Part 7: Trying the diplomatic routeAfter careful analysis of the proposed names and going by democratic and creative principles; the creatures are to be named thus:
And the planet is dubbed:
Now, before we go back to the Ghebraant, did any of you notice anything odd in the star system last update?
That's right; there's another fleet in the immediate vicinity! It's pretty rare to see a ship so close to a planet - usually they stick out like sore thumbs. Let's see who it is, shall we?
Sweet! I was meaning to meet up you guys - I have some pressing questions to ask you...
: Well, at least you're not fobbing me off first thing, for a change. I am completely in your service.
: Your honesty is commendable.
: No, wait, now I remember why I hate you all so very much.
After some brief trade and buttering up, we can finally go through the earlier requests of what to ask the good Vantu Commander.
: You know, I bumped into the Deresta a wee while ago - they guys seem sciency, you guys seem sciency... What do you make of them?
: The Deresta possess an admirable intellect...
: They can not aspire to achieve all that we Vantu have.
: Well, I know you must be confident, otherwise why would you brag about being so great, and yet not use the word 'cannot' in the correct fashion? What about the Space-pirates? Do you find them as piss-easy to take care of as I do?
: One can expect to be threatened by an outside menace, yet this does not excuse the new deviance in pirate activity.
: Some pirates have developed interests beyond cargo.
Presumably a clue to as the Deresta quest. You pick up what you should be asking the different species by simply talking and being on good terms.
: By the by, did you happen to see that contact intercept me when I entered this system?
: But of course.
: And, presumably, you must have detected that there was considerable amounts of munition fire going off in the general vicinity?
: Well, did you no think it prudent - wi' all yer fancy-pants technology and superior brain power - to come check out what was going on at the time? I was jumped by a brace of Skeetch warships!
: I know of their Pursuit Pods and their Level IV engines. I would think it was very wise of me to not engage with them at all.
: Well, thank you for yer candour, if nowt else. You know much about they lot?
: Skeetch vessels frequent Thule in increasing numbers, and though they presently search for resources, the Skeetch will eventually threaten us all.
: Vantu have already suffered from their bold incursions.
: Come again?
: Oh, nothing, nothing. Nothing worth mentioning, anyway.
: You sure? You don't wanna... Oh, gosh, I dunno, elucidate on that last statement of yours?
: Please - do you think I would willingly tell a Human about possible challenges to Vantu sovereignty for no reason?
: I'm gonna hate myself for saying this, but... Surely a being of such unsurpassed intellect and wisdom such as yourself can recognize when there is another, lesser, being who would benefit immeasurably from a mere fraction of your insight into the multi-faceted jewel that is Thule sector politics?
: If we Humans are to possibly advance beyond our semi-sentient position at present and begin the first steps toward becoming an enlightened race, we would need consul of a sponsor, brilliant in every way. It goes without saying that the Vantu with their exceptional sagacity and... immeasurable humility... would be the foremost choice for such a sponsor by all respectable persons.
: But we would need a chance to reflect upon and understand the complete superiority of the Vantu culture to do such a thing. Is there no way that you could possible indulge a poor, pathetic creature such as myself, and inform me about the state of the Vantu?
: Are you trying to suck up to me?
: Perish the thought!
: Very well. We Vantu are the elder sentients of this sector. Our knowledge encompasses the breadth of Thule.
: The Skeetch epitomize this danger. Even now, they detain Vantu prisoners here in Thule sector.
: I am unworthy of further instruction. Your example will guide me, always.
Well, there we have it - the Vantu quest has now been started - their thing is a mite more complicated than the Deresta's request - and also requires a bit more before before we can tackle it, such as - where in the sector are these prisoners? That'll be our next question when we see these guys next. In the meantime, we're running low on gas. Let's head off to the last outpost to pick some more up and then go exploring a bit more, shall we?
Wow. That reminds me of that a sculpture I once saw of Aurora Borealis. Except much smokier.
After a brief talk and donation to Hawking, let's see what the announcement board's got to say:
Well, I hope the Gheb appreciate the goods I'll be giving to them, AT A LOSS, soon. I'mma go have a drink, first.
WHAT THE HELL. Are you - are you fucking stalking me, boyo? You know, I came here hoping to relax a wee bit. And I cannae really do that when people are out there, discovering planets and finding species that I want to name!
:So, what's the craic, big yin?
: What can I say?
: I hear that.
: You know, after having spent enough time in this sector, I'm wondering why the hell the Human Alliance wants to be allied with any of the guys in this sector. OK, the Deresta are alright, but the Vantu are like Jacob Rees-Mogg but with less charisma and the Ghebs are just plain weird. And as for the Kaynik well... I'm dreading first contact.
: Well, remember, the Alliance isn't entirely Human... it includes a number of alien consitituents.
: Any new resources or support in favour of the Alliance are crucial to preserving constituent faith.
: Sorry about the outburst. Just getting a little annoyed at having to act as essentially some kind of a middle-man to make any money, y'ken?
: Better then getting your whole body blown off in reckless adventuring, kiddo
:Fair dos. I'll be off, I guess. Gotta try and butter up Franz Kafka's nightmares come true.
Back to Hive IV!
Unfortunately, no Ghebs in ships are willing to talk turkey with us, so we need to go find us a city to make a loss at.
I really hope these guys appreciate all I do for them.
After making several, several, several attempts at gettiong these guys to talk (including giving them stuff for free...), FINALLY we get some more info out of them.
: Can you please, PLEASE tell me about your homeworld?
: Hive IV is homeworld... location is 030,045... hive is crowded...
: Ghebraant is searching... new world to be settled... new hive to be constructed.
: A new world? What precisely do you mean?
: Atmosphere to be habitable... material to be generous... ground to be dense... water to be present... temperature to be warm... gravity to be less than two...
: Ghebraant is searching... new world to be discovered... Human to search?
: Let me get this straight, you've managed to fuck up THIS planet of yours so bad, that you are needing a new Hive?
: And, presumably, since there's no Hives I through III in this sector, you've done this three times before?
: Conclusion is valid
: Fuck you guys
Yep, that's the quest for these guys - you need to discover a new planet in the Thule sector which matches their requirements stated above, so that they'll all shift from their current location and presumably strip-mine it as they've done for this planet until they're back to the stage they were at.
Oh! And if you've discovered this planet that matches these requirements BEFORE you start this quest, there's absolutely no way you can complete this mission.
Game-testing? What's that?
But now the Ghebraant will actually speak with us, so if you have anything you'd want to Hive-mind's opinion on, just let me know, and I'll ask next time I bump into them. If you'll excuse me, I need to vacate myself from these premises before I start going on a shooting rampage.
Ugh... I'mma go pick up some more fuel - FOR FREE - and then go see about trying to do this stuff for the Ghebraant... or the Vantu... Or maybe even th-
Yep, this is the final species we need to ally ourselves with in the game. As you may have expected, they begin negotiations by opening fire on you.
This bodes well!
I'll deal with this guy as best I can for now; no-one opens fire on Commander Samovar and gets away with it! And since it's only one ship, this will NOT be a challenge; they Kaynik are harder than pirates, but weaker than the Skeetch
...but while I'm doing that - can any of you goons guess how we are supposed to ally ourselves with these guys if the first thing they do is go in, guns blazing?
Oh yeah, after slaughtering an entire crew of aliens we're SUPPOSED to be allying with, we also stole all their ship equipment. And most of it was Type III, so we've upgraded our ship for free, and made considerable bank from our now out-classed systems.
Well, as far a first contacts go, that COULD have gone a wee bitty better. To Freehaven!
Wow. And I thought Yikkak wisnae the best looking of people. Ah well - you don't mind me selling this stuff I obtained through the blood of yer fellow Kaynik? No? Thanks!
After selling our remaining cargo, we're left with a whopping 82,428 credits. Time to live it large, mates. Let's head to the loun-
Wait, is he going to be here...?
Oh thank heavens.
Without Dodel, there's nowt really to do here, except lie back, listen to some kickin' tunes and watch the starships fly by...
...I'm bored now.
I've got the wanderlust on me again; a need to explore new places - to see what this sector's got for us! Let's try...
Now THIS is a pretty interesting find - a whole bunch of planets like this around one star isn't that common. What do we have here...
The Deresta live on this place - seems a bit hot for their liking, I'd have thought...
The Kaynik live on this planet. Well, I guess they moved here after the Deresta moved to the other planet. Easier pickings.
The Ghebraant live here. HEY! Why can't you guys just go ahead and work with this planet? What, you need to hegemonise the whole sector?
That last place'll be needing a name, so suggestions would be welcome, like. But there was something about that fourth planet that I think merits a closer look...
Crowded life? On a place whose atmosphere consists of heavy gases? With thick, chemical pools? Poor mineral supplies, and what minerals being available being highly radioactive? What... precisely is life going to look like on this planet?
Well, let's find out.
...to answer our question - very, very unusual. At least going by the minor scans.
Let's see what the Linquist has to say about all this, along with that other animal we managed to snatch from thon Kaynik wanna-be pirate.
: ...primary senses are olfactory and tactile... armoured internal organ stores water for long durations... flexible mouth coil used for consumption and as third leg... frequent mating between two sexes.
This... exceptionally odd creature comes from the Kaynik homeworld - aliens usually carry one of their indigenous non-sentient life-forms on their ships, which you can obtain through trade (or killing them all).
How would tripodal locomotion even work with that thing?
: ...hardened shell provides protection... pincers for grasping and defence... twin windpipes mounted on head... emits high frequency sound for detection and communication... numerous eggs fertilized biannually.
I see Cthulhu made contact with this planet, anyway.
: ...guided by pressure and temperature senses... skin is pliable vitreous membrane... disposable tendrils adhere to surface through acidic bonding... reproduces through mitotic division.
Oh. So a giant, prokaryotic flying jellyfish. Well, they certainly tried for some weird-looking creautres on this planet. What about the la-
: ...tactile senses and periscopic eye stalks... agile quadraped locomotion... sharp jaws and powerful teeth...
: ...external gill sacks for extended submersion... frequent mating between sexes produces numerous offspring.
Welp. You guys got any suggestions for names while I go get Hawkings approval for nuclear orbital bombardment?