By Danko Whitfield, War Correspondent

(VICTORIA CITY) — This…..is Caledon. On the eve of War!

Though the flow of ‘hard information’ had ceased and even the rumor mill had run dry, preparations for the war have continued, quietly but slowly. In fact, too slowly for Guv’nah Desmond Shang.

The Guv’nah had hoped the war would be underway by now but events in both this world and in the one known as “RL” have intervened. He hopes the tempo of the war preparation will increase soon and expects the war will start sometime in the month of March, April at the latest.

In an exclusive interview with this correspondent, Guv’nah Shang chose to step out of character to give readers a behind-the-scenes overview of the war. It was my impression that his desire to get the full story out to the public is aimed at preventing ill-informed rumor. Mr. Shang’s motive for this war? Fun, plain and simple.

For example, I asked Mr. Shang, “What will constitute victory for Caledon in this war?

“It’s very important that nobody wins,” he replied. “In fact, that will be a large point of all of it ~ that it’s ultimately pointless! A parody of a war. ‘Territory’ may go back and forth, but nobody will really gain or lose anything.”

There was further evidence of the Guv’s humorous approach when I asked how much resistance he expects from the natives on the Mainland. “As much resistance as I can drum up!”

As I reported previously, New Babbage has made plans to participate in the war. I asked the Guv’nah if other nations will join in. “Steeltopia is likely,” he said, “perhaps even the CDS, and I sure hope others! But remember, this does require some setup ~ it’s the ‘pirates vs. navy’ problem in SL. EVERYONE wants to be the pirate. Nobody wants to be the non~pirate. So we’ll see how this goes!”

(Since the interview with Guv’nah Shang, this reporter has learned the CDS will not join the war effort. While the Chancellor thought it might be fun, there was not enough interest among the CDS citizenry.)

The Guv’nah said the theater of war will be a large mainland area. While the actual territory in contention will be small, the battle for it will extend over “several dozen regions.” The Guv’nah said this can be done without bothering the locals. But he stressed again that he does hope those Mainland natives who wish to get involved, will do so.

As for the length of the war, Mr. Shang expects it will last about three months with “some recurrences, maybe during the busy season” around the December holidays.

Finally, I asked the Guv’nah about the widespread opposition to the war throughout the Steamlands and within Caledon itself. He was well aware of it and takes it in stride.

“I’ve seen all this before. We’ve done this sort of thing multiple times,” the Guv’nah said. “Those who really think we’d ‘attack anyone’ or do anything beyond say, “Hogan’s Heroes” or “F Troop” might need to grab a beer and a lawn chair, and just sit back and see what it actually is. Sure, there are legitimate concerns, but… really, risk a major estate?  Not bloody likely, on my part!  Children play Risk and chess to no ill effect; it’s about on that level.  In fact, I’d expect 80% of the meat of it to be…writing!  Yep, the blog posts, Youtube stuff and stories afterward.

“I think anyone who doesn’t ‘get’ the parody nature of the ‘war’ will be very disappointed,” Mr. Shang continued. ”Basically it will provide great opportunity for say, airship battle machinima, cavalry charges, and plenty of blog posts about wayward regiments behind enemy lines (likely more interpreted as ‘a bunch of guys in fancy military garb crashed our backyard barbeque’ by the locals).”

And what of Guv’nah Shang’s own role in battle? Will he be the general who sends young lads and lasses off to the front lines but sits safely, some distance away, looking at maps and sipping brandy? Hardly.

“I expect to get shot down, captured, or whatever else seems interesting. Like I said, ‘winning’ isn’t even the point. It’s the stories.”

Stories this correspondent plans to bring you on these pages.

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