“We have reports that the rebels have converted captured Swedish-made Ordssun air-defense guns and missiles into siege weaponry,” Malianne said. The ground shook and the picture was distorted by digital artifacts for a moment.

“Malianne, are you still there?” Kenneth said. He broke his stare at the newsroom camera and glanced over his shoulder at the producer, concerned.

“…fine…ust another missile strike.” Malianne’s voice came through in patches as the picture resolved itself. “Another missile has landed nearby, near the market. Out government handler is telling us that we cannot go and see the area until rescuers have done their jobs.”

“What’s the mood like in the city right now?” Kenneth asked. “Do the people you’re seen think the government can hold the area?”

There was a pause as his comments traveled thousands of miles via satellite. “I’ve spoken to a lot of people both on and off the record, Kenneth,” she said. “No one seems to think that the government troops can hold off this latest attack for long.”