Hello, good evening, and welcome to the second part of this special edition of Planets Magazine Action News. I’m Jim Chancellite, coming to you Live! from the Cognitium War!

Group Portrait of the Coalition members

We’re joined tonight in the studio by military expert Col. Tolliver South, and live on Ansible, High Consul Ef Hu.

Both: [jumbled greetings]

And, from the Wumpus-class Discord Station, we have Ace Reporter Pat Patterson.

PP: Hello, Jim.

During the station break, we’ve broken out the champagne here at Broadcast Center, in preparation for the die roll, which we’re informed after all will not be rolled on dice. That’s what’s great about live news —

PP and TS and EH (in unison): The spontaneity.

The spontaneity. Well. With comments on this and other recent developments at the station, let’s go straight back to Pat. Pat?

PP: Thank you, Jim. As a reminder for any of our viewers who may be joining us late, the original plan was to determine a victor with a trial by combat. That was changed to a die roll, but apparently later discussion made the idea of dice impracticable for some reason. I’m here with Grand Nagus Zacha of the Cyborg—

Z: Prime. Call me Prime.
PP: …uh, certainly. Prime Zacha, can you tell us why you’re not casting bones, or dice, as originally planned?
Z: Well…
M: There’s no way this new method can be fixed, or altered, by any of the contestants.
PP: Ah. Dahar Master Morgens. I didn’t see you there.
M: I am Morgens.
PP: …Yes. Yes, you are. Uh, about this method—
Z: We will determine the victor using the Superzahl at, based on time-honored tradition, and kept scrupulously honest by special application of the Rules of Acquisition.
PP: So you’ll each get, what, a third of the numbers, and…?
M: Mine are zero, one, and eight.
PP: I see. And Consul Fexer?
Z: As you can see, he’s no longer with us this evening. He has no stake in tonight’s contest.
PP: Really! Well, that’s interesting. Why—
Z: They’re choosing the numbers!

[A holobroadcast has switched on. A lovely lady speaking German is selecting ping-pong ball numbers for the “6 aus 49”. And the time has come for the Superzahl…]

PP: 7!
Z: 7!
M: 7.
PP: Well. I suppose congratulations are in order, Prime.
Z: They certainly are.
PP: Ah, congratulations!
Z: Thank you.
PP: Anything you’d like to say to the audience, for posterity?
Z: Gimme a second.
PP: …Okay; “Gimme a second” it is. And you, Morgens?
Z: No, that’s not the quote!
M: Today was a good day to die-roll.
PP: …But that was Lotto.
M: I never said it was a good day to Lotto. Qapla’!
PP: Uh, Qapla.
Z: Fate has decided. Fate is always right.
PP: I see. That’s one of the Rules of Acquisition, is it?
Z: …It is now.
PP: How exciting! So, what comes next? …Oh. He’s gone. Transmission must have ended. So, Morgens… Morgens? Where… How does he DO that?
M: (ghostly voice from nowhere) I am Morgens.
PP: That’s NOT an explanation!

Well. A very exciting time at the Discord Station. And we’ll be talking with our experts here in the studio after we return from this message from our sponsors, without whose thoughtful contributions we wouldn’t be able to bring you live news from inside the Wars themselves.

This is Planets Magazine Action News!

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