The Let's Play Archive

Galactic Civilizations II

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 5: Session 3: First Contact

Xeno Relations Board
Energy credits and technologies are authorized for any and all foreign technology trades; priority is given to military technologies so purchased.

Infrastructure Development Commission
A constructor will be built to the halfway point, then bought and used on the Morale resource located in the Slepur Kuiper Belt. Additionally, all revealed asteroid fields will be mined.

Trade and Loan Commission
Taxes will be set to maintain a 65% approval rating, and spending will be set to maintain a neutral income. Espionage spending will be cut completely.

Lewis and Clark Commission
Two scouts will be built, or, if possible, purchased.


Greetings, brothers and sisters of a distant star. My name is Eleys Mue, leader of the Altarian Resistance. Let me say first that, on behalf of the space-faring species of the galaxy, welcome to the stars. I personally had the honor of meeting your ambassador, Harold Gibons, whose mind was solely bent towards peace and cohabitation. It is a shame to hear that he died at the hands of a dangerous species, but while we Altarians are dedicated to peace, we must also be prudent and watch against our more warlike neighbors. Giving the plans for the hyperdrive to all species, without regards to their inherent nature or intended goals, was quite simply reckless. We wish Mr. Gibons had stayed on our planet longer, as we could quite easily have told him about the dangers the galaxy holds. He also neglected to leave a forwarding address, and it was only the fortuitous meeting of our ships that permitted the first official contact between us.

I am told that there is some speculation on both our sides as to why we seem so similar, separated as we are by hundreds of light years. I have heard one of you talk about an ancient race, the, um, "Egyptans," as well as thoughts about the stargate system. However, stargates are impossible to anchor on a planet surface, and you know very well that the first one appeared above your planet only a decade or so ago. Also, while both our planets seem to have comprehensive fossil records which detail the evolution of our separate (yet identical) species, which indicates that neither of us are immigrants from the other. Perhaps only the gods are destined to understand.

I'm sorry, did one of you wish to say something?

This doesn't concern you. Please, continue.

Yes…well, speaking as the leader of the Altarian Resistance, I wish to say how glad we are that Earth is so close to our home, and that we are close neighbors. We understand that you are very good at public relations, something you will no doubt put to great use in the coming years.

Take it off!

I'm sorry?

Er, our president was just using a…colloquial term that means that he is excited to be present here.

That ain't true! It means-ow, hey!

Thank you, senator Godwinson. Please, continue.

Very well…while we are a peaceful race, and you are fortunate to have made first contact with us, I must warn you that not every species that plies the stars is as enlightened as us. Only a few years ago, we were under the yoke of the Drengen Empire, and only when they shut down their stargate system did we manage to eliminate their occupying forces. This is why we call ourselves the Altarian "Resistance." Still, we are dedicated to peace, and should we meet the Drengen again, on equal terms, we would certainly be willing to pursue peace and coexistence with them.


I'm sorry, did you say something? You need to speak into your microphone for the Universal Translator to work.

I said nothing worth repeating, don't worry.

Very well. Now, did any of you have questions for me?

Don't even bother, Zakharov. She doesn't know.


Where, exactly, is your homeworld located?

I'm not certain that telling you that would be a good idea. You share our features, true, and possibly our DNA, but your willingness to give the hyperdrive to all sophonts, and not just the enlightened ones, shows a level of blindness in action we cannot ignore. If your ships happen upon our home, very well, but if you want any information from us, you will need to prove yourselves first.

But why should we all suffer for the actions of one? Gibons was acting alone when he stole the prototype, and we are hardly as unified a species as you might think.

That makes it even worse. You cannot control yourselves or each other. It is quite simply too dangerous to simply share everything we have with you. You will need to earn our trust first. Good day, ladies and gentlemen.

Hey, Eleys, if ya wouldn't mind, I was thinkin' we could talk in private, head of state to head of state.

Very well.


Hey there, folks. Things were certainly busy these last few months, eh? No time for pleasantries, let's get straight down to business.

Well, not a goddamned week passed after we went on break, but we made first contact! Unfortunately, the UT software wasn't finished yet, so we just got a bunch of gibberish.

A' course, thanks to some cosmic irony, Zarkov's advanced algorithms turned out to be completely unnecessary, since our first contact was with some crazy near-human aliens. Our schedules still assumed the UT tech would have to be finished before they'd get installed on our ships, so we still had some weeks to wait before we could actually talk with 'em.

In the meantime, there was still some explorin' to do. Sure enough, it seems Bullwinkle has a Class 12 toxic planet in its orbit.

There was also some pretty decent shit in the outer orbit region.

Ankaa was pretty DOA, though.

Several weeks after making first contact, our brave colonists landed on Hoth I, renaming it to Bacchus.

Our crisis of faith was also resolved very satisfactorily.

A traditional factory is now under construction on Bacchus. Life on this planet is much like Earth as it was 600 million years ago, during the age of Pangaea.

Oh, and the factory on Cupid has been completed. With no other improvements planned, I have allowed Cupid to remain undeveloped.

Oh, right, I should also mention that, in spite of not being told a damn thing, Miriam decided to be a GIANT BITCH, and used most of our remaining funds to finish a colony ship instead a' lettin' Yang get his constructor in. As it is, we're still waitin' on finishing that, plus my poor scouts haven't even gotten started yet.

Anyways, the scout I got I sent down-left, towards the galactic rim. There was a pretty good star there, with a Class 5 and a Class 6 just waitin' for a couple colony ships to drop by.

Goin' just a bit farther, the scout found one hell of a planet! It's covered by some sorta red fungus or something, and man has it got potential! There's just the little problem of having way too much nitrogen for its oxygen levels, so we'd have to de-toxify the atmosphere before even thinking of setting foot on it. It'll be one hell of a place to live after that, though. Class 19! Damn!

It's almost enough to overshadow the Class 11 we found up-right from Earth.

I knew such a planet would be waiting for us. God wishes for his children to prosper among the stars.

Anyways, the colony ship ain't there yet, so I guess you foot fungus folks can think up a name once it gets there.

We also located a couple of decent anomalies. I told you my boys in the Nautilus knew what they were doing.

Let's see, there's another asteroid field out by Sander, but they ain't anywhere close to anywhere.

Oh, can't forget Pithra, what with the Class 8 it's got going.

There was also a wormhole by the Ophiuchi star system. I told my boys to ignore it, though; no telling where it goes, and we need them explorin' stars, not runnin' from whatever's on the other side.

Yggdradill's got a couple asteroids of its own, but they're even more out of the way than Sander.

And that's my report! Bacchus is top center on this image, with Earth and Cupid down to the left. The colony ship is most of the way to Westerfield I there on the right, and the Class 8 around Slepur is just off from center, the one without the red dot (which means currently uninhabitable).

On the left side of the galaxy you can see the 5, 6, and 19 our scout found. There's also this freaky crystal thing down there, too, but I figure Yang or Zarkov could tell you more about it.

Our initial communications with the Altarians have gone very well. We first engaged in a trade of technologies, with the Altarians recognizing the greater value of our technologies by paying an additional sum.

Later, we paid a fairly large amount for more information. Zakharov, if you would explain what we have learned from them?

I have done test after test, but they have all come back positive. The facial markings they bear seem to be paint or tattoos, and mark social distinctions between them. Chromosomally, they have 23 matching pairs, just as we do, with similar bands of coloring. Genetic sequencing seems to reveal the same correlation between the same sets of genes and traits as we are familiar with in humans, but I need a greater sample size to be certain. And of course, the most important test would be whether we can create viable offspring, but given the way inter-governmental tourism has picked up, I doubt we will have to wait more than a few weeks for a test case to appear.

Ya might get a test case sooner than that, heh heh!

…I meant, would you please explain what technologies we have learned from them?

Oh, I see. Well, Interstellar Warfare and Space Militarization have opened up many new possibilities regarding bringing weapons and armor into space, as well as thoughts of planetary invasions and better starbases. More theoretical work needs to be done on all fronts at the moment.

Since I was given no direction, I decided to go with my suggestion and look into Planetary Improvements, which we continue to work on. Thanks to recent cuts in research spending, it will now take 28 weeks to complete.

It also bears mentioning that the universal translator has opened up many new possibilities. Interstellar Governments would lead to more representation among our new colonies, while Diplomacy will open up possibilities like interstellar trade and increasing our presence among the stars. We might also look into Xeno Ethics.

The New Propulsion Techniques the Altarians picked up have some interesting ramifications regarding improved ion containment for smaller warp drives. Stellar Cartography gives us exact figures on how many planets each star has, but we still cannot tell which are habitable without exploring them. Of course, everything would take practically forever to research, thanks to the massive cuts in the research budget. The projects listed here are the fastest ones we could complete now.

Ah, I suppose it is my turn to explain. The fiscal quarter started out well enough, with taxes raised to 31% and spending moved up to 70% to match gross revenue.

However, the establishment of Bacchus meant spending even more on maintenance, so spending had to be dropped to 50%.

Further fluctuations in the economy and approval rating have dropped the numbers to what you see here.

Now, I understand that things look dire now, but I have a plan. Now this may sound crazy, but you must bear with me. If we were to drop taxes completely, our approval rating would skyrocket, and I have it on good authority that our citizenship improvement rate would double, yes, double, if our approval rating were to hit 100%!

Earth may suffer from overcrowding, but the global Entertainment Network currently in production would still let our backers double their support increase as well.

We would be deficit spending for some time in these conditions, but even just a few weeks of 100% approval would increase our tax base immensely. This will work, I promise!

Earlier, President Svensgaard mentioned an odd crystal which was found on the edge of the galaxy. From what we can see, it radiates a very strange energy, of a sort which seems to purify the mind and body of those who bathe in its light.

Details are sketchy, but I am very excited about the prospect of harnessing this energy!

A starbase will need to be built over the site if we intend to bring this light to our people. Zakharov, how much time do you believe we will need to gain enough for all humans alive today?

I would say, with one crystal, roughly 20 years [1000 turns]. More crystals would speed the process, but I don't think we can get a faster rate out of this one.

Very well. I must remind you all that we have a constructor underway, and that it can be redirected to this crystal instead of the mind-affecting compound.

However, going behind the other species' backs to do this will poison our relationships with them. And twenty years is a very long time to harvest this sort of material.

Arright, that's enough gabbin' fer the lot of you. Time for everyone else to gab on and on instead! Now get to it!