Part 10: The Great(ing) EscapeFirst off the bat, I want to apologise to Reinbach, because the suggested name was too long, alas.
But we are approaching the end of our mission here folks! Just need to convince two other species and we'll be home free!
Now, we need to find some Kaynik. After having filled our hold with more than just fuel. After a brief encounter with some very foolish pirates...
Well! At least we're being recognized.
: This is Commander Samovar. I am at your mercy!
: Yer wiser than I thought!
: Now be just as smart 'n prepare for boardin!
These guys are going to be the death of me.
While we try to make some money at Freehaven so as to keep buying fuel, there's that rescue mission we have to do for the Vantu. I feel we'll be needing plenty of fuel for that; the Skeetch won't let us just waltz right in there without getting a bit pissy about it.
But before we do that, let's see what's new about this place...
That's right; every time you get a new species joining the alliance, you see these guys flying about outside the lounge window. That's a nice touch.
Oh yeah, see those guys on the stage? No matter how bad you think they may sound, they sound worse.
However, I'm not wanting to waste all that money on buying fuel, so I'm going to mine as much as I can off of Galothia.
300 units and a couple dozen pirate-deaths later...
And we're ready to rock 'n roll.
Now. You see this gif here? Each dot corresponds to a three-ship fleet of Skeetch warships. You've seen how much I hate fighting even ONE of these bastards. So needless to say, a gauntlet of NINE of these fuckers is both tedious and frustrating...
...unless you know the secret way to get past all these bastards; i.e. surrendering.
Yes, surrendering will let you get past this struggle and gain access to the planet's surface
Is there ever any indication you should do this? Anything at all which would indicate that the Skeetch would do anything other than try and blast you and your crew? Of course not! Who ever heard about giving players hints along those lines?
...needless to say this was invariable one of the last quests I could do when I first played this game.
: This is Commander Samovar. I am at your mercy!
: Now your vessel will serve the Skeetch Empire and our scientists make use of your crew, while YOU are detained at our prison colony, awaiting our horrific diversions.
: For some reason, I get the faintest idea that these guys are the bad guys of this game. I am a slave to your will.
: This will be easier than expected.
: Do not attempt to flee from our escort!
: Whatever, ya Starscream wannabe.
And so, as all hope seems lost...
: Now's our chance, Commander!
: Prepare for removal from your vessel!
: Prepare for removal from your life!
: ...Wow. And I thought Joss Whedon's material was bad.
: I'm sorry, I don't preform well under pressure! Hang on a sec, I'm sure I can come up with more...
: I'm gonna render you down for the witches in Macbeth?
: Sto- no, no. That's not fu-
: Eye'll see you in hell?
: Kill me now.
: My pleasure.
And so now we're left to fight a three Skeetch fleet. Which is still a bitch and a half. But luckily for you, you guys only need skip to the next paragraph. Or if you want; you can watch it in full here.
But at the end of the day, the baddies are beaten back, and we reach the solitary planet...
Hah. Yeah, I get that reference; well, hopefully none of our Vantu captives have started an incestuous, paedophilic bigamist relationship while they've been stuck on the surface.
What? Am I the only one here who read the book?
Well, going down to the planet surface as usual gives us the following...
: Those must be prisoners on the surface!
: Yet another easy victory!
Man, their planetary explorer vessel is so much cooler than ours...
Yes, that's the thing with this mission. We have to quickly pick up all the Vantu scientists while being pursued by the Skeetch ground forces who continually blast at us. There's no point in trying to destroy the vessels because 1) They always crash-land when you defeat them, and you cannot pick up any cargo and 2) They get replaced almost instantly.
So, basically, we are serpentining all over the place while picking these poor bastards up with our cargo lifter.
Jeez, that looks uncomfortable.
After about nine Vantu later...
: All the Vantu are safely on board, Commander.
: Then what are we waiting for? Spirit of Yuri Gagarin, don't fail me now!
And we return to the safety of the upper orbit.
: The Vantu wish to speak with you, Commander.
: Sure, I'm game with a chat. I mean, it's not as if we're at the impending risk of being jumped by an entire battle-fleet of hostiles any second, now is it? Go ahead and patch them through.
: All hope had seemed lost.
: Why were you wandering the surface?
: The Skeetch had destroyed our primary facility, and many lives were lost with it.
: We separated to improve our individual chances of survival.
: It was a grim decision you made.
: We are just fortunate that you reached us in time.
: To think it was mere chance that the Skeetch chose OUR planet for a termination colony.
: Don't you mean prison colony?
: They take pleasure in watching the effects of zero atmosphere on unprotected victims.
: Wow. So basically, a combination of Hitler, Unit 731 AND Pinochet? Tsunami software, subtlety is thy name. You can forget those horrors now. We'll see to it that you're reuinited with your species.
: Thank you, Commander.
: My advice? Seek therapy now, BEFORE the nightmares start.
Now, to get these Vantu home safe-and-sound.
Specifically here, seeing as one of the planets is a Vantu colony.
Well... what have we here?
: Not much, really.
: Now why do I find that hard ta believe?
As an aside, that's actually one thing I DO like in this game. It never flat-out tells you in any wordy exposition that the Kaynik's version of a smile is sticking out their tongue.
: Ya see, yer a kind o' mystery to us Kaynik.
: We know ya got backbone, but ya keep giving us yer cargo. What 'r ya really up to?
: I pay due respect to your species, then continue my journey in relative safety.
: Huh... 'n how can ya afford all the cargo we've been grabbin?
: As it so happens, pirates are a limitless resource in this Sector. But seriously; As a Commander for the Newfront corporation, I have access to resources, training and contacts that encourage success.
: Hmmm... must be nice...
: Well, if you think that's nice, then do I have a deal for you friend-o; have you ever heard of the Alli-
: Well, I suppose we've babbled long enough.
: ...or not . Guess you follow the rule of three, then. This is Commander Samovar. I am at your mercy!
: You're next line is going to be: 'Yer wiser than I thought! Now be just as smart 'n prepare for boardin!'
: -er wiser than I thought! Now be just as smart 'n prepare for boardin!
: Now for us both to pose in a homoerotically charged manner while screaming at each other for the next fifteen minutes!
: Do you want me to take those Vantu off yer ship?
: I'll be good.
One brief pirating session later...
Aw man. At least I have enough to actually GO places...
Anyway. To Czehwude!
: I've rescued the prisoners from the Skeetch.
: Oh, what elation! There as such gratitudes that I wish to express!
: We will arrange the immediate transfer of these Vantu from your ship.
: Can you tell me how you accomplished this remarkable feat?
: It's all in the wrist. As well as sheer duplicity which will probably be used as precedence for the extermination of P.O.W.s. But who cares about them!
: You Humans truly ARE gifted tacticians!
: If we Vantu possessed your skill, we would no longer feel threatened by the Skeetch.
: If we Humans had your knowledge, we might determine how to stop the Skeetch.
: These issues are leading to a logical conclusion.
: Aye, let's lay aff the mutual fellatio and get to the brass tacks. The Skeetch are sieging Human space. And, by sieging, I again mean BEsieging.
: We're forming an alliance here in Thule Sector to terminate their operation.
: Pardon me for being direct... WILL the Vantu join the Allied Species?
: Your achievements affirm this as an offer we can not afford to let pass.
: The Allied Species can rely on Vantu support!
: Excellent. We're fortunate to have you with us.
: I will forward these developments to the necessary bureaus.
: What serendipitous fortune it is that I managed to bump into the one Vantu who's acting deputy for all their kind on this wee backwater colony.
And that's the Vantu done. One more species to go!
With that in mind; let's go straight to the lion's den.
To the pirate-planet Kanyikai itself!
: Ya must be the infamous Commander Samovar!
: Am I in trouble? More than the usual trouble then when I deal with you lot?
: That's yet ta be determined.
: I've been touring tha Sector ta find ya.
: And here I am; at the Kaynik homeworld. Some 'touring' their mate.
: Shut it, you. Ya made quite an impression with my followers, 'n ya stirred up members o' tha other factions as well.
: So give me tha story straight, Samovar... what's goin on?
: All that I did was continually relinquish my cargo.
: The fact that I could afford this may have convinced these Kaynik of a simple truth.
: 'N what's that?
: That my membership in a greater organization provides security...
: ...and that your current practices will lead to ruin.
: Bear with me a few moments here.
: Right now you subsist on what you can TAKE from others.
: It's a deadly game that costs lives and reputations. I should know; I've taken enough of them from you lot already.
: As if we worry 'bout our reputations (heh).
: Well, you should.
: The other sentients in this Sector will eventually succumb to your ruthless nature.
: With no other skills or affiliations to support you...
: Abandon Kanyikai... tha ain't a pretty thought.
: In addition, consider the following:
: We can assume that SOMEWHERE in this galaxy there may be sentients tougher than yourselves, right?
: Well... er... perhaps...
: When you discover each other, how do you suppose they will react to your reputation as a hostile horde with no history of diplomacy or cooperation?
: Gee, uh... don't tha Kaynik in Frontier Craft count fer nothin?
: Newfront and its allies are out of the picture at this point, remember?
: Well, I can see where there MAY be some trouble.
: Trouble that can be avoided, without sacrificing your military tradition.
: What 'r ya getting at?
: The Skeetch are... sigh... sieging Human space.
: We're forming an alliance to stop them here, in Thule Sector.
: The Allied Species could use Kaynik support to blockade Skeetch supply ships.
: 'N what's in it fer us?
: Resources, education and technology from the Allied sentients...
: ...and of course, there's the Skeetch supply ships.
: Ya got yerself some new allies!
: Well, that's all well and good; but seeing as you guys are actually run through an anarchy system, do you think the other faction leaders will share your conviction?
: They've been monitorin our discussion, 'n I've just received their approval.
: We'll begin our operations immediately.
: That's... surprisingly well organized for an Anarchy...
: Tricks o' tha trade, m'boy. Don't want all you other sentients finding out how we REALLY work things out, now do we?
And that's it! All four species are on our side, and we can now explore Kaynik space without having our faces blown off by trigger-happy munchkins; another plus!
And what better way to celebrate our new-found alliance than with immediate exploitation of the local fauna?
Nobody better have named these things while I've been busy getting literally robbed by these blue bastards.
Well; I guess we've only got ONE animal left to name in the game. Sorry about that.
: ...taste sense and survival reflexes... emits false scents simulating fresh carrion... discharges sproraceous irritant when touched... seeds expelled in defensive cloud spread by unwitting host lifeform.
Charming thing; like a cross between a hyena and a puffball mushroom.
: ...spirals on four stunted appendages when travelling... relies on tactile and olfactory senses... barb-tipped tentacle injects venom to disable prey... infrequent eggs from female fertilized by males in solitude.
Well! With that over and done with; and the Kaynik disinclined to chat right at the moment; I guess there's nothing left for us to do but report to Hawkings and give him the good news! I mean; it's all good news here, now isn't it?
I mean, we've completed our mission, haven't we?
: This is Survey Base, go ahead W5
: Sensors indicate a massive energy flux in our region...
Everything's gone as planned, as was originally briefed by Esteban...
: Roger W5, our receiver is on-line.
I'm sure things will go swimmingly, not just for Humans, but for all sentients in Thule sector!
Yessiree; everything's coming up roses...
...just... just fine.
: W5... what's going on out there?!