"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us tonight as we air our continuing series, FrontLine, a special segment following the Asterian empire's ascent to dominance and their rapid incorporation of neighboring countries into this fatal pact. Normally on this program, we bring you interviews with those impacted by the empire who are currently abroad, allowing us to connect with firsthand accounts of Asterian activities, rather than trying to read between-the-lines with official state media announcements and propagandistic rhetoric.
We have met with refugees who fled that violence, mothers who have lost children in skirmishes, and rare interviews with foreign senior MU personnel that have been attempting to defend against seemingly impossible odds. However, as nearly every eIrish citizen discovered in the last week, war is no longer an 'overseas problem.'
Let me be perfectly clear to those listening from the comfort of their home, or in some lucky pocket that was untouched by this invasion: the threat to normal eIrish life posed by Asteria is devastatingly severe. With smoke still hanging in the air and many homes in need of rebuilding, the time to sit idly by has passed, receded into the distance, and fallen off the horizon. We must soon move forward with haste, but also temperament; caution, but also resolution.
Despite these fears, that stand does not have to be alone. Joining us tonight is a frequent guest and friend of the program, award-winning journalist Anastasia Rotharring-Pearl. Anastasia, welcome back."
"Thank you for having me again, Lai."
"Of course, we enjoy hearing your perspective; but, we also want to hear from you. Tweet us, call in, or comment on the thread below following the broadcast to let us know your thoughts regarding our discussion.
On that note, let's dig into this week's developments. Everyone is already aware of, and still in a daze over, the Asterian shock offensive to our exposed northern borders last week. Zero regions were prepared to deal with the invasion, from Wexford to Mayo to Shannon, which has only just finished their resistance war.
Yes, every eIrish man, woman, and child was confronted with disruptions to their daily life, from minor inconveniences in some areas which simply saw increased traffic and vagrancy, to those places which remain under total occupation. Several cities even saw the activation and deployment of tactical assistance units from our Russian allies, is that right?"
"Yes that is right Lai, but I, I first want to go back to your earlier point for a moment when you said that the time for action had um passed us by- Look, if a full-scale epic war invasion and take over of eIrish daily life does not wake people to this foe's power and the dedication it shows to obtaining what it wants where it wants it, I really do not know how else to convince them.
We have brought story after story after story of the destruction that follows in the wake of Asteria's expansion; you remember the boy who lost both his parents and two sisters following an explosion near his complex in Volga? These were real stories of the pain and suffering that Asteria's quest for power has wrought. We listen to the number of the dead called each morning in the daily news - sixty thousand, seventy thousand; I mean, recently we broke eighty five thousand deaths since the start of the Empire building - but no one cares, because they do not understand what scale, what families are torn asunder, what, uh, communities are broken apart. This week, eIreland felt that first hand."
"I struggled for several months, conveying the true magnitude of this war to the listeners here at home. Until now, many had called for an isolationist attitude, perhaps even tottering on an, um, an almost appeasement of the foe by refusing to denounce or sanction their behavior publicly and in unison with Anti-Asterian forces. Why do you think that is, and do you feel, say, a change in the winds?"
"A change indeed; I feel a storm is brewing just beyond the sea! Though, whether our current administration is up to the task of dealing with it properly... As the foe continues to enjoy its dominant status on the top of our eRepublik, many will come to two conclusions: that it will be their most profitable path of uh, least resistance to join the Empire, or it will be useless to resist their growing might because of the sheer power generated by having so many powerful countries in alliance. I believe that before this event, eIreland was on the path to accepting the second conclusion. Knowing this is the playing field now, and that this is the trend that will likely continue, we are in a unique position to take this punch on the chin and deliver a resplendent response.
You see, from our reporting this year along with the talented, brave, and oftentimes heroic reporting of our journalistic allies in countries threatened by the Asterian Empire, we have built a picture that speaks, not of defeat, but of hope! Of willingness from many to um, speak truth to power, you know? To stand their ground and refuse to give in to the demands posed of them. This has, as we have heard, led to many incursions, occupations, and counterinsurgencies. However, the most important thing to remember is that those countries who resisted are still standing; bloodied, but unbowed.
In the fertile soil of that independent drive, that desire to maintain freedom and decide the future of their country for themselves, we saw some who stood no chance of winning a battle look their aggressors right in the eye and say 'No, sir, I will not move!' I see in all of them a commonality waiting to be mobilized, coordinated, and directed against the Asterian Empire."
"... Thank you for joining us, as always, we have loved having you with us and appreciate your coverage of these unfolding events."
"Thank you, it was my pleasure and duty."
"Anastasia Rotharring-Pearl, everyone, senior editor with The eIrish Watch.
Join us next week where our guest will be the new eIrish President, Hale Kane - if we can pin him down for a few minutes! First week of being President is always very busy, very busy, but maybe we will get a chance to ask him about some of the interesting points which Anastasia raised... Until next time folks, stay warm, stay safe, and as always: stay informed."