ACTION NEWS: Federation Assault Continues

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.

Last night, assault fleets under the combined command of Ciocco Locutus, formerly Admiral Serrin Forge of the Federation, and the Cyborg Hive captured two more heavily defended starbases on the outer rim, one belonging to the Colonies and the second an apparent Rebel stronghold in the heart of Robot space. We’re informed that two Cyborg scouts were destroyed during the attacks, in addition to a Cyborg Biocide-class fleet carrier.

For more on the significance of this, we turn now to our military consultant, Colonel Tollie South. What do you have for us, Tollie?

TS: Well, it’s an interesting situation, Jim. At first glance, this would seem to be evidence that the vaunted new Cyborg attack pattern is somehow flawed. However, further examination reveals that the destruction of the Cyborg ship was probably due to a navigational error.
JC: A… what? A navigational error?
TS: That’s what the data shows. Apparently, the rest of the fleet attacked in an appropriate formation, but somehow this one Biocide went in too fast and got ahead of the attack force.
JC: Well, that’s interesting all by itself.
TS: You aren’t kidding. There’s been a rash of these nav errors over the past few weeks, and a battleship as well as a fleet carrier were also destroyed in separate incidents not long ago. Each of the three vessels belonged to different factions, so enemy action is considered unlikely.
JC: “Enemy action”?
TS: Well… you know; fifth columnists, sabotage, that sort of thing.
JC: I see. And that’s unlikely?
TS: The coincidence, the timing, and above all the fact that no single faction seems to benefit from the destruction seems to indicate that something else is at fault.
JC: “Something else”. Like what?
TS: Now, that is the question, isn’t it? Nobody seems to know, and investigators from at least three different factions are looking into it. There are very few commonalities between the events, but a couple report that they are following up some leads. The Colonial investigative team, however, has apparently been unable even to get started.
JC: Oh? Why is that, Tollie?
TS: Apparently, someone broke into the headquarters of the team sent out to look into things and, er… vandalized the facility.
JC: Vandalized?
TS: It says here that the offices were rendered uninhabitable, and that the bathrooms particularly took extensive damage.
JC: How very strange. Do the Colonials know anything about the vandals?
TS: We’re told they left the investigators nothing to go on.
JC: …That was awful, Tollie.
TS: What?
JC: *sigh* Never mind. Thanks, Tollie.
TS: Oh, uh… you’re welcome, Jim.

In a related story, the Rebel Confederation has issued a substantial reward for information leading to the apprehension of a wanted fugitive, one Domino Walker. His name has been linked to several deaths from the consumption of poor-quality hallucinogenic mushrooms throughout the Noaad sector. For more information, stay tuned until after the broadcast for tonight’s episode of “Big Shot”.

But now, a word from our sponsor. After we return, we’ll have the results from the Pyramid semifinals.

(theme music)
TS: Oh! I get it!

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