The Let's Play Archive

Galactic Civilizations II

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 21: Session 9 Part 2


Actually, that's something one of my old companies was working on…


So glad you asked. Take a look at this.

Sure is a…thing. The fuck is it?

This is the next step in interactive entertainment, at least for Drengin and other psychically active species. One of the companies I represent, Morgan Mindworks, has spent the years since first contact with the Korath developing artificial brainwave technology. With some significant help from a few Drengin who don't believe that enslavement or xenocide is the right path to the future, we have finally developed a machine that emits the same energy frequencies that the Drengin use to read emotions. This extra connection will finally let Drengin appreciate fiction and retellings in a way all other sophonts enjoy. The best part is that the machine can be programmed with existing works, from films to games and holos. Of course, the device isn't quite as robust as a real creature, but we've already started work on the next generation.

This is wonderful news! Without a need to torture others to provide entertainment, the Drengin and Korath can finally join the ranks of the peaceful races of the galaxy.

Now, now, Senator Lal, you surely know that it will not be so easy. The Drengin are a highly feudal society, with thousands of ranks based on profession and military experience. Even the clans are individually ranked based on their genetic nearness to the Supreme Ruler. Owning slaves is considered a display of prestige, and even most of the middle class can afford to torture several.

I predict that, while the Drengin who have migrated to our territory will enjoy this device of yours, it will see limited distribution among the lower class in the Empire and the Korath Clan. Only those who cannot afford regular trips to an Arena of Agony would be interested in this facsimile of yours.

That hardly matters. It still gets us a foothold into Drengin markets, and future versions will improve in realism. There are many different flavors of pain, and I'm sure something like "despair at knowing your life's works have been all for naught" is a sensation most Drengin are unused to feeling from their thralls.

Should I even ask where you are getting brain scans for this product of yours?

Trade secrets. I can assure you, however, that Morgan Mindworks abides by all laws and restrictions imposed on its plant on Chiron.


I'm still on the fence about the whole thing, but hey, if we got something the Drengin want, why not give it to 'em? Morgan, yer up.

Of course. Early in the fourth quarter, our merchant vessel reached Altaria and opened a trade lane between our two planets. The profit from the venture will be variable, and rather low compared to tax and tourism income, but with our margins so razor thin every little bit helps.

And as we learn that we cannot live without each other, humans and Altarians draw closer.

That reminds me. Several other nations have finally arrived with their own freighters to our planets. The primary purpose of their ships are to sell us products, but they do carry our merchandise on return trips. We don't get as much as they do from the trade, but everybody still profits.

Two more of the commissioned trade ships have been finished, and are headed to the Korath and Yor homeworlds. ETA as of January first is around 10 weeks for both freighters.

I must add that the emergency building was a smashing success. Approval for the Stellar Senate is a healthy 74%, and the weekly deficit has been reduced to a trickle. Let me add, though, that we can always stand to have more economic treaties.

What's the official word from our new "friends?"

Early in October, the Torians approached us with a polite request for funding. I was forced to turn them down, given our own financial straits, but I did take the opportunity to trade some more technologies.

It wasn't until the end of the year that I went around to all the embassies to get money and technology. What you see above are simply the highlights of the trading.


Anti-Matter Power Plants can boost the factory output of a planet; its specifications are in the usual handout. Manufacturing Centers are the next step beyond Xeno Factories, Space Mining will let the Red Dwarf build improved mines, and Advanced Computing lets us build a Technological Capital. In my opinion, given Chiron's remoteness and high quality, it would make a perfect candidate. Stinger IV and Smart Chaff are the newest versions of existing technologies. Cut Throat Trading, which we learned from the Drengin, is essentially a codified system of unregulated commerce and extortion. Adapting certain principles has improved our economy by 5%, but we're better off using the Advanced Market Centers instead of the dead end Trader's Dens.

We have finished designing transparent lead domes that don't contaminate colonists, so we can build on irradiated planets now. The new multimedia centers have also done wonders for improving our galactic morale.

In mid-December, we finished designing space hulls that can support their own mass in large quantities. Medium Scale Building is on track to finishing in 4 weeks, and when we finish, we will be able to roll out frigate class spaceships.

Woah, hang on, Zak, what the hell is that?

Hmm? Do you mean the new robot model? What do you think of her?

Fuckin' creepy, that's what I think. What the hell is wrong with you?

Contrary to popular belief, I do not, in fact, have my tendrils in every single scientific project. Honestly, I preferred the old model as well, but since it's been made obsolete, I'm afraid we're stuck with her for the time being.

All of those things are affronts to God in my honest opinion. Now, for the colony report.

With fewer open planets presenting themselves, I decided to send a colony ship to explore the isolated star cluster to our down-right. We were not alone in this.

Fortunately, there was a small toxic planet in the neighborhood, which I was forced to name Epona.

I am very proud of the Senate for finally making the right decision and leaving the native free to develop on its own.

On its own? What happens when they find us on the poles?

That's unlikely to happen for several tens of thousands of years yet.

I am more worried about the crippled production.

Epona was never really destined to develop into a powerhouse.

Epona's main problem is in the incredibly high amounts of mercury. The native life has adapted to process the metal, but we cannot eat or drink anything grown from the soil. Several hidden, underground bunkers are being planned across the surface.

Since Trenor II is now in what we would define as an area of Terran interest, I purchased the planet from the Altarians.

Trenor II's main problem, aside from a general lack of land cover, is its relatively low concentration of carbon. This has made wide areas of the planet more arid than normal.

(Don't mind the name-it was a placeholder so I could save before alt-tabbing to see the list of approved names. "Ben" wound up being St. Anne. That soldiering bonus is galactic, by the way. Also, this was after I was already sick of waiting for you guys to vote on planet stuff, so…)

In December, we colonized our first radioactive planet, only to discover that pirates were here first. The facility wasn't well shielded, which explains why it was abandoned.

Since this concerned general defense, I overrode the Senate once again and ordered the plant adapted to produce conventional weapons.

I suppose that's for the best. St. Anne's land mass is almost completely composed of a single mega-continent, and thanks to the heating effects of the heavy elements, there is a relatively high cloud cover, making the planet more livable than that much trapped land would usually allow. There are also several places that promise to improve our research significantly.

Sounds good. Yang, whadda ya got fer us?

On its way to the isolated cluster, our colony ship happened to find another natural source of synthetic alcohol. Naturally, I immediately ordered a constructor ship to the location.

Unfortunately, we were not the only ones to discover this.

Even now, the two constructors are racing for the resource. Given their present locations, I predict that the Altarians will be successful in reaching the synthetic alcohol first.

What, just like that? Shit, then why even bother?

There is a way we could win. If a constructor design were proposed that uses an impulse and an ion drive, this constructor could be ordered to upgrade immediately. Any time lost in upgrading would be recouped immediately by the higher speed, and we would reach the resource first.

Other mining starbases have constructors en route to upgrade them, and the Red Dwarf is heading to an asteroid field by Kamadeva to continue developing asteroids. If we wish to upgrade the current asteroid mines near our core, I believe we will need to commission additional mining ships.

How's them pirates coming, Santiago?

Once the six Decaturs met up around Earth, I formed them into two fleets of three ships each. I would have liked to make them into one large fleet, but our current logistics makes this impossible.

The two fleets were then sent into the unknown space between Earth and Chiron where the pirates were last spotted.

They found them.

Unfortunately, while the chaff proved useful in defending against the pirates' missiles, their superior weapons proved too much for our ships.

One pirate was destroyed, but all three corvettes were lost.

Earlier today, the second fleet engaged the pirates. Against two enemies, they proved much more effective. One Decatur was lost, but the pirates were annihilated. The survivors are currently headed back to Earth for repairs.

Not to mention a few medals and interviews. These are the first pilots who successfully engaged space-borne enemies and won.

We got anything else ta say?

There were a couple things I wished to add.

First, the idea of "neutral territory" was broached in the United Planets session: basically, all warships are immediately moved out of enemy territory when (and if) war is declared between two powers. This will prevent such things as surprise attacks. I am happy to report that it passed by unanimous consent.

(Yellow lines are trade, green lines are economic treaties, purple lines are research treaties.)

The second thing is that our relations with the peaceful galactic races have improved quite a bit since they saw how we handled the Epona situation. On the other hand, the Drengin, Korath, and Yor have expressed disapproval at our willingness to let others live unimpeded.

You may note in particular that we have become "Close" with the Torians. This means that we will be able to propose an alliance with them. I very strongly recommend we do so, and I should add that alliances, like other treaties, must be ratified by the Senate; I cannot act alone. Speaking of which, it appears that the Korath, Drengin, and Yor research and economy treaties are still up for grabs.

We done? Arright, let's get the arguin' over with.

Standing Laws

Colonial Support Initiative

One starport will be dedicated to building two colony ships. Senator Godwinson may not use her prerogative to name new colonies. However, new colonies may be given one of the following names: "Mbaba Mwana Waresa," "Minerva," "Imhotep," and/or "Daikou."

Xeno Relations Board

Energy credits and technologies are authorized for any and all foreign technology trades; priority is given to military technologies so purchased. Humanity is prohibited from selling or trading away colonization technologies.

Colonial Development Commission

The starting order for all colonial buildings will be: build a factory, a market center, a factory, a market center, one research center, one starport, and one farm (once possible, only up to 13b) in that order, using special tiles when appropriate.

Infrastructure Development Commission

Battlestations I shall be built on Earth's economic starbase. An additional starbase shall be built near Caesar I. Furthermore, sufficient constructors shall be built to mine all known untapped resources and to build up their production ability at least one step.

Trade and Loan Commission

Four freighters shall be commissioned from Earth, Cupid, and/or Bacchus and sent to all known major civilization capitals, followed by other high-value planets and Altarian planets; the XR Freighter shall be upgraded when applicable.