Part 35: Emergency Session 11: The Conscience of a Species
So what's so goddamn important that ya gotta call an emergency session?
It's simply that I feel no time should be wasted for implementing one or another of the projects. Now if I may?
Ladies and gentlemen, our initial research into Xeno Ethics has given us some ideas for future projects, which I have lumped into three broad categories: "Good," "Neutral," and "Evil." However, resources are, as always, at a premium, so we can only choose one of the three packages to spend on.
Zakharov, this isn't just about "packages" and "resources!" We are talking about the minds and wills of our entire species! Fellow senators, I urge you all to give this vote your utmost deliberation. This may be the most important decision that this or any other human institution has ever made.
If you say so. Here, in brief, are the three packages:
The first package, labeled "Good," involves thorough consultations with Altarian philosophers, psychologists, and engineers. Thanks to our present reputation and our close relations, they are willing to offer their services free of charge, although most of the work will require further research investment.
The Altarians give me hope for the future of humans. We are genetically identical, and yet they manage to be generous and benevolent in a way that matches the high ideals we preach and yet never follow. This is our chance to reach the enlightenment which we have only dreamed of.
The second package, "Evil," is being provided to us by the Drengin, who have proposed to "show us a way past the guilt to unimagined realms of sadism and pleasure." Being Drengin, of course, they are not selling their services cheap, as you can see on the above chart.
I am not at all comfortable with giving any money to the Drengin Empire.
The Drengin Empire itself won't be seeing a dime. We are simply hiring several private individuals and corporations, many of which are based in Terran space.
Personally, I am quite intrigued by this philosophy. While the so-called "Good" sophonts of the galaxy are quite willing to expand aggressively when the mood strikes them, they hide their ambitions behind a false pretext of "harmony" and "benevolence." One might assume from their high-minded speeches that they have genetically altered the scent of their excrement.
There is nothing false about it. No Good race has ever declared war on another. Instead, we united to defend one of our own from the aggressions of the xenocidal Korath. They have united again to destroy the dangerous Yor, while we sit back here and debate about it.
Senators, please wait for me to finish. The last package, which I call "Neutral," is simply an inside project: Senators Morgan, Santiago, Skye, and myself all collaborated on finding ways to spend the money and resources if we did so ourselves instead of paying foreign nationals for their philosophy.
The immediate cost which you see above is also thanks to our reputation. We will need to spend a significant amount (which we can still easily afford) on a PR campaign to remind the galaxy at large that humans aren't all sunshine and rainbows, so to speak.
Here are all of the specifics:
With many thanks to Bloody for writing all of the following down ahead of time.
+ to Loyalty. Your worlds won't defect as easily.
+ to Diplomacy with Good and Neutral races.
Trade income with other Good civs is increased 25%.
Your 5 most populated worlds don't pay upkeep costs on their 'Initial Colony/Civ Capital' structure(Usually costing 10bc a turn each).
Empathic Tactical Center-Galactic Achievement. +20% Defense to all your ships.
Hall of Empathy-Galactic Achievement. Doubles the odds that any surrendering race will join you rather than someone else.
Temple of X-Galactic Achievement. All three alignments get a variant of this. It grants you 25% of the tourism income from races sharing your alignment.
Arnorian Battle Armor-Branches from Tri-Strontium. Unlocks the part(6 Armor, size 4+2% Hull, cost 50), grants +5% HP.
Telepathic Defense-Branch from ECM 3. Unlocks the part(3 Point Defense, size 4+2% Hull, cost 40), grants +5% Defense.
Subspace Rebounder-Branch from Shield 3. Unlocks the part(4 Shield, size 6+2% Hull, cost 50), +5% Defense.
Dynamic Shielding-Branch from Barriers 3. Unlocks the part(6 Shield, size 4+2% Hull, cost 50), +5% Defense.
Good ships are tank ships. +20% defense as a ground structure, +15% defense from the unique techs, and +5% HP as a sweetener.
Improved Morale: More people on your planets like you.
War bonus: Adds a bonus to ground assaults against non-neutral alignments.
Auto-terraform: All ground tiles usually locked away by terraforming requirements are immediately made available. Yes, this counts as improving the planet quality.
Discount on buying ships and facilities.
Neutral Shipping: Trade +10%, +3 trade routes.
Neutrality Learning Centers: Unlocks the building(Cost 500, Maintenance 12/turn, produces 18 research per turn).
The Neutrality Learning Centre is the single best research building in the game, provided you can afford it. For comparison, the highest research building is the Discovery Sphere(Cost 275, Maintenance 12/turn, produces 16 research per turn), and those are deeper in the tree.
Starbase upgrades are free, besides the Constructor.
Trade Routes from other civs pay evil civs 1 bc per turn they're in an evil civ's influence.
Psionic Beam: Branch off from Phasors. Unlocks the part-Cost 150, damage 12 Beam, Size 8+4% Hull
Psionic Shredder: Branch off from Graviton Driver 3. Unlocks the part-Cost 150, damage 10 Mass Driver, Size 9+4% Hull
Psionic Missile: Branch off from Harpoon 3. Unlocks the part-Cost 100, Damage 6 Missile, Size 10+3% Hull
Artificial Slave Lab: Super Project, maintenance 3/turn. Increases Military production 50% on all planets.
Mind Control Centre: Galactic Achievement. If an enemy world is liable to defect, it will defect immediately.
No Mercy Invasion Centre: Super Project, maintenance 5/turn. Special invasion tactics are free.
Propaganda Centre: Cost 150, maintenance 4/turn. Increases planet's Loyalty by 10%
The weapons unlocked don't get outclassed in terms of raw damage till the ultimate version in the tech line, but they're quite large and very expensive. Free Starbase upgrades means you can make them strongpoints fairly easily. Slave Lab means producing your war machine isn't a problem.
Arright, now let's go 'round the room one last time. Ten words or less. Go!
The Altarians and Torians respect nature in a way that-
Outta words! Go!
Altaria holds the hope humanity has always been searching for.
War is good for business. So is peace. Stay Neutral.
Don't rely on Xenos or their philosophy. Humanity goes alone.
An aggressive stance acts as defense, too. The Drengin know.
We should stop lying to ourselves about our true ambition.
If I had to choose, Neutral, since I helped collaborate.
So that leaves me. Let me just say this: we don't need no aliens. Look what we accomplished alone.
Some final notes from me, the Unseen Dictator: aside from the mechanical benefits above, alignment also affects diplomacy, although thanks to being allies with virtually everyone and our absurdly high Diplomacy ability, alignment won't really matter. However, whichever indoctrination you choose will affect the committee chairs profoundly (except for Zakharov, who will never get the point of this exercise), and it will change my play style. A Good humanity will refuse to engage in unprovoked wars, while an Evil humanity will refuse to accept an Alliance victory. A Neutral humanity, being the default, will continue to act in the same pragmatic fashion. Finally, I will be providing a speech by the winner's chief proponent, either Lal, Svensgaard, or Yang, both at the close of the voting and in the next update. The vote itself will be open for a few days, because this is pretty important (and it helps that as an expected event I don't need to keep the game on). So get to it!