The Let's Play Archive

Galactic Civilizations II

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 8: Session 6 Meeting the Neighbors

Trade and Loan Commission

Spending distribution will be changed to the following: Research to 45%, Military to 20%, and Social to 35%.

Colonial Development Commission

A research lab will be built immediately on a location that will provide the best benefit.

Infrastructure Development Commission

A constructor will be built and sent to the revealed economy resource.


Greetings, pitiful xenos. I am Krindar i'Agohl, leader of the Korath Clan, a breakaway nation formerly of the Drengin Empire. Bow before your superiors, et cetera, et cetera. Honestly, I'm not very fond of the old formal address.

What would you say instead?

I am Krindar of the Korath Clan! I shall bring death to your children for seven generations!


It shows that I respect you enough to wipe out your genetic legacy for seven full generations. Much better than the standard Drengin greeting, isn't it?

I'm…not sure I would go for either one, personally.

Well now you're just being unreasonable.

I'm wondering. Why, exactly, did you break away from your empire? Our data suggests that most alien species are united by the space-faring stage of development.

We were united until very recently. The official line of the Drengin Empire is that all other species, sophont or otherwise, are lesser than ourselves, and should be subjugated for their own good. When I inherited the Korath Clan from my father, I decided to pack up and move to a newly discovered planet on the other side of the galaxy in order to practice my philosophy in peace. It was only barely inhabitable, thanks to the toxic atmosphere, but we've managed to get along well enough.

So you wished to practice a policy of coexistence and mutual support?

How cute. No, while my brethren in the Empire are proponents of xeno slavery, personally, I can't stand to even look at you ugly things. No, complete extermination is a much better option. We'll still subjugate you first, naturally, since no proper economy could be built except on the backs of the unwilling, but I'd much rather see you worked to death than survive to make even more hideous alien monstrosities.

Mm, I'm sensing that most of you are feeling fear right now. How delicious.

Why haven't you tried to kill us all by now, then? What's the point of talking to us "lesser creatures" if all you want from us is our death?

Well, in the first place, your security guards have confiscated my weapons, and I can sense a good four soldiers ready to pull a gun on me at a moment's notice. I would still undoubtedly take many of you senators with me, but at the cost of my own life. Not my cup of tea, you might say. I must congratulate you on your paranoia; not every species is wise enough to realize that not every xenos comes in peace. Like those absurdly pacifist Altarians…ah, but that is a story for another time.

As for why we haven't yet declared war on your measly empire and destroyed your pitiful planets, well, let me put it this way: no noble, no matter how wealthy, can support every artist who deserves a sponsorship. Understand?

So…other civilizations get to live for now because we can build up technology and infrastructure that you would take later?

Precisely! Much more efficient than bothering to build things ourselves. Drengin do not lower themselves to such manual labor as mining or designing labor-saving devices. Much better that you all build the automation before we kill you all. And with technologies, well, one way or another, we will be getting what you learn. I'm glad your civilization has chosen the more peaceful means of technology exchange. Much more efficient. Like when your emissary visited us and delivered those most interesting hyperdrive plans.

Then why did you kill him?


You killed Harold Gibons when he came to visit your planet. Why?

Killed the developer of hyperdrive? The goose who laid the golden eggs? Now why would we do that? No, Mr. Gibons left our planet in one piece.

But our records show that you were the last planet he visited before his transmissions abruptly ended. The Altarians confirmed it.

Did they? Or did they simply nod their heads when you told them of Mr. Gibons' unfortunate fate? There is more than one reason to stop transmitting information, after all.

What do you know about this?

Oh, not much, officially. But let us say for now that, if you continue to explore Altarian space, you may find a very surprising planet. For now, pitiful aliens, I bid you farewell. Death to your children for seven generations. Good day.



Tremble, puny Earthlings! I am Snarky, ruler supreme of the Snathi, the rightful successors of the ancient Dread Lords! Yes, tremble before my awesome visage! I see you are properly speechless when shown the face of pure evil. Certainly, the Snathi are confined-for now-to a single settlement, but once I round up enough of my fellow Critters of the Night, we shall…wait, what did that title translate to? That didn't sound quite right.

*Snort* Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Wait, you laugh? How dare you laugh at the mighty Snarky?! You shall all be tormented by the Thousand Irritating Bites!

Show him a squirrel, Zarkov.

I believe this will explain our reaction, oh mighty-*chuckle*-Snarky.

What?! I…mother fuck me, how in the-oh, how our brethren have fallen! Great, now our reputation is ruined with yet another civilization.


Once our species was spread across the known galaxy, inheritors of the Dread Lord legacy. But it seems that, with my planet's exception, we have all degenerated into mere vermin, satisfied with an existence as pets of the larger native species. Damn it all, I'm going back to my space cubby hole. What? No, that's supposed to be "ship!" Who's messing with my Universal Cutiepie?! Dammit!



Hello, Terrans. I am Walter Montgomery, of the Scottlingas.

So what's your deal?

Not much, I suppose. We worship the stars as the spirits of our ancestors (and yes, we know they're giant balls o' gas, thank you). We've also been doing some basic weapons research since your emissary stopped by. We are a species content with what we have, however, so I doubt we will be doing any colonizing.

Why do you speak with a Scottish accent? The UT should be providing a basic American Midwest accent.

Och, why wouldn't I be speaking with a Scottish accent? I'm Scottlingan! We've got but two languages on our planet: Keltik and Inglsh. Why d'ya ask?

I just don't get it. First the Altarians, then the Snathi, now aliens who speak perfect English. What is wrong with the universe?

You know, all this is much easier to understand if you simply admit to one thing about the universe's creation.

Forget it! I'd rather be an absurdist than a theist.

Now what's wrong between him and the lass?

Just an old argument. Yer better off ignorin' them. Now, about that weapons tech you were talkin' about…


Sure were a lot a' new faces around this first quarter, eh? We should get straight ta business if we're gonna get through this mess in time. Morgan, you start us off.

If you insist. My first act was, naturally, to rebalance spending to favor research, as the Stellar Senate mandated.

Purchasing the research lab on Bacchus left us in the hole, but we quickly recovered by selling technologies between various newly discovered civilizations.

We eventually did so well that I decided to bring spending up to parity with taxation. Never mind that 47% approval rating; lowering taxes to 39% brought it back above 50.

And that's all I have to report. Senator Skye, did you want to add anything?

Just that the research lab was well placed; we brought Bacchus' research production from 2 to 7 practically overnight.

Hey Lal, you got a lot to say this time, right?

I suppose so. As the recordings we played at the beginning show, we made first contact with three new races: the Korath Clan, the Snathi, and the Scottlingas. The latter two I have classified as "minor races:" it is not that they are somehow unworthy or inferior to those of us who have started colonization programs, but we have less to worry about concerning them compared to the Korath or even the Altarians. In addition, they have both declined to join the United Planets organization, whereas the Korath have agreed.

We have also made an immense profit off of technology trading. I have tried to be generous on our part, but time and again I am surprised at just how rudimentary most aliens' understanding of bargaining is. In addition to several hundred billion credits and much influence (to be used in United Planets judgments), I have secured legal rights to all technologies known by other species, except for the Toxic Atmosphere Reducers. The Korath Clan has been adamant about refusing to share its knowledge of them. Senator Zakharov should have the details on what we've gained so far.


Planetary Improvements has aided all forms of production, and it has opened a floodgate of new potential technologies, several of which we have now. Xeno Research, for instance, allows us to build the improved Xeno Labs. Xeno Slavery and Slave Pit designs were purchased from the Korath, and although we would never use them ourselves, we can use this technology to acquire money or other techs from other species. They have also shared their philosophy on Specialized Research: the society, rather than the individual, decides who becomes a scientist. We will not be using this technology, either. Xeno Biology is a basic understanding of non-Earth ecologies, while Xeno Medicine lets us apply this knowledge to humans. Population growth is now up 10%. Space Weapons and Defenses has given us a basic understanding of how to construct warships. We can't build very big ships for the time being, but we do have a basic energy weapon we can strap onto a scout vessel. It's much better than nothing, and our theories on missile weapons have advanced thanks to Scottlingas contributions.

I should take a moment now to discuss how space combat will likely work. First, there are three basic weapons: energy beams, mass drivers, and missiles. Energy beams can be defeated by energy shields, mass drivers are blunted by armor, and missiles can be confused with point defense systems. Each type of defense will likely work against the other weapon types, but not nearly as well.

Lal and I will continue to arrange for weapons and defense technologies to be purchased from other civilizations, but in order to have an advantage over our hypothetical enemies, we are better served by focusing on one weapon type instead of all at once. I am personally in favor of beam weapons, but there is no reason we can't go with one of the others. Picking the right defense is more a case of picking the right enemy: the other races will be focusing research as well, so we should choose the appropriate defense based on who we are likely to fight.

Our own laboratories finished experimenting with Xeno Economics, which was a series of studies on non-human economic policies. We can now build Advanced Market Centers.

After that, I decided to change our focus to Interstellar Construction, which is where it remained at the end of the quarter.

This new weapons development also allowed us to create our first attack ship, which I ordered built immediately.

As it was decided, our first combat ship is called the TAS Alexander.

Somethin' tells me we oughta have called it the Skywalker. Anyway, time for the exploration report.

Out in the depths, we found a planet in the Harper system that looks just a little worse off than our good old Earth. Too bad there's way too many heavy elements to live on the damn thing, at least fer now.

Not long after that, we found the home a' the Altarians. Turns out it's better off than ours, though I suppose they're such sissies they didn't beat their planet into submission like we did in the 19th and 20th centuries.

We also found another source a' dilithium on a moon in the Telana system. It's pretty far out there, but hey, who else but us can use it best, eh? Ha!

Just outside a' the Altarians' zone of control, we found a gas giant around Otho that has what we're callin' "synthetic alcohol." It's just like the regular stuff, but it works the same on all sophont critters, no matter the biology. Amazing shit, ain't it? Too bad them Altarians are set up best to get hold of it.

Some ancient space debris had some interesting stuff in it, which helped our boys in the Nautilus learn a thing or two.

And that's the end a' the quarter.