Response from HIEROPHANT Data Server to Query: Are there any last reports from Earth in the hour of TYRANT's reawakening?
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[NEWS STATION LOGO: A stylized blue Earth orbited by a white moon. TEXT ON SCREEN: Welcome to Your Daily News Briefing.]
[CUT TO: Interior of studio. The ANCHOR – a bald, black-skinned male baseliner wearing late Second Golden Age formal attire, with a discrete comlink implanted in his neck – is sitting behind a desk, looking at the viewer.]
ANCHOR: Good morning. It's nine o'clock here in Johannesberg, and this is your daily news briefing. This morning, we have the following stories: the exploration ship UNS Distant Skies has departed from Saturn for Iota Persei. Accusations of misconduct fly in scientific scandal in New Perth. Strange earthquakes in the southern Pacific. Our reporter goes deep with the new subterrene microculture. And a review of GloboChem's new cognitive-booster, Intrek: does it live up to the hype? We begin with the journey of the Distant Skies.
[CUT TO: Footage of UNS Distant Skies in dock at Saturn Orbital Spaceyard. The camera pans across the massive fuel tanks and radiator fins to the stream catchers at the ship's aft. As it pans, the camera briefly lingers on the United Nations' logo painted on the side.]
ANCHOR (voice over): Distant Skies cast off from Saturn Orbital at four o'clock this morning Johannesberg time. She'll catch her first acceleration stream in just two hours and begin the long climb out of the solar gravity well. Her destination: Iota Persei. Here's her captain, Imelda Desantos, to tell you more.
[CUT TO: Captain Imelda Desantos on the bridge of the Distant Skies, facing the camera. The bridge crew is visible behind her.]
CAPT. DESANTOS: It will take us a full century to reach Iota Persei, so we will be spending most of that time in cold sleep. Once we get there, we'll spend at least a decade – perhaps longer, depending on what we find – exploring, followed by another century to return to Earth.
INTERVIEWER (voice over): That's quite a trip!
CAPT. DESANTOS: It is, yes. This is the longest voyage ever attempted by humans, both in time and in distance. But if Iota Persei is indeed the Architects' home system, then the potential for new knowledge, new understanding is immense.
INTERVIEWER (voice over): Forgive me for asking, but, well, are you scared? Two centuries is a long time. Mightn't something go wrong?
CAPT. DESANTOS: I think the thing that scares us all the most is that we might wake up thirty years down the line to a message saying they've found a faster way to get there, and that we should turn around and come home! [laughs]
[CUT TO: Distant Skies detaching from its dock. Faint plumes are visible as maneuvering thrusters nudge it to a safe distance before the main drive ignites.]
ANCHOR (voice over): Capt. DeSantos, and all of your crew, from all of us here on Earth, good luck. Our hearts ride with you.
[CUT TO: The studio. The ANCHOR is visibly moved.]
ANCHOR: And now, to a sadly more sordid story. Story. To a sadly more sordid story. At New Perth University, two scientists trade accusations of falsifying data.
[CUT TO: An exterior shot of New Perth University.]
ANCHOR (voice over): The two scientists, Terrence McNeil-Hughes and Lisette Marcos are specialists in neurotechnology. Each has accused-has accused-excuse me-has accused the other. Of falsifying data about the efficacy of a new cognitive-booster.
[CUT TO: Chemical diagram of a molecule labeled “Mirrimax.”]
ANCHOR (voice over): The chemical was discovered... Was discovered... Was discovered by Dr. Marcos. She has reported that, when... When injected, it causes a boost in creative output of up to 23% over... Over previous co-co-compounds... Dr. McNeil-Hughes, who was, was her thesis advisor, has disputed... Disputed...
[CUT TO: The studio. The ANCHOR is visibly agitated, and appears to be twitching faintly.]
ANCHOR: I'm sorry. I don't feel well, there's... There's something wrong. Annie, cut the feed. Annie?
[UNKNOWN FEMALE screams off-camera.]
ANCHOR: Annie, is is is is is is is some some some some something thing thing wrong wrong? I I I I I am sorry viewers, we seem to be having some difficulties.
[UNKNOWN MALE #1 screams off-screen.]
ANCHOR: I can't-I can't-I can't-I can't-I can't-I can't see, something's wrong-please-
ANCHOR: I see. That makes sense.
UNKNOWN MALE #2 (off-screen): Yes it does, doesn't it?