LOCATION: Various (City Centre, Supermarkets, Launceston General Hospital, Southern Cross broadcasting centre)
DATE: July 05.
R2 Builder’s Club:
Launceston Lightsaber Academy:
Amy de Wit
The Give me 5 for Kids Telethon in Launceston has been run by the Southern Cross TV channel for a few years now, and Thylacine Squad is honoured to assist every time – it is becoming a tradition for us, a troop that we always make it to if we can. This year, the troop consisted of multiple events lasting all day, starting at approximately lunchtime.
As a forward observer for the Imperial Navy, I was dispatched early to ensure clear skies and accurate artillery fire – just in case. When I arrived at the city centre, I was surprised to find that not only was I the only Trooper who was there, but that there were no less than EIGHT people armed with lightsabers, ranging every colour of the rainbow. Upon questioning, they assured me that they were deep-cover Imperial Inquisitors trying to flush out any Jedi that survived Order 66. I have to say, they were very convincing. I completely believe them, but just in case armed myself with a Lightsaber in order to protect Imperial citizens if need-be.
The first part of the event involved us posing for the video camera, which would be broadcast on screens throughout the city, staging mock ‘battles’ to entertain the local citizens and holding up signs letting everyone know what the whole kerfuffle was about (though with the propaganda blitz Southern Cross put on, I’m sure everyone had an idea already). We did this for about an hour, before we moved onto the second stage of the event – a ‘raid’ on the newly constructed Woolworths building. At this stage, 501st reinforcements arrived in the form of TI-6493, who was wrangling in plainclothes (no doubt to spy on the ‘Inquisitors’). We did not have enough room for any mock battles, so we made sure we looked pretty and were ready when the camera started rolling again. I myself took the opportunity to purchase a bottle of milk and some blue food dye (as per my endorsement contract with Bantha Milk). TI-6493 unfortunately fell ill (potentially poisoned by Rebel saboteurs!) and reported back to the barracks.
After that, we moved onto the third part of the event – a hospital visit! The Hospital staff informed us that only four people would be able to logically fit in the room (and any more than this might scare the kids). I had the singular honour of being chosen by the Inquisitors for one of those four spots. However, my helmet, whilst ideal for long-range artillery bombardments, is ill-suited for carrying a conversation, so for the most part the Inquisitor identified as “Rey” communicated with the child we visited, who was delighted to see us! We entertained the lad for a while (He was intelligent and very enthusiastic, will forward to the recruiting department at a later date), then posed whilst the Southern Cross recorded another segment, and smiled for photos. Anyone who suggests I did not smile is a liar and a charlatan. I absolutely did smile. Also of note is that I did see a pair of R2 builders and a droid. However “Rey” assured me that it wasn’t the droid I was looking for. Once again, she was very convincing.
At this point, we encountered a problem: Although we knew the next segment of the event would be at an IGA store, we had not been informed WHICH of the 7 IGA stores in town the event was actually being held at. Whilst we partook in local food (Something called Mc’Donalds, I’m told.) we attempted to contact the event organizers with more information. Unfortunately, no further information was forthcoming, so the Inquisitors and I returned to the mall, where I received some valuable lessons in lightsaber combat whilst we waited for the final segment of the event to be ready. At around 6pm, we bundled into local landspeeders and zoomed off to the Southern Cross HQ, where the rest of Thylacine Squad’s deployed forces were already on-station.
At this point, the main televised segment of the ‘telethon’ was held, with us assisting however instructed, including another small mock battle and some of our troopers assisting with taking calls. Also present, and a big hit, was the droid R2-J9, a faithful servant of the Empire. To be honest, by this stage of the event I was a little worn out, and the events of the evening are a little bit of a blur. Between keeping 8(!) Inquisitors from killing myself (and each other) and trying to see what I was doing in the gunner helmet, I was a bit pooped. Fortunately, the rest of the event proceeded without incident (at least, none I can remember), and we were profusely thanked by the Southern Cross people, and returned to base secure in the knowledge that we had performed another successful mission.
REPORT BY: IG-3807