This time, as a change of pace, we here at ADQ will focus on one of the unsung heroes of autoduelling, the "live at five" chopper pilot. Without their kind of media coverage, autoduelling wouldn't be where it is today. Jimmy Zero has been doing this longer than anyone, having been in the air since 2025. ADQ tracked him down at the New Angeles memorial hospital, where he is recovering from a recent helicopter crash.
ADQ: Let's start at the beginning. How did you get involved in the coverage of autoduelling?
ZERO: Well, I started out flying my bird for KLOX here in New Angeles. I was doing traffic reports, brushfires, that kind of thing. Well, one day, I was out flying over the Hollywood, and I noticed this fancy Jag cut off a pick-up. The pick-up had to slam on its brakes to avoid a collision. I was sure that it was gonna crash, so I grabbed my mic to call it in. The truck didn't crash, but it did open up with some .50 calibres. By then I was live on the radio, so I gave an account of the ensuing battle. The pick-up took out the Jag pretty fast, but not before some stray shots had hit a few other vehicles. Well, you know how duellists react. Needless to say this started a huge free-for-all. The listeners loved it, so the station sent me out just looking for fire-fights. After a while, KLOX became #1 and we had a lot of imitators. Then I got this outrageous offer from the Blood and Guts Network to join their local affiliate, KRSH. To make a long story short, they offered me a ton of money and I took it. The job was basically the same, but now I was linked to a national network.
ADQ: Which must give you an interesting perspective on the sport of autoduelling. Are there any trends you have seen, or are seeing, in the sport of autoduelling?
ZERO: Well, I think what I have noticed most is that as media coverage of the sport increases, the number of incidents increases. This is great for ratings, but not so great for human beings. There have been several occasions when I'm sure duels were prompted by the appearance of my Eye-in-the-Sky chopper. I mean, everybody wants a victory on national TV. I think that with the stabilizing of the government and the advent of the AADA this kind of activity has an outlet in the arena, which is where I feel it belongs. There is just too much potential for damage, especially here in New Angeles.
ADQ: So you think street vehicles should be disarmed?
ZERO: Hell no! I just think people ought to show a little bit of self control. The freeway at rush hour is no place for a duel. Out in the desert, you need that kind of protection. But not in the city.
ADQ: But aren't there laws against city duelling?
ZERO: Yeah. Just like there used to be laws against speeding. They don't stop anybody from taking a few shots at a 'gator or lane jumper.
ADQ: Have you ever gotten involved in the action while you were covering it?
ZERO: Yeah. I'm not supposed to say that, but yeah. I'm sure your readers will find this interesting. I've been wanting to bring this out into the open for quite a while now. The media has been covering this up, but we tend to take a few shots at each other to try to get the exclusive coverage of a duel. It's usually nothing serious, but lately the American Televised Autoduelling Company (ATAC) has been getting nasty. Tbey've commissioned FRONTECH to design a line of attack/televising choppers, just for them exclusively. One of them blew me out of the sky. That's why I'm lying here. The BGN isn't going to put up with this kind of crap. The advertising rates on duelling shows are just too high. There is too much money involved. I foresee a lot more aerial action above the ground activity. And the public will hear very little about this.
ADQ: Will we be seeing you back in the action?
ZERO: Not until I get Gold Cross coverage in my contract. And bigger guns on my chopper.