The Let's Play Archive

Galactic Civilizations II

by Bobbin Threadbare

Part 40: Dark Reflections 1: Shattered Peace

The primary divergence point was likely when the Ethics vote came up. I campaigned rather hard for it, as did Santiago and even you, Morgan. The real swing votes, though, came thanks to Shen-Ji Yang. He looks just as placid as your retired grandfather, but that man could outfox a coyote, and he could be just as charismatic as you'd like when he wanted to. I suppose that's why…but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The "Evil" option won by an overwhelming majority, to many speeches and much applause. Sadly for them, none of the senators seemed to realize that an Evil society has no need for a free and fair democracy. The senate chamber was gassed at the end of my speech. Only those senators whom I thought might act as loyal advisors or else I could safely release to their corporate masters were issued masks ahead of time.

So you killed me then?

No, you I could trust to stay out of the way. You died later.

What happened to me?

You lived through that event, but I'll get to what happened to you in a bit. Anyway, the nations whose representatives I killed were naturally angry with me, but once I showed them the destroyers capable of dropping asteroids and the billions of troops ready to fight on my command, they quieted down. And when I declared myself Emperor Svensgaard the First of the new Terran Empire, they could do nothing but squirm in their chairs. They had given me too much power and only just now did they realize it.

The first thing I did after gaining control was to wean us off Torian dependency. The alliance was severed immediately, and a trade embargo was set in place. Our betrayal later would be exacerbated by the treaty we put in place with them, but at least it didn't tarnish our relations as badly as it might have.

I then convinced the Altarians and Iconians to declare peace with the Yor, thus leaving the Torians to take the brunt of that fight.

Oh yes, and I also recall clamping down on some minor troubles on LentzLandians. You always need somewhere to put your political dissidents, and since we already had the plans thanks to the Korath, I figured, "Why not?" and filled the place with Slave Pits.

Of course, then the peace deal with the Altarians hit a rough patch, especially when the Altarians came begging to me to help fight the Yor. I had to think about that one for some time, but in the end I decided that maintaining good relations with the Altarians outweighed angering the Yor. I accepted their request.

Of course, I then went into damage control and halted both wars before they could begin, again. I also stopped the ongoing Altarian-Drengin war, mostly so the Drengin could focus their insignificant efforts towards the Torians.

Still, the Torian War didn't begin immediately. We were still busy researching up a storm, looking into anti-missile technologies.

That's when the Galactic Plague hit. I assume you remember it?

…Not really, no.

Strange. It's not the sort of thing one forgets. Every planet of every species was hit simultaneously. Billions died. You're sure you didn't go through it?

What is strange is that it could cross every species boundary at once, and that every planet would be hit by it at once. Did it affect the Yor?

Not as strongly, but yes, even the robots felt the impact.

That virus could not have been an accident of evolution. Mr. Morgan, do you think it could have been the Drath?

The who? No, never mind, you're distracting me from my story!

Besides, it's not like we were in any terrible trouble. The plague cure was researched in under three weeks and put into mass production immediately.

As I recall, I spent the weeks vacationing in the Gallus system, watching an empty planet shatter from a comet hit.

Still, in a way, the plague worked to our benefit. Even with all their population working at it, the Torians needed an extra week to produce a cure, and their numbers were decimated. For the first time ever, there were more Terrans than Torians.

That wasn't the moment I started the war, though. No, the moment came when the Iconians declared war preemptively against the Torians. Please, tell me at least that much happened in your dimension.

Yes, but Pravin Lal interceded and negotiated a peace agreement before the war could start.

Ah, well there you go, no Lal in this universe to broker peace! Instead, in the interests of "aiding an ally," I declared war with the Torians immediately afterward. I got the Drengin involved, too, for what little good they could provide, but sadly I couldn't convince the Altarians to attack. Oh, what a coup that would have been! You know, their planets are pretty well mixed together on their mutual frontier. It would have been a glorious, bloody mess. As it is, I heard they signed an alliance together, not that it helped the Torians much.

The first Torian world to fall was that eyesore out by Kamadeva, I forget the name. Just one of the improved Hengest Transports flew over and within the week, the planet was ours.

Oh, right, I should mention that something I noticed about the Torian colonization strategy is that they tended to leave most of their world fallow, undeveloped except for their population levels. A tax farm, if you will. This made Tidal Disruptors our weapon of choice against Torian worlds, since there were no improvements to destroy over half the time.

Declaring war on the Torians also had the effect of eliminating that economic treaty that was keeping our taxes down. In response, I purchased a few more treaties from some of the other nations, plus I moved taxes up to fifty percent. At that point, Morgan, you resigned in a huff.

I suppose I would, if that ever happened.

At that point, I lost track of you. I imagine you probably went back to your old company, but I have people who keep track of corporations for me. For all I know, someone murdered you to get the CEO position. Private business has gotten rather more literally cutthroat since we adopted Drengin philosophies.

Oh, yes, Starbuck III rebelled against the Altarians early into the war. Did that happen for you? I wonder why the plague didn't strike if all these other things are just the same. Damnably odd.

Regardless, the Torians turned out to be weak and ineffective against our destroyer fleets. They had their own frigates, but between our military resources, our support frigates, and our extensive missile defense systems, they couldn't manage more than a glancing blow, and even then the Micro Repair Bots were more than a match for that.

On the ground, Torian soldiers were nowhere near a match for Terran Marines.

The Markus system fell in late January…

…While our down-center task force began striking Torian assets in March.

Oh yes, and get this: the Altarians got wind of the Drengin declaration of war, but they never sniffed out that we were the ones who paid them off. The gullibility of xenos never ceases to amaze me.

By April, the Torians began making retaliatory strikes. They couldn't match our ships, so they decided to attack our starbases.

Too bad for them, I was prepared. The attacking fleets gave me the chance to try out the new DICE fleets I was building back in the home planets.

Sadly, they didn't perform very well, at first. While the Torians were helpless against our beams, their ships were heavily equipped with armor, and thus the DIE fighters' cannons weren't getting through.

Still, the concept proved valid, since the Torian ships targeted the DICE carrier exclusively and thus couldn't deal much damage. It's a good thing we thought to put a spare beam on it, else the enemy might have saved it for last.

Upgrading all the DIE fighters to carry double the beam loadout was too expensive, but I did manage to improve the most active fleet. Their performance afterwards was most impressive.

In the middle of all this mess, I heard word that the Yor had made some sort of bargain with a crystal or some such that would improve their manufacturing and researching abilities exponentially. I suppose with that in mind I should have attacked them next, but by then, I had other things on my mind…

Besides, it's not like they had our dreadnaughts. Oh, you should see some of these beauties. So enormous. And not a single one has ever been defeated in combat.

So where was I? Oh, right, so by June, my vessels were attacking the last series of planets between us and the Torian homeworld.

And when July rolled around, we were making some serious headway against the Torians. They were down from 51 planets to 34, and without a single reprisal worth mentioning. But, of course, that would change.