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SANDRA [SANDRA] 2 million citizens dead from Battle of Yamatai

The screen centered on a black-haired Nekovalkyrja dressed in a plain blue business suit with white blouse. She sat in front of a volumetric projection of the SANDRA logo, glowing a light electric blue against a white background. Half of the background was lit; the other half had only the glow of the projection against it, giving the Neko an eerie shadow on the right of the screen.

She looked calm and poised, as all SANDRA anchors did. Lips lightly pressed together and painted with a pale pink lipstick. Her hair, the length of her shoulders, was loose around her ears. Her eyes were alert, alive.

The Neko ignored the cut on forehead, which had been dabbed clean of blood, but was a clear red curve down her forehead and to her eyebrow.

"Good evening," she said in Yamataian. "The Star Army has succeeded in repelling from Yamatai an Neo Mishhuvurthyar military invasion force of at least 4,500 vessels. At least 2 million citizens and as many soldiers perished in the battle, including the vast majority of the populations of Malifar and Port Xenn."

The visual of the anchor was replaced with an image of a massive plume of black smoke rising from a horizon of desert in the setting sun. The footage zoomed closer, until what was left of Malifar was in the distant view. What was not on fire had been obliterated by bombs. The northern cliffs had no structures on them. The venerable fish markets were gone. Small clusters of people, no bigger than dots, were seen braving the desert to reach help.

An aerial image of the much smaller Port Xenn showed a city burning from the inside out. Only structures at the city's rim stood, as shots of firefighters trying to douse flames flashed across the screen before returning to the anchor.

"At least 90 percent of Malifar's 2 million people were killed by the NMX bombing runs and suicide attacks. Yamatai National Police have commandeered FCARs and are approaching the remnants of the city in order to evacuate the survivors.

"At least 60 percent of Port Xenn's 150,000 people were killed by NMX raids. Fires continue to burn out of control as firefighters from Black Sands and Flammes are making their way to the scene.

"The list of the dead is at our data portal and is being updated as new information arrives.

"A large piece of the enemy's flagship also has impacted the planet. It struck near the center of Vela Prefecture, and is said to have wiped out at least 670,000 hectares of land, while another million hectares and the city of Vela suffered damage because of the resulting quake."

Images of a long spire, shown at the center of a massive, but somewhat shallow, crater, replaced the anchor. It was difficult to see through the dust, but the spire appeared to be intact. Trails from ground vehicles headed to the site could be seen rising from the crater's surface.

"Terrain debris from the impact has created a thick cloud of dust that threatens the air quality of Vela, Xiuluria and Melanchol prefectures. The Weather Service, under orders from the Empress Himiko-sama, has declared a state of emergency and is modifying the jet streams over the impact site to slowly contain the dust and send it back toward the crater. It also will modify moisture levels in the clouds above Port Xenn to assist with firefighting there.

"The Star Army lost at least 2,500 vessels, many older warships from the Central Defense Fleet and the refurbished Zero Fleet. Some of the vessels were destroyed in suicide attacks on the NMX in order to stop the enemy from attacking the planet. Another 4,000 vessels, many of them older types, have been damaged, according to the Star Army. Officials said fewer than 100 NMX vessels escaped.

"When the all-clear was given, citizens of lightly damaged municipalities accessed SANDRA to understand what had happened. Though the news of Malifar and Port Xenn saddened many, the appearance of Star Army power armors and fighters above the skyline of Kyoto caused citizens to burst into revelry in celebration of the victory."

Footage showed Hayabusa and Kawamire starfighters, along with squads of Mindy power armors, flying above Yamatai as people poured into the streets of Kyoto in celebration. The invasion was defeated and the war felt won. Signs were carried by some who paraded down the streets, reading, "May the Empress live ten thousand years!" and "The Empire's Light Shines On!"

"Citizens across the Empire celebrated at the repulsion of the attack, but already donation drives have begun to help rebuild the parts of the planet that were destroyed. We continue to monitor the situation for the Empire's citizens, and will update this newscast on the hour in order to provide the freshest data possible. Please stay safe and help your fellow citizens as we recover from this incident. Thank you and goodnight."
Two hours later, at 17:00, the anchor reappeared. The cut on her forehead remained, uncovered by makeup.

"Good evening," she said. "We have the follow casualty updates:

"The city of Mezerit, in the northeast portion of Easterwood Prefecture, has been at least 80 percent destroyed by NMX bombings, the Star Army said. Officials there said that when the NMX attempted to destroy the Star Army's training schools there, they were met with heavy fire from the campuses. They turned their weapons on the city itself, razing most of it.

"Many citizens there had enough time to evacuate to designated shelters, and casualties are placed in the 30,000 range.

"The city of Jskita in Jhuniata Prefecture is fighting urban fires that have claimed at least 70 percent of the city's structures. The majority of the population was able to evacuate to their designated shelters, and casualties are said to be in the 10,000 range.

"Also, in Xiuluria Prefecture, the town of Winstonville was leveled by falling debris from the NMX flagship. The vast majority of the population there escaped to their designated shelters. Casualties are placed in the 4,000 range.

"We will continue to provide updates as they arrive. Please stay safe during this incident. Thank you and goodnight."