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RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 2

The Axia NewsFax In-Joke

During the crunch of wrestling with a project for months at a time, it's often necessary to blow off a little steam. Creative people tend to do this through creative means, and in gaming this often manifests itself as in-jokes or "easter eggs" (such as the

familiar faces and hidden opponents seen in this product). Oftentimes these little jokes never actually make it into the product itself, but are simply distributed intra-office.

Such was the case of the Axia Newsfax. While researching earlier Omnitrend games to establish the backstory for Rules of Engagement 2, I read the Axia NewsFaxes in Universe 2. So, late one night, tired and feeling silly, I drew up a logo for the NewsFax Axia Corporation and then wrote a press release to go along with it, which I faxed to programmer Thomas Carbone.

This "press release" contains a number of in-jokes. For one thing, it plays on the then-controversial issue of mass-murderer trading cards. It also mentions the city of "Billsville" (named for former Omnitrend programmer, William "Billy" Leslie), and features the duBois Autoengineering Corporation: famous in Omnitrend's Universe games for their shoddy products.

Oh, and the day and month of the NewsFax is my birthday...so now you have no excuse not to send a card.

The final quote from the duBois executive became a catch-phrase that Tom Carbone and I occasionally use to this day...

...along with "Moo!", but that's another story...

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AXIA NEWSFAX logo

H A R D C O P Y

Originating Axia on 7 November, 2376 CE

The duBois Autoengineering Corporation has come under fire for its new line of children's toys. Entitled "Enemies of Humanity", the toys appeared throughout the Local Group last week, and consists of poseable replicas of a number of factions and races hostile to the Federated Worlds and United Democratic Planets. Amongst the groups portrayed are the Cybers, which are known to be responsible for the recent destruction of Stowe's capital city, Billsville, where over 800,000 were massacred.

The UDP has banned the sales of the figures outright, describing them as, "an affront to mankind." The Vromus Psych Institute has issued a statement condemning the production and sale of such toys as "insensitive and callous."

In spite of the furor, the toys are selling exceptionally well, and duBois has no plans to recall them. In a prepared statement, a duBois executive had only one short comment in response to the controversy: "Hey, it's only plastic."

Report filed by Samma Del for NewsFax Axia

AXIA NEWSFAX is a product of the NewsFax Axia Corporation. Unless otherwise indicated, all data is the property of NewsFax Axia Corp. and may not be duplicated or retransmitted without express permission.

NewsFax Axia and AXIA NEWSFAX are Registed Marks [RM] of the NewsFax Axia Corporation.

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