Part 43: Dark Reflections 4: Shadows Extend
The Yor fleets were worth considering for three reasons: first, they had extensive frigate fleets. Second, they made use of fairly powerful beam weapons, and I wasn't about to retrofit the entire Terran fleet just for the sake of a few shields. Finally, they had a lot of ships to spare. A LOT. That crystal of theirs was paying dividends.
Still, they had too much catching up to do to reach our technology.
Our support frigates paid for themselves once again, making even the powerful Yor beams deflect harmlessly more often than not.
Pirates were getting more common in those days. My empire was vast even then, and one problem with centralization is that the edges tend to fall through the cracks. The Drengin pirates, at least, were dealt with swiftly during the Yor conflict.
The robots, I think, knew they were doomed. But where another species would surrender to despair, the Yor fought back with even greater strength. One of the very few destroyer casualties was seen during this war. Even the dreadnaughts were taking damage.
The Yor made me fight for every inch of space. In my life, I have never seen anything like it.
They would throw themselves without fear or hesitation at the very face of death itself.
No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved to tears of laughter by their courage, their stubborn nobility. On Aphrodite we cornered them, the last Yoran planet.
When they ran out of ships, they used guns. When they ran out of guns, they used knives, and sticks, and bare claws. They were magnificent.
I only hope that when it is my time, I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes at the end. They did this for three months. They never ran out of courage.
But in the end, they ran out of time.
As for the others, the Iconians and Altarians who yet foolishly believed I was their "friend," they tried to bring up a regime change idea during the next United Planets meeting. But it was far too late for them to dictate what happens in the galaxy.
Others were seen at this time. The Vegans, a group of former Scottlingas defected from the Jagged Knife and settled a planet in the Caesar system, where Odin is. They insisted they were tired of constant war and just wanted to live their lives in peace.
But it was far too late for peace.
The Iconians were next on the shit list.
The droolers had managed to build the Tir-Quan training facility a few years back, but that only brought them to near-parity with our troops. Their tech was lacking, and in the end, so were their planets.
And their ships? Hardly worthy of the name.
They tried counterattacking, too, but they lacked the Yor's courage and desperation.
There were also some Jagged Knife holdouts who were hiding deep in former Iconian space. But Yang was killed when down-left spur was reconquered, and without him, the Knife could do little but fight and die.
By April of '35, nothing but space stood between my forces and New Iconia.
By May, there wasn't even that.
And with the sheer number of troops I brought, the Iconians' fate was sealed.
Losing their homeworld for the second time made the fight fly from their forms. They surrendered almost immediately afterwards, giving their remaining planets to the Altarians.
At that point, it was down to us and them.