Action News: Divided Parliament Seeks Coalition

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

Hello, I’m Jim Chancellite.  Reports of election returns have been coming in all evening from all over the Capricorn War sector, and it looks as though there is yet again no clear majority.  With us to discuss the political ramifications of this is retired Bird Man consul Ef Yu.  Thank you for joining us, Consul.

EY:  I am honored to be here, noble Chancellite.  Long have we viewed these updates from afar.
JC:  Ah… yes, certainly.  It is an honor to have you here.
EY:  [bows]
JC:  Well, now.  Your people have had a great deal of experience with contested elections such as the one that we’re seeing here.  Can you tell us a bit about that?
EY:  Ah, yes.  Our political history is long and rich indeed.  We have political parties which predate the origin of your race; were you aware?
JC:  I’d heard that, yes.
EY:  Indeed.  Our earliest political division was between proponents of harvested feathers to use as clothing, as opposed to the more natural crests we now grow.
JC:  I’ve often wondered about that, to be honest.  So those aren’t implants?
EY:  Certainly not!  What — you imply I am molting?!
JC:  No, no, Consul; I didn’t mean to suggest…  No, it’s just that there are rumors… I mean, there’s so little known about the, ah, fashions among your people…
EY:  Ah, I see.  An error in translation, perhaps.  No, I grow my own feathers, as does every true Bird Man.  To do otherwise would be to harvest the skins of dead avians, which is indeed distasteful.
JC:  Ah.  Well, that’s a mystery solved, then.  Now, as to the elections–
EY:  Oh, yes indeed.  The division was a famous one, and lasted eons beyond the count of you younger races.  Why, at one time, there was open warfare between the two factions, if you can believe that!  Death and destruction, billions of lives lost, and all over what you more primitive races would term a question of fashion.  It is, of course, a far more important matter within our culture.
JC:  Um… err… yes.  And how would this relate to the present situation, do you think?
EY:  What, the Emperor War?  Oh, not at all, to be sure.  The results here in Capricorn are quite clear, quite clear indeed.
JC:  They are?  But our polls–
EY:  Flawed, my dear sir; clearly flawed.  No; the victory will certainly belong to that most worthy commander of the Bird Men, Commander Othrym.
JC:  But… but the number of planets he controls–
EY:  A statistical blip, the merest trifle!  No, with a fleet majority of that magnitude, and now the Cyborg completely under his thumb, surely the inevitability of Bird Man triumph is apparent even to you humans.
JC:  Ah.  But there are those who say the Fascist, with his increasing count of planets–
EY:  Foolishness!  When has one of the pitiful Fascists ever ruled the galaxy?  When indeed have any of the lesser races truly ruled?
JC:  Well, there’s Emperor Emork, the Lizard King.
EY:  Yes, a Bird Man.
JC:  Ah… forgive me, but I’m quite certain that he represents the Crystal Confederation.
EY:  Well, of course he does.
JC:  I’m not sure I follow.
EY:  [sighs]  Really, it’s quite simple.  During his first reign, what race did he represent?
JC:  The Lizards, of course.
EY:  And could he be both Lizard and Crystalline?  My dear sir, the imagination rebels at such an image.  The mind revolts!
JC:  They say Doctor Dinosaur
EY:  Speak not to me of such abominations!
JC:  But–
EY:  No, no, and no!  It’s quite evident, if you look, if you but use your mind!  This Emork is a superior being, yes?  Well, then, it’s obvious — he’s a Bird Man!
JC:  Ah.  But then, there’s his name.
EY:  Well?  What of it?
JC:  “Emork The Lizard King”.  I mean, after all, doesn’t that–
EY:  No, you hairless ape!  That simply means he’s king of the Lizards!  He doesn’t have to be a Lizard to be their king, now, does he?  You might as well say that Shakespeare was human, merely because his works were published on Earth!  Or that Sun Tzu was a Fascist, just because he published originally in Klingon!  No, it’s quite unimaginable, quite unimaginable.
JC:  Hairless— I— …Did you say “in Klingon”?
EY:  Certainly.  I’m even now completing my commentary on his immortal “Art Of War“, soon to be available in bookstores everywhere.
JC:  Oh, well, that’s… ah…
EY:  Yes, I can understand you being speechless.  But what higher calling is there for a statesman of my standing?  I’m compelled to pass on my decades of military wisdom for the benefit of future generations.  It’s a tremendous responsibility, of course, but one to which I believe myself equal–
JC:  Ah.  Pardon me for interrupting, Consul, but we’ve just received word from the Capricorn War that the Fascists have acquired yet another world, this time apparently from the Colonials.  The planetary election results–
EY:  I tell you, this is of no import!  None at all!
JC:  But the elections–
EY:  Do you honestly believe that these so-called ‘Elections’ matter one bit?  Your Empire has a ruler, yes — a Bird Man ruler, which is as it should be!
JC:  But Emork–
EY:  Bah!  Shards and feathers!  These Emperors are meaningless!  The true power behind the throne is always th–
[static]

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLEASE STAND BY

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JC:  …and again, our thanks to retired Consul Ef Yu of the Bird Men for joining us here in the studio tonight.  His new book is coming out soon, and will be available at finer bookstores across the galaxy.  To view a free exclusive excerpt, available for a limited time to Action News viewers, visit him online at the address on your screens.

https://gnerphk.wordpress.com/1999/06/06/the-art-of-war-in-space-excerpt/

And that’s the way it is, today, Meeple the twelfth, in the fifth year of the second reign of Emperor Emork. Long may he reign!  This has been the Planets Magazine Action News, coming to you live from the Capricorn War.

[theme music]

…never get the smell of burnt feathers out of the studio.  Hate it when they blast the guests…

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