Part 36: Session 15: Truly NeutralDefense Commission
All forces which can be spared from active conflicts are to reinforce the Terran-Torian border. Also, Tir-Quan Training facilities shall be built on Kora II while Daikou shall focus upon Social Production until all improvements are built.
Scientific Grant Board
Advanced Troop Modules shall be researched, followed by Xeno Ethics. Additionally, a
Ta call the history a' humanity "checkered" is ta vastly overestimate the complexity a' checkers. And chess. And every other game you can play on a checkerboard, wrapped up inta one giant, fucked-up mess. Fer every Gandhi we get a Stalin, fer every Jesus there's a Caligula. Shit, ta this day we don't know whether ta curse Genghis Khan fer slaughterin' thousands or t'applaud him fer unifyin' a continent. And while we praise the likes a' Einstein and Martin Luther King, ya need ta balance buildin' a nation with conquerin' yer enemies if ya wanna be called Great.
And when you look at our competition, you can see we're a pretty fucked up species. Every last one of 'em managed to unify their planets, even back when they only had the one each. Hell, even the Altarians managed that much, and they got the same handicap a' bein' human that we got! And here we are, barely managin' ta keep off each other's throats long enough ta send out some colonists and build a space fleet. So far as I know, we're the only species whose early moon colonists tried ta drive asteroids at its homeworld, too.
Still, it ain't all about unity, fraternity, and all that jazz. We're the only galactic civilization that still remembers how ta train decent, backstabbin' diplomats, and I hear all them other species are runnin' frantic tryin' ta figure out how we keep cheatin' on our treaties without breakin' a single written word. I guess when the rules a' society don't make sense, ya get good at gettin' around 'em.
That brings me ta my next point. In all these other societies made by all these other species, they seem ta use a combination a' genetics, aptitude tests, and/or nepotism ta figure out yer place in life. Not ta say we don't do the same, but we're a lot more haphazard with the whole business. Hell, look at me: I started life the son of a New England fisherman, and after doin' the same some years, I joined the Navy, became an astronaut, became the first human that went faster than light, and now here I am, head a' state a' the fuckin' Terran Alliance. Wish my folks were alive ta see this day. And you can bet yer ass that if I was born an Altarian or a Torian or a Drengin, I would not be standin' here before ya. I'd still be a fisherman, or at best a Navy pilot, maybe captain of the Nautilus if I were lucky. I guess it's never really occurred ta many folks that bein' under-qualified fer yer job means ya work five times as hard and make stupid mistakes, mistakes that every once in a while turn out ta be just the break ya needed ta fly forward.
After all, how many a' these other species invented fusion power within the first hundred thousand years a' their existence? How many other species figured out ship-sized hyperdrives when some fool scientist accidentally made the construction robot build the device backwards? Any a' you know the phrase, "two steps forward, one step back?" Well, maybe we ain't been marchin' straight forward like some unified species, but compared ta them we been dancin' a jig tryin' ta catch up.
And look where it got us! Who's got the highest technology levels a' any known species? Who conquered the Korath homeworld in half the time it's takin' the Torians ta dick around with the Drengin? And who's gonna be gettin' the most votes come the next UP meetin'? 'Cause it sure as shit ain't gonna be no Frogs. Hell, last I heard, the Altarians were gonna move their school week up from four days ta five just ta keep up with us.
Now that brings me 'round ta what this vote was all about. Other species got different ideas, ones that never woulda occurred ta us here on Earth. But what good'll they do us? What do we gotta lose by takin' up their ideas and leavin' ours behind? Earth's ideas, humanity's ideas, sure seem ta have done well by us this far. And while I never thought I'd say this, you all may be hypocritical, backstabbin', plunderous assholes with one hand stuffin' yer fat fuckin' face and one stuck up the next fella's rectum, but I wouldn't trade ya fer nothin'. Democracy is a shitty idea with bad design and even worse execution, but even with all these so-called "utopias" dottin' the stars, it's still the best option we got.
The Stellar Senate officially rules in favor a' Neutrality, and supplements the budgets a' the Defense, Colonial Development, Scientific Grant, and Trade and Loan Commissions appropriately.
Any a' you fellas who want a drink can meet me out in the hall in five. We'll be goin' on a Grand Tour a' all the bars in town.
Goddamn, I can be eloquent when I have ta, can't I? Morgan, how's Trade and Loan doin'?
I believe I shall wait for Senator Zakharov's turn before explaining.
If ya say so. Prav, that makes it yer turn.
While I do not approve of the military buildup, I suppose I should be grateful that no new wars were declared this semester.
The lend-lease program has been proceeding well enough. We have sold one L-L Frigate to the Jessuins and one to the Paulos, in addition to an obsolete Battle Axe that was garrisoning Kora.
Our spy networks continue to grow, and we now have a token presence in all major nations.
Zak, we all know 'bout the big project you were workin' on, how 'bout you tell the rest now?
First, as the senate demanded, we funded the Advanced Troop Module development.
I took the opportunity to upgrade the Hengest and Normandy designs with the new troop modules. In spite of the larger size of the advanced modules, both designs were still able to fit on their respective frames thanks to advancing miniaturization.
The next project was the so-called "Xeno Ethics" study. You all know how that turned out already.
I would like to make my comment now. After the galaxy-wide PR campaign, I requisitioned the research budget to spend a little more on some targeted advertising. Specifically, I played up the idea of humans as "neutral," and thus willing to trade without secondary motives. It soon bore fruit, and we now have three more trade lanes freed up for our use. XR Freighters were commissioned immediately, and I will have more news regarding this later.
Yang, those constructors still pluggin' along?
Indeed. I have decided to do my part towards a military buildup by sending the majority of our constructors to the military resource starbases.
Deidre, how've you spent your extra cash?
Well, the Xeno Ethics study coincided with the development of the prototype Orbital Terraformer we were building on New Avalon. With the extra money, I was able to build additional OT's on all Terran planets.
Note: by incredible coincidence, Xeno Ethics and the Orbital Terraformer finished on the exact same turn. You may recall that the OT immediately converts every terraforming tile in your civ to green. You may also recall that Neutrality also converts every terraforming tile to green, assuming you have the necessary tech for its color (yellow, orange, or red).
Well, at least this way none of the other civs can get to use the OT.
With the added space, I had room to place the Tir-Quan Training project on Kora, as well as the-ugh-"detainment center" on LentzLandians II. "Unfortunately," the citizens of LentzLandians II have their hands full upgrading virtually every building on the planet, and current estimates put the "detainment center's" completion date at several years away. Several years in which a senate might, perhaps, order a cancellation?
I think ya made yer point, Deidre.
Well obviously I haven't made it loudly enough if projects like this are being commissioned.
Santiago, how goes the Defense Commission? And how'd ya spend yer money, fer that matter?
I actually invested most of it in the largest non-government construction companies. If we intend to make immediate purchases or upgrades, our fee should be significantly discounted. The rest was spent improving our galaxy-wide soldier training facilities.
Given the senate's changing interests, I also refocused our defense on point defense. Torians use missile weapons almost exclusively.
Several planets are being used as rally points for the buildup. Kirk is still being used thanks to its central location, and Crichton in the down-left cluster may be used to open a front against the overextended Torian branches. The main rally point, however, is Odin, which is our closest planet to the Torian homeworld. Kora, which is nearby, is being used as a secondary point.
Sounds almost like we're gonna go fer it, don't it?
Maybe I oughta get the Nautilus out a' the way. I hear she's been explorin' deep in Torian space.
So here's where we was at at the end a' September. See you folks after a break.