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.
The top story this evening comes to us from Bird space, where James Hoffman, influential labor leader and suspected mob boss, has apparently reappeared after being presumed dead for several years. With more on this story, here’s Ace Reporter Pat Patterson at the headquarters of the Echo Cluster Shipbuilder’s Union on New Detroit. Pat?
PP: Thank you, Jim. The lights are burning late here at Union HQ, as Chairman Hans “Feet” Charnov, representing the local chapter of the ECSU, is meeting with representatives from the shipbuilding industry and political figures from across the Echo Cluster. The main item on the agenda? The apparent return of former union leader James “Jimmy” Hoffman, presumed dead since the conquest of the Bird homeworld many years ago. Earlier today, Charnov had this to say to one of our reporters:
“It’s like I said before, dis just can’t be Hoffman. I mean, I know da guy dat got his watch, knowhaddImean? Ah… not dat he was, ya know, involved in no disappearance or nothin’, just dat, ya know, dis guy who knows, he’s like a guy dat KNOWS. I mean, come on! Fuhgeddaboudit! No way! Somebody’s tryin’ ta pull sumpin’, ‘s what it is, an’ we’s gettin’ together to discuss… ya know, who it is might be behind dis. Qui boner, know what I’m sayin’? An den, what we gonna DO about it, ’cause we ain’t just gonna let dis slide, no way, no how. You put dat in your news story just like dat, buddy boy.”
PP: Representatives from every commercial starship manufacturer in the cluster are here, as well as political liasons to many of the major military powers. We’ve seen a party of Colonials, an entire Fascist diplomatic clone batch, a party of Lizards, some Robots, a couple of Crystals, and most recently several high-ranking officials from the Rebel Confederacy.
JC: Excuse me, Pat. Do we have any details on what they’re discussing?
PP: Nothing official, Jim, but we’ve heard rumors that some of the powers NOT represented here may be trying strongarm tactics in order to break the shipbuilder’s strike.
JC: Strikebreaking? But that’s–
PP: Apparently, Jim, it’s still legal under the terms of the Treaty of Nimbus Eight And A Half. Comes under the heading of “strictly internal affairs”. We’ve also heard that the —
JC: Sorry to interrupt, Pat, but I’ve just been handed a special bulletin. Moments ago, a massive derelict Cyborg vessel was destroyed in a live-fire exercise by the Bird Fleet. It’s still unconfirmed, but we have reports that the derelict was filled with union strike leaders and other, quote, “undesirables” from not only Bird Man but also Cyborg space.
PP: Oh. Oh no.
JC: Our viewers may remember the shipping accident last week that claimed the lives of twenty-seven hundred striking shipbuilders and their families in Bird space. In the wake of these most recent reports, it has been suggested by some that this accident… was no accident.
We’ll be back with more on this breaking story after this short break. This is Planets Magazine Action News.8