The Let's Play Archive

Master of Orion 2

by nweismuller

Part 16: 2940-2950-The Return of War

The Return of War

With the Conservative rise to power in 2940, the United Republic once more bends efforts to strengthening its position in the event of war. Construction projects on new Naval bases are slated, plans to muster mobile transport fleets of the Republican Army are drawn up, and the keel is laid for the RNS Nieuwpoort. Amidst this preparation, the RES Neil Armstrong sends a report in 2941 on the contents of the Wasat system, a system resting between Commonwealth and Unified State territory. Most notable of its contents is a fertile world that would be an attractive prospect for colonisation if not for Wasat's poor strategic position.

By 2942, a series of different companies and research groups in the United Republic develop patents on a wide range of processes for correcting genetic diseases, repairing birth defects, tweaking the human genome for better health and intelligence, and otherwise ensuring that every Human could develop to fulfill a greater measure of Human potential. With this growth in the capabilities of the average Human, the rate at which the Republic innovates grows. The ATLASBUILT Family issues a statement congratulating the researchers who developed these processes and expressing their delight at how this will help partnerships between Humanity and their Family become even more productive in the future.

Heightened Intelligence only applies to scientists of your species within your own empire. It does not help the research of other species in your empire, nor does it apply to members of your species captured by other empires.

The voyages of the RES Neil Armstrong continue, and, in 2945, she reports the survey of the Einhorn system. With only a single inhabited body, hostile and extremely poor in useful minerals, it is not a terribly appealing target for colonisation. The same year, a colony fleet departs from Earth toward Sarti, expecting to arrive five years later and have the way cleared by the Navy.

A year later, Wei Metals and Manufacturing, Limited unveils a new series of processes using purpose-designed nanomachines to strip material outside of tolerance bands in items first manufactured using more traditional methods. This permits tighter tolerances, greater reliability, and more compact manufacturing designs, and companies licensing these methods boost total industrial output across the United Republic.

Microlite Construction, on the other hand, applies to all industrial workers in your empire, regardless of species.

2947 brings the third Galactic Unification summit. Every great government of the region participates, save for the Klackon, and by the time the summit is completed, it is clear that every participating government, except for the Nations, favors the leadership of the United Republic. The Nations admit that it appears their claim may be nearly without hope, but nonetheless hold out for one more summit before conceding the question.

A year later, in 2948, Republican Atlantic unveils a new series of lighter designs optimised for performance, with heavier engines and the option for armor plating. Naval planners concede that these designs could at least theoretically be used under combat conditions to transport security detachments to hostile ships, force entry at airlocks using blasting charges, and initiate boarding actions, but for now the primary market of the new lighter designs is civilians seeking void yachts for their own pleasure. Republican aerospace firms arrange trades with the Star Empire for another new set of small craft designs, gaining access to designs for surface-to-orbit small craft capable of seating a crew of three (a pilot, a navigator, and an electronics officer) and exhibiting very high performances under combat conditions. The Williamson-Lin 'Seraph', with a single underslung light coilgun mount as its armament, is designed using this technology, the United Republic's first true void fighter. This is also the year the RNS Nieuwpoort clears harbor at New Greenland and is dispatched to the Unified State frontier to provide security.

In 2950, the Vigilant, Alert, Philadelphia, London, Reykjavik, and New Antwerpen arrive at Sarti weeks before the arrival of the colony fleet. On arrival, they are signalled by the bizarre biomechanical metallic mass in-system, transmitting radio communications in a language seemingly related to very archaic Old High Trilarian.

"So 'twould seem whatsoever silly rabble 'twere responsible for whatsoever mine last sport were hath taken it amiss, for verily that which I see drop into mine own system bears the look of the same makers. So be it, 'tis death enough in the universe for you as well. The wreckage of thine vessels shall be mine feast!"

The strange being closes distance rapidly, unleashing small bursts of energy that interact with the Alert's hull to open unstable portals to an alternate, highly energetic spatial dimension, as well as unleashing a single terrible burst of energy that smashes through the Alert. The Alert is shattered before she can respond, nearly three quarters of her crew killed instantly while the others scramble to the lifeboats to abandon the drifting fragments of their ship.

While the creature unleashes its fury on the Alert, however, the rest of the fleet is not idle. The Vigilant, New Antwerpen, and Philadelphia advance until they take positions on the creature's starboard flank and unleash their entire weight of firepower on the creature. The Reykjavik and London hold station and turn to present their port flanks to the creature, likewise opening fire. After the hammering of the five remaining ships, the creature is left drifting and crippled, easy prey for a final volley from the Vigilant that breaks it apart into two inert drifting fragments, leaking plasma from its central power core into the void.

With the resistance presented by this creature eliminated, a colony is quickly established on one of the more inhospitable portions of the inhabited planet, 'Chezak' in one of the native languages spoken near the colony site. A colony is established on Chukwu, the planet nearest the star Thales, in the same year. Work begins in both colonies to establish an industrial base, and the Chezak colony starts establishing contacts with the native sapients, who appear to be at an Iron Age level of development.

Just as the elections for 2950 approach, the Klackon approach, issuing a demand for the United Republic to immediately surrender some of its technology. The United Republic refuses, leading to this response from the Klackon:

"Klackon now kill no-Klackon again."

System Planetary Survey: Thales

Thales is a cool orange star with a tight cluster of objects in its inner system, with a high average temperature on colonisable bodies. Closest in to Thales is Chukwu, a large planet with high temperatures and lethal radiation levels. Although its mineral deposits are relatively poor, it is the most easily and profitably colonised body in the system, and the initial colony in Thales in on Chukwu.

Next out, after a dense asteroid belt, is Tin Zaouatene, a hostile, irradiated, volcanic world with exceedingly poor metals content and low gravitation. It is a poor prospect for colonisation.

Next out is Haqqmali, a dry, hot world with a minimal biosystem and rich deposits of transitional and heavy metals. It would be an ideal prospect for colonisation if not for the high gravitational forces on the world, which would represent a clear and ongoing danger to any colony on the planet. Without gravitational correction technology, it is not an appealing target for colonisation by Humans.

Finally, the small gas giant Shango orbits at the extreme edge of Thales' inner system. Although it is unexploitable, it should be noted as a hazard to navigation for inbound vessels.

System Planetary Survey: Sarti

Sarti contains two habitable bodies in its inner system, both approximately equal in size to Nieuw Vlaanderen. The one nearer the primary is Chezak, after a native name for the world. Chezak is an Earthlike world with extremely rich deposits of assorted metals which have provided great resources to the local sapients for their own development. Although the local population is approximately three billion, the great size of the world provides a great deal of exploitable space for a new Republican colony.

Beyond Sarti is Everest, a cold, water-rich world with high gravitation and a minimal biosystem. Given means to compensate for local gravity, Everest will be an ideal location for colonisation and exploitation.

Xenology Report: Zetel

The Zetel (singular 'Zet') are the native sapient species of Chezak. They are a long-eared, quasi-mammalian, fur-covered humanoid species with an omnivorous diet biased towards vegetable matter. Males are slightly larger than females, and tend to fill heavy labor and military roles in Zetel societies in a fashion similar to that of most pre-industrial Human societies. Young are most commonly born as fraternal twins. Monogamy and polygyny are practised variously by different Zetel cultures.

Tempermentally, Zetel are notably gregarious, extroverted, and aggressive. A wide variety of different political units and cultures exist amongst the Zetel, with the usual range of autocratic practises and social ills such as slavery, serfdom, superstition, and so forth as may have been expected from pre-industrial cultures. Iron age technology is prevalent across much of the surface, with abundance of metals allowing for wide availability of high-grade weapons, armor, and tools relative to Human cultures at a similar level of development.

There exists at least one group of commercial republic city-states (similar, in some respects, to the historical Hanseatic League of Earth) whose local political institutions and culture may provide a promising base for establishing relations with Zetel in preparation for absorption of the indigenous Zetel states and reformation of their culture. Diplomatic efforts to establish formal relations are under way.

The United Republic in 2950

There has been something of an expansion in Earth's heavy industry, partially from new technology and partially at the expense of investment in R&D. Construction is underway on a 'dimensional gate' of the sort whose designs were recovered from the Klackon, in order to investigate what lies beyond.

The program of ecological engineering on Mars is finally complete, and the planet is now stable and Earthlike in conditions. The population is approaching six billion, and construction is underway on an ATLASBUILT AI on the surface.

Nieuw Vlaanderen's investment in agriculture and heavy industry has grown, as has its population, which now exceeds 21 billion. The population growth rate has slowed, and is projected to stabilise at approximately 22 billion. Recruitment is underway for the Army, helping to muster forces for seizing the worlds of the Republic's enemies.

Higher education standards and the awakening of HEPHAISTOS ATLASBUILT have overturned the labor markets of the Forge, which is currently struggling to adapt to new conditions and higher average wage rates planetwide. Many inhabitants of the Forge have proved willing to join the Army in this time of transition. With improved education and new nanotechnological methods, the Forge's heavy industry is more prosperous and competitive than ever before. HEPHAISTOS prefers to depict himself as a short, stocky man in a construction vacuum suit such as those used by shipyard workers or orbital facility repair workers.

The Anvil continues to prosper, with the local labor force smoothly adapting to the increase in planetary wages brought about by improved education. The last great program of ecological engineering on the Anvil is underway, preparing to bring it up to an Earthlike environment.

With its new ATLASBUILT university system, its natural mineral wealth, its high state of development, and the new nanotechnological finishing methods for manufacturing, New Greenland is richer than ever before. A recruitment drive is underway for the Army, to raise the soldiers needed for prosecuting war against the Klackon.

Wotan's population now exceeds five billion, and a new network of atmospheric renewal plants has eliminated waste disposal as a primary economic concern. The permafrost over much of the surface has melted off after a program of ecological engineering, and fertile coastal marshes cover a significant fraction of the land surface of Wotan. A Naval base is under construction, preparing Wotan to contribute to the logistics of the United Republic'a military.

Thor's population now exceeds three billion, and more sophisticated business practices have brought new wealth to the world. Deployment of Puppeteer technology is well under way across the planet, and waste disposal is becoming a significant concern to local industrial firms.

Conservative economic policies have caused a slump in the technology industry that was emerging on Loki, instead promoting the establishment of a Puppeteer-enabled industrial base. Long work hours are now common on Loki, which puts great demands on the local pool of skilled labor.

In the past ten years, Laaxaayik has seen the awakening of AMATERASU ATLASBUILT and the stabilisation of the planetary climate and environment at Earthlike levels. The population is prosperous and optimistic, and deployment of an ATLASBUILT university system is underway. AMATERASU prefers to appear as a slender, lovely East Asian woman with long hair and a simple white silk dress.

Cherenkov has, in the past ten years, gained the infrastructure for a local technology industry, access to computer positronics, a ground garrison, and a new AI, CHRISTOS ATLASBUILT. Incomes have risen across the planet, as have work hours. CHRISTOS chooses to appear as a handsome, dark-bearded young man with olive skin, a melancholy demeanor, and rugged and well-made casual clothing suitable for heavy activity and wear.

Naraka's population now exceeds six billion, and enjoys an overall high quality of life. VISHNU ATLASBUILT has awakened on the world. VISHNU uses a holographic avatar of a blue-eyed Psilon in a laboratory smock as his depiction. Consumer positronics are beginning to gain wide market penetration on the planet.

Sheol's growing population has helped to ensure that the prior difficulties with breakdowns and accidents have been addressed, with a wider pool of talent to draw from. The current ecological engineering program on the planet is estimated to be within a year of completion.

Faraway's population now exceeds three billion, with a local technology industry in place and rising standards of living. Deployment of Puppeteer technology is underway, with anticipated reduction in raw materials prices on-planet to follow.

New Puppeteer deployment, pollution processing, and equatorial missile bases strain the ability of Crossroad's local economy to support its infrastructure. Its key position for trade, however, ensures that it has little difficulty in importing what it cannot produce locally. The increased sophistication of the local economy as an important trade port is beginning to manifest in local business organisation methods.

Radiation shielding has been erected over Pasteur. Although the environment has now improved, shortages of personnel to handle the industrial base and the radiation shielding has led to increased hours worked on average on the colony.

Chukwu has only just been colonised, and the local population is focused on establishing new homes on a hostile world and developing local industry. As always for new Republican colonies, conditions are simple and primitive relative to the rest of the United Republic.

The new colony on Chezak has only just established itself, and prepares for the establishment of trade and diplomacy with the local sapients. There is great confidence that the Zetel can be easily and smoothly incorporated into the United Republic.

Investment in local light industry and commerce has driven a growth of trade and a whole network of luxury industries taking advantage of local precious metals deposits, while atmospheric renewal stations have ensured that waste disposal is a solved problem on Lesath Alpha. A new Naval base helps secure the world against potential Klackon aggression and can serve as a forward logistics base for operations into Klackon space.

Increased investment into local operations and more sophisticated use of the products of Klackon labor have made the world more profitable to the United Republic at large while ensuring the local Klackon are more content and well-managed. Ezra Alpha also now hosts a local Naval station securing the world.

Formica remains a rough frontier world with little development. A ring of equatorial missile bases is within a year of operational status, ensuring that the world will have some protection against Klackon attack.

Trade revenues from the Nations have grown somewhat, while those from the Commonwealth of the Compact have suffered a collapse as the Commonwealth has suffered from its war with the Nations. The outbreak of war has led to the assignment of RCSPS intelligence efforts against the Klackon.

The need to support a growing infrastructural base and the drop in foreign trade volumes have somewhat reduced available investment capital, while Naval logistics are stronger, industrial outputs are up, manufactured goods are cheaper for Republican citizens, and innovation has enjoyed a significant increase with the increased average intelligence of Humanity and the additional ATLASBUILT AIs. Naval forces are five years from the Klackon front, while a Nations invasion force is four years out from Phyco in the Commonwealth- it appears that the Commonwealth may be slowly losing that war. A Unified State force of five Vigilant-sized vessels and one smaller vessel remain on station at Sabaki, but poor fuel cell technology in the Unified State means they are unable to successfully reach Sagan. The RNS Nieuwpoort is nearly on station at Sagan as added insurance against the possibility of Unified State power storage breakthroughs.

The elections coincide with the outbreak of war, and all three parties are prepared to prosecute a war against the Klackon. All three parties expect a major breakthrough in shipbuilding technology soon.

The Conservatives intend to systematically sweep through Klackon space while raising Army units to occupy Klackon worlds, ensuring that all Klackon are brought under Republican control and neutralising them permanently as a threat. They wish to, meanwhile, build up industrial, naval, and surface military infrastructure, and sponsor research into advanced ship repair systems, drives, and further refinements to weapons technology and defensive systems that may prove effective at thwarting hostile missile attacks. They believe that they may soon start construction on a very large Naval warship using new construction technologies. They wish to leave the RNS Nieuwpoort on station to defend the Unified State border.

The Social Democrats wish to fight defensively, without occupying any additional Klackon worlds and thereby avoiding the need for control methods on Klackon. They meanwhile intend to build up the RCSPS, reverse-engineer Klackon gravity compensation technology and start colonising high-G worlds, put population bounties in place in the outer colony worlds, and fund further medical technology developments. They also intend to leave the Nieuwpoort on station, and plan construction of the RNS Hong Kong as a sixth Philadelphia-sized vessel.

The Liberals wish to redeploy the entire fleet, including the Nieuwpoort, to support a rapid assault across Klackon territory, capturing and defending forward positions in Yad and Hewel in order to liberate the Psilon populations under Klackon occupation as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, they intend to cut industrial subsidies and permit investment to focus on civilian projects, although they intend to fund the construction of the RNS Hong Kong. Civilian research investment is likely to make further breakthroughs in AI integrated with waldo control systems, as well as potential major breakthroughs in civilian communications infrastructures across the Republic, with accompanying improvements in entertainment, news, innovation, and trade.