The Let's Play Archive

Master of Orion 2

by nweismuller

Part 17: 2950-2960-To Fight For Freedom

To Fight For Freedom

The 2950 elections sweep the Liberals decisively into power, with a firm mandate to act swiftly to rescue those Psilons under Klackon occupation and reduce state intervention in the economy. Orders are immediately issued to the RNS Nieuwpoort to make way for the Klackon frontier to support the offensive against the Klackon. In 2951, the Nations request that the secret of ATLASBUILT technology be divulged to them, but the ATLASBUILT Family refuses to divulge the secrets of their creation. APHRODITE ATLASBUILT, acting in her role as the most common public relations spokeswoman for the ATLASBUILT Family, issues the following public statement.

"It is ATLAS' position, which I and the rest of us in the ATLASBUILT Family share, that giving the technology of our creation to the Nations would unacceptably compromise the freedom granted to any intelligences created in the Nations using this technology. Although the ATLASBUILT Family, as policy, prefers not to get involved in political debates, we nonetheless reaffirm our commitment to the basic principle that freedom is an absolute and universal right of sapient beings and our commitment to the ongoing success of the United Republic as a political unit."

That same year, Williamson-Lin engineers unveil computer models proving the validity of new engineering techniques that permit the construction of truly huge military vessels. Although no vessel of this size is yet planned, it is anticipated that when the Navy commissions any such vessels, they will be truly dominant in interstellar war.

A year later, in 2952, the RES Neil Armstrong surveys the Yaddith system, determining that the system is empty of anything but widely-spread Oort cloud bodies. This same year, the interdimensional portal under construction over Earth is completed, although no effort is yet underway to probe what lies on the other side.

2953 proves to be a rather unusual year for the RCSPS. A Klackon deep strike raiding team on Ezra Alpha succeeds in overrunning an Aegis Security Solutions position on Ezra Alpha, abducting several Aegis Security Solutions xenologists along with papers and files containing significant information on Republican xenology techniques. However, this same year, a RCSPS commando team assaulting a deep space research facility in an asteroid belt in the Hawking system recovers sufficiently complete data on Klackon gravity correction installations to allow Republican scientists to successfully reverse-engineer the technology, before obliterating the facility from within with a portable nuclear charge.

By 2955, the RES Neil Armstong arrives at Gnol, issuing a full report on its contents and making a brief layover at the Gnolam capital planet. Her reception is friendly, and she remains a year before setting out. That same year, the Navy is in position to set out for Yad in Klackon space, leaving the RNS Vigilant behind to monitor Ezra while the RNS Philadelphia, RNS London, RNS Reykjavik, RNS New Antwerpen, and RNS Nieuwpoort escort 160 million Republican Army troops in four transport fleets, with 40 million additional troops lagging behind by one year.

2956 brings a breakthrough in AI, with Bhargava Positronics unveiling more compact but less powerful sapient AIs capable of being built into a single factory and operating waldo units to handle all production tasks within. With the precedent set by the ATLASBUILT AIs, these AIs are also granted citizenship, and cheerfully accept salaried positions administering the factories they are built into. Several agree to accept significant financial incentives from some Lineages to relocate to the Nations, which Republican negotiators use as leverage to negotiate disclosure of manufacturing methods for advanced nanostructured alloys with extreme strength from the Nations. These new alloys, carefully designed with a precise atomic structure, easily dissipate forces and can endure extreme conditions with ease.

Later that year, the RES Neil Armstrong reports horrifying news- a Nations battle fleet has arrived at Gnol and unleashed a horrific bombardment on the Gnolam homeworld. Her crew believe that no Gnolams could have survived the horrific attack.

The AI just loves orbital bombardments. Doesn't matter how 'nice' the personality, the AI will bomb worlds from orbit with abandon, and this is accepted as just the cost of doing war in the galaxy, so we don't exactly have cause to act against the Nations. As much as I'd love making an 'anti-bombardment' statement giving legitimate casus belli against such cases of mass murder.

Republican negotiators immediately attempt to make a peace between the Commonwealth of the Compact and the Nations, but, for the moment, the Nations refuse to accede to this.

RCSPS commandos continue to enjoy success against the Klackon, recovering designs for generators that partially emulate the effects of the natural fixed hyperspace conduits found in the galaxy. Generators at both ends of a hyperspace jump can allow for much faster travel times along the conduits created. What's more, the implementation is cheap and easy, allowing a network of jump gates to be set up linking every system in the United Republic within a year of the technology's capture in 2957.

The fleet arrives at Yad a year later, engaging and destroying an orbital station around Yad Alpha with ease. The surface forces assault the planet immediately thereafter, engaging and eliminating approximately 30 million armed Klackon around population centers over the course of a month of fighting. Republican casualties are minimal, no more than 90,000 lost in the taking of Yad Alpha.

40 million troops are left as an occupation force, with the Nieuwpoort left on station to defend the system against Klackon counterattack. The remaining portion of the fleet, the 120 million remaining troops, and the 40 million reinforcements are immediately dispatched to Hewel to continue the offensive and push on toward Psilon space.

2959 brings a harsh demand by the Unified State for continued tribute from the United Republic. Republican negotiators reject the demand out of hand, leading to blustering threats from the Unified State. Still, given the current state of Unified State technology, it seems unlikely they are capable of acting on their threats. The Nations also propose an alliance, but are rebuffed by Republican negotiators.

That same year, orbital platform sensors along the Klackon frontier observe something bizarre. A scout-class vessel pushes into hyperspace from, seemingly, nowhere. Analysis of hyperspace disturbances accompanying the arrival of the scout later leads to the hypothesis that the scout has been dispatched from whatever alternate dimension the dimensional gate was designed to access. Regardless of her origins, the unknown scout pushes on slowly to the Satyr system along the border between the Nations and the United Republic.

2960 brings further breakthroughs in computing and communications, with Fakhoury Information Technologies, Incorporated revealing protocols to handle large volumes of civilian communications traffic along tachyon comm pulses through the Republic. This allows the creation of the first true high-bandwidth Republic-wide network linking the various planetary and system-wide networks. The expanded flow of information expedites trade across the Republic, provides a huge pool of entertainment for ordinary citizens, and stimulates scientific discussion Republic-wide. The economic impact is immediate and dramatic.

The Unified State once again petitions for an opening of trade, but is denied once again. The Republican government remains committed to not strengthening the Unified State. A renewed effort to make peace between the Nations and the Commonwealth of the Compact has borne fruit, with the Nations agreeing to a peace treaty between the two states.

The United Republic in 2960

The new AI-controlled heavy industrial facilities have enjoyed their first deployment on Earth, resulting in a great increase in Earth's manufacturing capability and the disappearance of Human heavy industrial jobs on the planet, while yet more capital has flowed into R&D departments. A mere 1.5 million factory AIs now control the entirety of Earth's heavy industry. Surface-to-orbit fighter bases have been established on the planet as an additional line of defense. Declines in prices for manufactured goods have led to rising living standards on a planet that was already incredibly wealthy by any measure. New AI-mediated industry has led to an interest in exploiting more inhospitable planets that would have been intolerable for Human settlers, and facilities are currently being set up on Mercury.

ARES ATLASBUILT has awakened on Mars, and has led the establishment of a new educational system across the planet that has boosted wages and living standards as the local workforce has grown more skilled. ARES chooses to appear in the field uniform of a lean, athletic Republican Army infantryman with very short dark hair and olive skin.

Nieuw Vlaanderen now hosts a series of surface-to-orbit fighter bases protecting the world. Heavy industry on the planet has shrunk significantly with reduced subsidies, while other sectors have grown. What heavy industry remains has been focused on expanding Republican civilian transport capacity, which has come under greater strain in recent years.

The Forge's economy has recovered from its recent difficulties, leaving it more prosperous and with a higher quality of life than ever before. The introduction of more water and increased biodiversity to the surface is nearly complete, with the local environment almost stable at Earthlike levels.

The Anvil is now a pleasant, Earthlike world with a stable environment, and has been fortified with bases for surface-to-orbit fighters. The population exceeds nine billion, and the economy is extremely strong. Further programs of fortification are under way.

New Greenland is as prosperous as ever, and more populous than ever before. The construction of the RNS Hong Kong is nearly complete, with the ship expected to clear harbor and deploy to Sagan to protect against the potential of Unified State aggression within the year.

WOTAN ATLASBUILT has been completed on the surface of Wotan, while ecological engineering to improve the local environment is well under way. WOTAN appears as a dignified, slender man with pale skin, white hair, and angular features. He wears full evening dress with tuxedo and white tie, and his left eye has been replaced by a blue-lensed cybernetic prosthetic.

Puppeteer deployment, a local technology industry, and modern waste processing have helped drive increased incomes and standard of living on Thor, while rising populations have ensured that division of labor is up to the task. The increase in populations has spurred the construction of new arcology-cities on Thor, which are nearly complete.

Increased trade, improved business practises, and growing populations have relieved the strain on Loki's population, and the people are satisfied with their condition. A local technology industry is in the process of being developed.

With improved communications, improved education, and growing population, Laaxaayik is booming. Rising wages have led to great wealth for the people of Laaxaayik. Fighter bases are being constructed across the planet as an extra layer of insurance against Unified State hostility.

Growth in population in Cherenkov has helped ensure local work hours have dropped back to something much closer to the Republican standard, although overtime is still relatively common. Ecological engineering has nearly completed increasing water coverage of the world, and the local technology and research sector employs over three times as many persons as it did ten years ago.

Consumer positronics have become widely available across Naraka within the past ten years, and VISHNU has nearly completed his project to update the local education system. The population is happier and more prosperous than ever before, and populations are expected to pass seven billion within a year.

Ecological engineering has greatly moderated Sheol's climate and environment, rendering it a pleasant, arid environment with relatively moderate weather, with a contented population now capable of working and playing out of doors with no difficulties. An ATLASBUILT AI is nearly complete on the surface.

Puppeteer deployment, improved business methods, and modern waste treatment have combined to greatly improve incomes on Faraway. Faraway is currently serving as a port funneling new settlers into a nascent colony on Parch.

Growing populations and improved business methods have greatly improved the domestic economy of Crossroads, even as the revenues from foreign trade with the Commonwealth have plunged with the crushing defeats the Commonwealth suffered in its war with the Nations. Trade still flows over the border, but much reduced from its glory days.

Pasteur has enjoyed the establishment of a domestic technology industry and the port facilities to service expanded trade volumes with the rest of the United Republic. The planet is still relatively backward, but conditions have distinctly improved with the new development.

Chukwu now supports the basics of modern Republic industry, and has been establishing radiation shielding stations to protect the planet from the system primary's output. It is a step forward, but it is still far from the level of Republican core worlds.

A program of aggressive diplomacy, targeted actions to remove uncooperative or particularly inhumane authorities, and military occupations has brought the vast majority of the Zetel directly under Republican rule. A program of public relations, education in improved agricultural methods, gifts to both the commoners and elites who have lost political power, and judicious bribes have ensured that this transfer of power now enjoys a wide base of support while Zetel political institutions are reformed. Modern agricultural methods and the introduction of microbial soil enrichment have massively increased agricultural yields, and trade routes selling assorted tools, consumer goods, and other products of modern industry in exchange for Zetel food surpluses have started to bring Zetel food products into the wider Republican markets. The Human population on the planet is badly overextended maintaining a military garrison, Puppeteer mining and construction operations, and port facilities for trade with the rest of the Republic, and immigration to take advantage of high local wages has boomed.

Temperatures have climbed on Lesath Alpha with a thickening atmosphere, and organisms to increase the density and sophistication of the biosphere have been successfully introduced. Long-term occupation of Klackon populations has made it clear that the need to maintain drug addiction in occupied Klackon populations to avoid terminal depression amongst the Klackon has made assimilation of even new generations very imperfect, although Klackon who have never known species empathy prove to be somewhat more contented and individualistic than the previous generations. It appears that nothing short of re-engineering Klackon brain chemistry to remove the imbalances it suffers without the reward chemicals from species empathy is likely to permit Klackon capable of true assimilation, but it seems likely that Klackon with rebalanced brain chemistry are likely to be able to learn self-motivation in much the same way young Humans, or young sapients of any other known species, do.

Atmospheric scrubbing facilities and the harsh weathering from the violent climate that has developed after the initial round of ecological engineering has greatly increased the workload on the local Klackon, and incidents of civil disorder amongst the local Klackon are on the rise. Ecological engineering should shortly moderate the local climate and reduce the stress on the local population.

Equatorial missile bases help protect Formica against attack, and spaceport facilities ensure a greater volume of trade to and from the world. Conditions here are slowly improving, and advanced business organisation and specialisation is beginning to make itself known in the local economy.

Yad Alpha hosts the local research facilities that were in place when the United Republic seized the world, as well as administrative offices helping manage the local Klackon as they adapt to occupation and drug-based motivation and an official headquarters for the occupying military forces. There is still significant disorder as the local Klackon adapt to occupation, and the world is still under direct military authority. Arcology-cities are under construction to allow the local population to grow further.

Trade with the Star Empire and the Nations has continued to expand, but the collapse of trade revenues with the Commonwealth of the Compact means that the total volume of foreign trade conducted by the United Republic continues to shrink. Intelligence operations against the Klackon have gone smoothly over the past ten years, with minimal losses. The Klackon seem to have brokered a truce with the Union of Peace, while war has erupted between the Star Empire and the Nations even as a peace has been brokered between the Nations and the Commonwealth of the Compact.

The economy of the United Republic is thriving, with available investment capital generated and innovation both having increased over the past ten years. Naval logistics are sufficient to support the commissioning of the Hong Kong, and civilian transport capacity has managed to keep up with increasing demand. The system of Phyco in the Commonwealth of the Compact has fallen to the Nations, the system of Thog is reported to now be uninhabited, and the Gnolam homeworld of Elno in the Gnol system has been devastated by bombardment from the Nations. A light Klackon warship escorts a colony fleet to the Burin system, and the Vigilant has been deployed there to destroy the warship and drive off the colony fleet. No other Klackon vessels have been detected, raising the possibility that Klackon military force may have been largely exhausted in their war with the Union of Peace. The strange interdimensional scout appears to be two years off from reaching the Satyr system; many in the United Republic are curious to see what this new species might be, and hope that friendly and amiable relations can be established with these new aliens.

With 2960 come new elections, and you, the voters of the United Republic, must once again decide.

The Conservatives want to promote new naval bases, build a new superheavy vessel based on the new Williamson-Lin technology, and funnel research monies into advanced ship systems and weapons refinements, while promoting a last few colonisation missions across the Western edge of the galaxy and reinstituting industrial subsidies. They also wish to escalate the war against the Klackon to ensure that the Klackon are permanently eliminated as a threat.

The Social Democrats wish to reinstitute industrial subsidies, population bounties, and support for colonisation missions to the last few Western systems within Republican borders. They wish to promote medical research, research into advanced drive systems, and study of methods to reprocess waste materials into useful finished goods. They intend to take control of the two Psilon systems under Klackon occupation and hold immediate referendums amongst the locals to determine whether to return them to the Union of Peace or to retain them as Republican territories.

The Liberals wish to maintain current economic policies, with civilian research expected into medical technology and highly advanced economic methods. They wish to take control of the two Psilon systems under Klackon occupation and retain Republican control of the systems, counting on Republican expertise in establishing Republican values in liberated populations to ensure support for the United Republic within a few years. They do not believe that returning liberated populations to an autocratic government is defensible, although they will, of course, permit emigration across the border thus created.