ACTION NEWS: Industrial Ships Recalled After Accidents

This is Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live with a special report: The Capricorn War — Conflict in Echo Cluster!

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite. The top news story for today is the mandated safety recall of an entire production line of Merlin Class Alchemy Ships after a series of bizarre — and deadly — accidents. With more on this recall, here’s embedded reporter Wish Keydrinker at the hidden Rebel base.

WK: Thanks, Jim. It’s well below freezing here at the new hidden Rebel base, but at headquarters things are really heating up. Reports just released confirm that not one but two Rebel Merlins were lost due to, and I quote, “an unfortunate friendly fire incident caused by errors in fire control computers”. A full-scale investigation regarding concerns of sabotage has apparently led to the arrest and interrogation of at least one leader of the Echo Cluster Shipbuilder’s Union. The union-led strike on shipbuilding in the Echo Cluster has placed restrictions on military construction and the word has it that the Rebel fleet has suffered greatly.
JC: Any word on casualties, Wish?
WK: Not yet; they’re keeping those numbers under wraps. The Rebel command has a very tightly compartmentalized information network, Jim; we only hear what they want us to hear.
JC: Well… what else do you hear, then?
WK: We’re hearing rumors of a large-scale recall of Merlins that’s currently underway all over the sector. If this is true, it could have quite an impact on the local economies.
JC: I see. Well, try and stay warm out there!
WK: I’ve got a good friend from Scotland who’s helping quite a bit, Jim — The Balvenie.

Heh; Balvenie. Er… and calling in his report from Cluster Headquarters of the Shipbuilder’s Union, here’s Ace Reporter Pat Patterson. Pat?

PP: Thanks, Jim. I’m reporting today from the Capricorn headquarters of the Echo Cluster Shipbuilder’s Union, where earlier this week a limited production agreement was hammered out in an emergency negotiating session between the leaders of several powerful factions and interim union director Hans N. “Feet” Charnow. This agreement followed the catastrophic failure and destruction of what we’re now told was three Merlins, the largest and most expensive industrial ship in existence. Allegations ranging from the use of substandard construction methods to acts of deliberate sabotage have led to a cluster-wide recall of this vessel, essential to defense projects throughout the five hundred planets here in the Capricorn War Zone.

The agreement is a stopgap measure on the part of the union, whose ongoing strike has crippled military production throughout the Capricorn War since the disappearance of union director James Hoffman half a yahren ago. Interim Director Charnow released this statement a few minutes ago:

“In dese sitchiyations, ya gots ta give a little to get a little, ya know what I’m sayin’? Now, one of da reasons we went on strike in da foist place was this c*****y new artificial Duranium they’re making us use, an now dese same guys, dey gots da noyve ta blame us when da ships blow up? Well, we’re doin’ our bit here — we’re sending in some workers to build a coupla replacement ships, and they’re using one hunnert per cent certified building materials, all safety tested an mannifacsherd by good union boys here in New Detroit.”

Now, it’s not entirely clear which factions were involved in the negotiating sessions, but word has leaked out that High Chancellor SMN and the enigmatic Rebel leader, Professor J. Zan, have each been seen here on New Detroit within the last few days. Also, two Raptor pilots, on detached duty from the Colonial Fleet, were found dead yesterday, victims of an apparent mob hit, though it’s not now known if there is any relationship between these events.

Live from New Detroit, this is Pat Patterson reporting. Back to you in the studio, Jim.

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