Morlockland News Network (MNN)

On the television, tuned to a channel that has shown only static prior to this, erupts light and sound. On the television, a man and a woman, dressed in similar suits and wearing visible earpieces sit at a wooden desk in a sparse concrete room. The man speaks first. “Welcome to the Morlockland News Network, I’m Rothston, Minister of Public Broadcasts.” The woman then speaks. “I’m Caitlyn, the primary anchor for the MNN. Seeing as how this is our first broadcast, I invited Minister Rothston, who’s worked so hard to get us on the air, to come speak with us about today’s news about the news. Let’s start with how our broadcast programs are going to be scheduled.”

“Well, first, I’m really happy to be here, Caitlyn. As you said, we’ve all worked extremely hard to make this happen and to get information out to all of you Morlocks in a visual format, instead of using the emergency broadcast system everytime there’s an emergency. So, our broadcast today, being a pilot, will feature me and Caitlyn presenting the news, with interspersed live-action reports from our reporters at the scenes. Today, we’ve got a real lineup for our first broadcast. Let’s go to the capitol for our first piece of news.”

The camera switches to stills of a vibrant port city, clearly the capital, Morlockia, before a real camera, focusing on a man dressed in a conservative fashion, comes into frame. “Ahem. Is this thing on, Sarah?” He looks questioningly behind the camera, which dips down as the camerawoman nods. “Alright. Hello, viewers, I am Nero Deser, a reporter for the MNN and today, I’m covering the recent election of our new leader, Council Elder Matthews. We’re standing on the steps of the capitol a few days after news of his election came out, and in fact, we’re expecting the man himself to emerge from the building at any moment.” An awkward second passes before Nero clears his throat and continues speaking. “Elder Matthews has run a hard campaign, speaking in front of the entire council, as well as visiting many neighborhoods in an effort to reach out to Council members constituents. To clarify, for any foreigners, we elect our Council members, but they then decide who the primary leader of the Council and the head of the nation as a whole is. We have twenty Council members at present, each one serving an equal area of the country.” Any further explanation is interrupted by the arrival of the man himself, who is busy speaking with several other distinguished-looking men and women. Nero and the camerawoman Sarah rush over to the small group as they walk down the stairs of the impressive main legislative building. “Council Elder Matthews, hello! I’m Nero Deser and I’m here reporting on your recent election to the nation at large through the Morlockland News Network.” Council Elder Matthews looks up, surprised by the interruption. He pauses his conversation politely and walks up to the camera. “Hello, people of the nation! I am your new leader, and I promise that under my term as Council Elder, we will become an even greater and more productive country as a whole!” After exchanging some brief pleasantries with Nero and the camerawoman, he returns to the gathering, which has returned to discussing inaudible matters of state. Or possible what they’re having for lunch. It’s hard to tell. Nero returns to the front of the camera and speaks. “What inspirational words from our leader! This is Nero Deser of Morlockland News Network, signing off!” The camera goes down and some hurried conversation between Nero and Sarah to the lines of “Is it off? I think it is. No, it’s not, that little light is blinking! Oh, I’ll just-” The feed then returns to the same concrete newsroom, though only Anchor Caitlyn remains.

“Welcome back. Unfortunatelty, Minister Rothston had to attend to some urgent business, so he will not be able to join us for the rest of today’s show. In more local news, Morlockland police have responded to the scene of, yet another, Doll killing. This gruesome serial killer has been stalking our tunnels for weeks and police have been helpless to stop them. Distinguished by the unique style of murder that he uses, with the weapon always being a doll, this killer will hopefully be behind bars before yet another Morlock falls victim to his predations.” During this speech, pictures are put up behind her of dolls covered in blood spatter and a doorway in a concrete hallway covered in police tape, with people gathering around the scene of the crime, gaping.

“In happier news, the Morlockian province of Romse has held it’s annual Mole beauty contest. The winner this year was an absolutely adorable albino mole named Albert.” Cute pictures of Albert flash up on screen. “This beauty contest was marred, however, by the loud disturbance going on outside. A single woman, who calls herself ‘Mole Rights Jones’ has been banging pots and pans, as well as shouting at passersby about the evils of Mole beauty contests. Obviously disturbed, the woman seemingly hadn’t availed herself of the state-provided apartment or facilities issued her in several weeks. When police took her in on charges of harrasment and disturbing the peace, she said that she had been ‘trying to become one with the moles for several weeks’. The police have put out a call for any family of the woman to come forward and help her get home.” She shakes her head.

“I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today’s segment. To summarize the rest of the report, it’s supposed to be another hot and dry day on the topside, so stay belowground, fellow Morlocks! Passageways D-12 and F-13 have been blocked off by the police for their investigation into the murders and Street L-7 is clogged up due to a house fire that has spread into the street, so plan an alternate route if you typically walk or bike those way. In the meantime, stay safe and stay productive, fellow Morlocks!” A smile as the station returns to static.[edit_reason]Misspelling[/edit_reason]

The television flashes on, displaying Anchor Caitlyn once again. She is dressed in a grey and professional business outfit.

“Welcome back, Morlockland. We’ve had some exciting developments that need to be conveyed to you right away!”

The screen flashes to a recorded image of Council Elder Matthews walking down the steps of the primary legislative building in the sunny seaside capital of Morlockia. The Council Elder is clearly perturbed and is politely asking the reporter Nero Deser, and presumably the camerawoman Sarah to step out of his way. Caitlyn is voicing over this silent video. “Council Elder Matthews, leader of our fair nation, has recently enacted some controversial legislation regarding the formerly state-endorsed sport of Moleball.” Images of Moleball flash onscreen. “For those of you unaware of Moleball, Moleball is a traditional Morlockian sport, regarded by many as one of the prime symbols of Morlockland. It involves a ball, typically handcarved by the players of each team to look like a curled-up Mole being flung around, with each player headbutting it as many times as they can around the circle of players. Whichever team drops the Mole first, loses the round. There have been many reports lately of bad concussions becoming evident in Moleball players, but until today, nothing has come of it. In the meeting of the Morlockian Council today, Council Elder Matthews proposed a law to stop the playing of Moleball in schools. This resolution passed after several hours of deliberation, in which Elder Matthews presented medical evidence and papers to prove that Moleball caused health issues in students.” The camera returns to Caitlyn, who smiles at the camera. “This certainly seems like a step away from tradition, and many Morlockians don’t like it. Council Elder Matthews’s poll numbers have dipped recently below 80%, the lowest in his term so far.”

“Meanwhile, the other primary news we’ve got for you today is the announcement of a National Fair, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Morlockland! All people, of all nations, are invited to come and join in the celebrations!” She nods to the camera, which then turns off with a wink.

The television flashes on, displaying Anchor Caitlyn once again. She is dressed in a grey and professional business outfit.

“Breaking News, Morlockland! The killer, known as the Doll Killer has been found and is under arrest. The man has apparently…sewn a doll face onto his face…” She looks utterly disgusted. “More news as this develops.”