been shattered by new events:  apparent mutinies aboard ships of the Rebel Fleet, a repudiation of the central Rebel authority, and flight into unknown space under cloak.  At present, we’re awaiting–

[airlock hisses]

Unknown Voice:  You will come with us.  The Commander will have words with you, reporter humans.
PP:  Ah — yes!  We’ll be right along.  Well, that’s a new development, Jim; the ship’s comma–
Unknown Voice:  What?  You are broadcasting?  End this transmission immediately!  You will be sh–[sqrkEEEEeeeee] [static]

Pat?  Pat?  Can you hear us?

[more static]

Well.  Uh.  There have been some apparent… ah… technical difficulties.  We’ll keep trying to get in touch with our roving reporter.  Stay tuned for more, after this.

[cut to commercial]

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