…And welcome back.
We’ve been talking tonight about the Leo War and the various Imperial Champions who are to be fighting in it. Ten of the eleven have arrived to affirm their roles as contenders; we’re still waiting to find out who that eleventh candidate will be. On the scene is Ace Reporter Pat Patterson; Pat, is anything new happening over there?
PP: It’s gone quiet here at the Hall of Champions, Jim. We had quite the crowd a little while ago, as several of the contenders arrived all at one time. But each has since departed, no doubt to assess the new information they’ve been given about the conditions of the War and to begin giving orders in command of their new sectors. Now, the streets are silent, the landing strip all but deserted.
JC: Who’s still there, Pat?
PP: It’s just the Action News team here on the steps of the Hall now, while inside the representative of the Galactic Senate awaits the arrival of the final champion. Once that happens, the Leo War will officially begin.
JC: That’s the commander from the Fascist Empire we’re waiting on, is it?
PP: That’s right, Jim. Nothing can happen until he arrives.
JC: Do we know yet who that will be?
PP: We do not, Jim. We know that there are a dozen potential leaders in the final pool from which the champions can be drawn, but we’ve heard no news of any of them. That’s not at all unusual, of course; in past wars, there have always been delays in the opening.
JC: A rumor has been going around to the effect that that the identity of the final champion will be unveiled this weekend at the upcoming Convocation, when the enigmatic Joshua of the Senate addresses the assembled delegates. Have you heard anything about this?
PP: Well, we’ve heard the rumor, certainly, but there’s nothing official on the subject. It’s quite possible, though; we all know that Senate Leader Joshua does have a dramatic side.
JC: That’s very true. Well, we’ll keep checking back with you for new developments.
PP: We’ll be here, Jim.
Now, we’ve been hearing about the champions one by one as they arrived, but it sounds like we’ve missed one. Isn’t that right, Tollie?
TS: That’s right, Jim. We’re still trying to work out how he got past us, but the official word is that Fleet Admiral Demon the Conqueror of the Privateer Bands got in and out without our team seeing him.
JC: Not all that shocking when you think about it, Tollie. What do we know about him?
TS: Demon the Conqueror began his long-running career way back in Nu Year 3, working for the Privateer Bands in the first New Albania conflict. Since then he’s mostly specialized as a sort of general-purpose mercenary, stepping in to finish the work that other leaders had begun and abandoned. Considering the rather difficult positions he’s inherited, as a rule he’s done quite well, with several high-ranking finishes to his name. He’s come back to his first command as a Privateer now and we expect great things from him.
JC: I understand he comes from a long tradition of military greatness?
TS: Military and philosophical, Jim. He’s one of several prominent commanders and thinkers from Catalonia, on the outer edge of the the Mediterrene Cluster. A great and storied history there.
JC: Indeed, Tollie. That’s Colonel Tolliver South, our expert on all things military.
TS: Thank you, Jim.
There have been several competitors that we’ve known about for quite a while now, one of whom we caught up with at his private hunting lodge before the ceremonies began. This is a recorded interview with Fleet Admiral Andy44, late contender for the Cyborg and now the chosen champion of the Empire of the Bird Men.
[Scene: interior, a hunting lodge paneled in dark wood, decorated with the heads of extinct animals]
JC: Thank you for agreeing to speak with us, Admiral.
A: [bows stiffly]
JC: We at the Magazine have been following your work with close attention for quite a while now. Your military record speaks volumes. To what do you credit your success?
A: The skilled general must have a command of logistics. This is a science, and he who masters it, masters war. Victory becomes a mathematical certainty.
JC: I see. And do your tactics vary depending on the composition of your fleet, the faction you’re–
A: Military science does not change with the wind. Logistics is of paramount importance; the tactics become irrelevant.
JC: But surely, as a Bird Man commander, you–
A: The Dark Wing is the weapon of choice, the Resolute a close second. These are the proper tools of the Romulan; nothing else matters.
JC: I see. Now, you’ve had experience with Emperor Wars in the past. Will this influence your plans in the upcoming Leo War?
A: [raises left eyebrow] Yes, of course.
JC: Do, tell.
A: I am acquainted with the Colonial Champion, Halion, from the Saggitarius War. This obviously will make a difference in my method of approach. Also, I have great respect for Snid of the Rebels, a most competent commander.
JC: We do expect that the level of competition will be intense, and the Bird Men have a history of misfortune in the Emperor Wars. Bearing that in mind, are you confident of your chances?
A: [glares] I have heard this before and it is nonsense. The Romulans are underrated. They have no innate weakness, no Achilles Heel, and once they have enough Dark Wings they are not easy to stop, as I believe Admiral Othrym is demonstrating with great success in the Capricorn War.
JC: I see. Well, thank you for your insights, Admiral.
A: Not at all. Thank you for coming.
We’ve got another station break coming up, but we’ll be back with more on the Leo War after this. This is Planets Magazine Action News special coverage.12