The Let's Play Archive

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

by nweismuller

Part 23: 2311-2320: The Liberation

The Liberation

In 2311, negotiators from Union Heavy Industries in the UNCC attempted to purchase technical data and licensing for fusion power from Morgan Industries, but were not able to raise the two hundred billion credits Morgan Industries demanded to license the technology, and negotiations broke down unproductively. Meanwhile, an entire Intelligence Service field team was lost in action in The Flowers Preach, and the Holy States overran Socialism Tunnels, leaving the government of the Human Hive hanging on in the single settlement of Fecundity Tower. It seemed clear that the final destruction of the Human Hive was only a matter of time.

As Pholan forces mustered for a counterattack against the Spartan Federation in 2313, the Federation's ruling council made an effort to arrange a ceasefire, now that their military objectives in seizing East Pholan territory were complete. Colony Executive Li rejected this out of hand, having pledged to accept nothing less than the unconditional surrender of the Spartan Federation as an end to this war.

The assault against The Flowers Preach was launched, with Pholan chaos artillery bombarding Federation positions before Pholan infantry in power armor, supported by chaos cannon heavy weapons, moved in to the settlement, clearing resistance away with smoothly coordinated action and overwhelming firepower. Although The Flowers Preach was ravaged by war by the time the Republic's troops took it, the people there welcomed the Republican forces as liberators.

With the fall of The Flowers Preach, the Spartan ruling council once again pressed for a peace settlement, offering accumulated data on subatomic physics, which was the foundation of their advanced electronic warfare techniques. Once again Colony Executive Li rejected this out of hand.

By the end of the year, news from the Holy States reported the conquest of the last remaining stronghold of the Human Hive, and the capture of Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang, who had no remaining military forces to evacuate him to hiding. The execution by firing squad of Chairman Yang was broadcast across the Holy States, and rebroadcast by news organisations in colonies beyond Chiron Minor. With this, the Holy States were left in control of the whole of Chiron Minor, although they remained wracked by massive civil unrest.

By 2314, the scientific data promised by the Spartan Federation in return for a ceasefire was replicated by the Republic's own scientists. Although what was believed to be a complete menagerie of subatomic particles was catalogued, the observations made in the process challenged all existing theories of physics, leaving Pholan theoretical models woefully incomplete. It would take groundbreaking theoretical work to reconcile the observational data with physical models, and it was impossible to predict when some genius would make the necessary conceptual connections.

In the early portion of the year, Republican forces crushed Spartan resistance in Last Rose of Summer, liberating more of East Pholus' territory, and pushing the front further north.

With the Republican military relatively confident of their ability to keep Spartan forces from penetrating their front line at Last Rose of Summer, they released The Flowers Preach from temporary military administration and returned it to the East Pholan civilian government. There were hopes that, by the end of the decade, East Pholus could be returned to full territorial integrity.

Returning settlements to the Gaians turns over any units still in the settlement to the Gaians, returns our units within their borders to our territory, and has it so we suffer pacifism penalties in their territory unless we are in the settlement itself. Obviously, if we want to keep up any offensive momentum whatsoever and ensure the Gaians can defend their territory, we can't afford to return their settlements until we have the situation secured and have pushed forward so we have a new forward base of operations.

Fighting over the remainder of the year drove a Spartan rover platoon away from Bushnell Center, then harried the survivors with artillery fire. Meanwhile, a Pholan infantry company, returning from the northern front, assaulted Spartan forces left on The Flowers Preach flank. Despite their disorganised state, the Republican forces decisively crushed the remaining Spartan rovers, ensuring The Flowers Preach would remain secure and in East Pholan hands.

By 2315, the settlement of Morgan had seen agricultural yields return to normal, and a major aerospace complex erected outside of the settlement. Major investment promptly began into launching communications, positioning, and observation satellites, along with assembling the Republic of Pholus' first major station in space.

The satellites actually modeled by the game are implied to be fairly massive installations, and so I assume that smaller comm satellites such as we already have precede them slightly as you prepare to head into space. With the crop failures finally over, we can disband all these supply crawlers and get a head start on our first satellite.

Elsewhere, the Republic's forces crushed a company of Federation infantry that crossed the border near Last Rose of Summer, while the UNCC Colonial Assembly approved preliminary studies for a major naval complex.

A year later, the massive shipyard complex in Xochimilco was finally completed, ensuring that the Republican shipbuilding industry would never be at a loss. The continued experience of Republican crews on the water was beginning to manifest in a growing crop of skilled navigators and captains, and the early weather satellites launched gave Republican ships early warning of adverse weather. It seemed likely that Republican ships would be able to dominate the waves for some time to come. After early feasibility studies, meanwhile, the UNCC quietly shelved their own plans for the naval complex.

As ever, the video link is not by me, but I recommend you watch: Also, I am amused by the UNCC starting the project just in time to abandon it.

By 2317, Xochimilco had entered an economic slump, with much of the labor once employed in the construction of the Tlaloc shipyard complex underemployed and with revenues from shipbuilding yet to make up for the massive expense of the project. To salvage their company, the Tlaloc Project brought in outside investors, with a majority of Tlaloc stock being sold to other major companies. Meanwhile, improvements in forestry, agriculture, and supporting industries helped fuel growing prosperity in Bushnell Center, while Autumn Grove completed a major advanced hospital to rival any in North Pholus.

Skirmishing over the course of the year obliterated a Federation artillery platoon and another rover platoon threatening Last Rose of Summer, while driving off another rover platoon with heavy losses. The rover platoon that had earlier been menacing Bushnell Center ambushed and destroyed an artillery platoon sent out to scout, having concealed themselves in xenofungal forests.

Not long after, in the early portion of 2318, the Republic of East Pholus reported that a daring naval action had left them in control of the Spartan settlement of Fleet Anchorage in the Sea of Nessus. With this, nearly the whole of the Sea of Nessus was in East Pholan hands, with only the Federation settlement of Admiralty Base remaining as a holdout.

Later that same year, construction flights from Morgan to Skyfarm Limited's new space station, Orbital One, finally finished, with Orbital One fully in operation. This massive station, over a kilometer long, orbited Chiron near its southern pole, bathed in perpetual sunlight. With the constant sunlight, multiple harvests of hydroponic crops were able to be grown in a year, and shipped down with regular supply shuttle flights, competing with groundside agricultural producers. The permanent human staff was minimal, with the majority of the work automated by sophisticated robotics. Orbital One was preceded by communications, weather, positioning, and observation satellites, allowing observation of all of Chiron's surface, and the reintroduction of GPS services in Pholus.

In the same year, Torrson became the second settlement in Pholus and on Chiron to introduce fusion power generation on an industrial scale, but it would not be the last. With the new abundance of power, Torrson's industries and laboratories boom.

Militarily, the year was marked by skirmishing on the front lines as Republican forces gathered for a major push towards Song of Planet, while diplomatically, the Free State attempted to demand technological data to help pull them closer to the Pholan standard.

By 2319, research on the xenofungal forests led by Doctor Kimberly of Morgan Industries confirmed that the entire network of xenofungal forests was a vast, interlinked processing system, much like a brain spread out across the world. The coherence of this brain's thoughts was confirmed to be limited- it was functionally somewhat similar to a dreaming human, or a human suffering from severe schizophrenic psychosis. It proved it may be possible to attempt communication or appeasement of this insane mind, while greater understanding of information transmission through the xenofungus proved of value to human empaths, who became highly valued in negotiations, medical work, and other fields where their acute sensitivity to the thoughts and sensations of other people could be of value. The massive fungal concentrations at the northern tip of Pholus and in the New Sargasso serve as the primary switching stations linking the xenofungal 'brain' together, with smaller local clusters helping concentrate thought as transmitted across the whole network.

Empath specialists replace Doctors, providing +2 Psych, +2 Economy rather than just +2 Psych. We now have, as available specialists, Empaths, Engineers (+3 Economy, +2 Labs), and Librarians (+3 Labs).

As these breakthroughs were being made, Republican forces pushed north to Song of Planet. Resistance was heavy, but, in the end, the settlement was taken, liberating the last East Pholan settlement lost to the Federation in this war. The settlement had suffered much under occupation and from the fighting, but at last things could slowly return to normalcy for its inhabitants. After the settlement was taken, another Federation infantry company was destroyed east of Song of Planet.

The Spartan military council responded to their loss of Song of Planet by attempting to offer 75 billion credits in money and materials to the Republic for peace. Once again, however, Colony Executive Li rebuffed them in the hope of pushing on to final victory.

By the end of the decade, in 2020, improved economic development was beginning to have its effects felt along the Great Pholus Ridge, while Last Rose of Summer was returned to East Pholan civilian administration, along with weapons, power armor, and the services of training officers for a garrison company of infantry for the settlement.

Near the end of the year, Republican forces pushed into Greenhouse Gate, crushing Federation resistance there and marking the first push by Republican forces into Spartan territory proper. Although Greenhouse Gate was originally founded by settlers from the Gaian Dominion, it was conquered in the first war between the Dominion and the Spartan Federation, and had long since assimilated into Federation culture.

The Republic of Pholus and the World as of 2320

With satellite imaging of Chiron, Pholan maps of the planet have grown complete and accurate. Two badly battered Spartan Federation rover platoons still threaten behind Republican lines, while the Free State has established a new settlement near the northern tip of Pholus. The northern seas still contain many Unity cargo pods still awaiting salvage, which might justify a salvage expedition north.

Investment and innovation in the Republic have continued to show very healthy growth over the past decade. The Republic of Pholus has not needed to enter any sort of total war footing, and so economic development has gone on nearly uninterrupted.

Morgan has recovered from the crop failures that previously plagued it. The Sun Mining and Extraction mining facility south of Morgan has been transformed into the world's first mantle-depth 'borehole' mine, tunneling down to the very edge of the mantle to extract valuable minerals and metals otherwise unreachable and exploit the vast geothermal temperatures of the mantle for power generation. The massive profits allowed by this new facility has allowed a dramatic recovery in SME's finances and the repayment of SME's many bondholders, while the rich supplies of materials have gone to feed the ever-hungry demands of local industry.

Boreholes are beautiful, beautiful things, but you can't build them too close together.

Torrson has seen a notable economic boom from its deployment of fusion power over the past decade, and his begun investment into space launch capability to match Morgan's. A second borehole mine has been sited southeast of Torrson, and is currently being constructed.

Improved development of Tellus Bay has helped bolster the prosperity of Tellus, which itself is very close to rolling out fusion power on an industrial scale. Collection of hydrogen from the ocean on an industrial scale is now a major component of the energy industry, providing fuel for fusion plants.

With the threat from the Spartan Federation finally abated, development to the south and east of Bushnell Center can begin in earnest. The improved output from forestry and agriculture has greatly bolstered local prosperity, and the settlement thrives. Investment into industrial-scale fusion power has begun, as has development of a borehole mine to the south of the settlement.

The civilian economy at Talon has been growing, in the absence of the need for further military recruitment over the past decade. Development into improved forestry, agriculture, and supporting industries is expected to further bolster the local economy, and help it reach the levels more typical of core Republican territories.

The economy of Xochimilco continues in recession, while the newly-renamed Poseidon Project, once the Tlaloc Project, is being restructured under a new board of directors to restore the company to financial viability. New startups are slowly developing in the settlement, taking advantage of a glut of skilled workers and professionals suddenly short on opportunities, helping the settlement recover from its slump. Some of the local inhabitants have begun to look to setting up a new settlement further north, away from the adverse conditions currently prevailing here.

Prometheus has emerged from its industrial slump, and has begun to finally enjoy long-overdue terraforming developing the territory surrounding the settlement. Improved early education has helped ensure the workforce remains skilled and efficient, and investment into local finance and energy generation has been strong. There is still a great deal of work to be done developing the territory around Prometheus, but the xenofungal forests are slowly being pushed back and large-scale farming and resource-processing operations have begun to be established in formerly virgin territory.

Underwater xenofungal forests around Kusisitiza Future have been remarkably reduced in extent, and geothermal and thorium collection around the settlement has been strengthened. Strong development in robotic industry and the construction of new hab facilities about the settlement should soon allow for a population explosion in Kusisitiza Future.

Gaia's Landing has grown and prospered with new robotic industry, and improvements into agriculture and forestry are under way. New terraforming teams are badly needed here, but potential for the future here is very good.

Autumn Grove has become an important center for medical research, and has been developing industry and finance at a breakneck pace. The Sophia Institute has long-range plans to begin work on a major project to help bolster soldiers and workers across the Republic against psychic attack, helping secure the Republic against the threat of mindworms.

Major improvements in trade revenue have greatly bolstered the economy of Lily of the Valley, which has seen the growth of improved educational firms and prenatal care clinics in response to massive demand from the populace. It is expected that the effects of improved services will be a massive improvement in the local economy.

The inefficiency losses here are pretty intolerable, at the moment, but we should be able to reduce them significantly.

Agriculture and forestry are being further developed in Memory of Earth, and new terraforming firms are gathering investors. The settlement will be in dire need of new terraforming work soon, and there have been companies assembling to fill this demand.

Song of Planet is under temporary Republican military administration, to be returned to East Pholan civilian authorities as soon as is practical. The main obstacle to this is the continuing threat presented by remaining Federation forces to the west. The population is cooperative with the local Republican authorities, which are viewed as heroes for liberating the settlement from the Federation. Rat Patrol is on station here, preparing to head west to hunt down Federation remnants, while another company of troops prepares to head north to reinforce the front.

The population of Greenhouse Gate is bitterly divided about the Republican presence, with some welcoming the opportunities presented by the occupiers while others engage in sabotage and low-level partisan activity around the settlement. The troops here have suffered notable attrition over time, while an intact Spartan rover platoon to the north still threatens the settlement. Although the offensive may be able to continue, momentum is growing increasingly difficult to maintain.

The Republic of East Pholus remains reasonably stable and prosperous, with its power now firmly centered on the Sea of Nessus. Its military is still recovering from its losses in multiple wars, and its research establishment is the single weakest overall on Chiron, but investment here is very strong, and should be able to fuel strong growth in the future. It only maintains truly friendly relations with the Republic of Pholus and the UNCC, but benefits significantly from the friends it has. It maintains a strong military footing against the threat of the Spartan Federation.

The Spartan Federation's military council is reeling from its repeated defeats by the Republic of Pholus, and is eager to reconsider strategy and rebuild its strength. The core of Spartan territory on New Lacedaimonia is well-terraformed, fueling an economy that, although neither terribly efficient nor innovative, is exceptional at cranking out material to fit the needs of the military council, and remains stable and solvent. Conditions are stable and livable enough and patriotism strong enough that dissent is relatively limited, and the dissent that does exist is kept well under control by local law enforcement.

With their war against the Free State discredited, the Hercules People's Party has suffered severe setbacks in the UNCC, and their ambitious economic reforms have been essentially dismantled piece by piece. Withdrawals are not entirely completed, leading to protests in several settlements, but overall conditions in the UNCC are better than anywhere else on Chiron save the Republic of Pholus. Major consumer industries and services flourish here, as does a certain amount of state-sponsored scientific research and education, but long-term industrial investment has flagged, somewhat. Even so, industrial conditions in the UNCC are more than sufficient to maintain its current state, and much of eastern Hercules has been reasonably well-terraformed by now. Despite any tensions, the UNCC has retained good relations with all five other colonies, which has helped contribute to Great Refuge's status as an important world commercial port.

UNCC energy allocation is currently 20% Economy, 40% Psych, 40% Labs, which helps fuel golden ages in UN Commerce Committee, UN Aid Station, UN High Commission, and UN Ocean Authority. Between low economy allocation, loan payments to us, and upkeep expenses, they only have a surplus of 6 credits a year, but this is stable, at least.

The Planetary University Free State, still struggling with continued unrest amongst the general populace, has begun investments into amenities and comforts to improve the quality of life in University Base and Baikonur, which hopefully should defuse a certain amount of the tension its government suffers under. Freed of the pressure of the war against the UNCC, the Free State has been recovering, although the state of terraforming in their territory remains very poor. A new settlement on Pholus, Zoloto-Gold, provides a challenge to Republican claims of the northern end of Pholus, although the deep xenofungal forests surrounding Zoloto-Gold present a challenge to the settlement's long-term survival. The Free State maintains an alliance with the Spartan Federation, which has some observers in the Republic of Pholus concerned that the Federation may sabotage Republican-Free State relations.

The Holy States remain a ramshackle empire sprawled over the whole of Chiron Minor, wracked by civil unrest, a failing economy, heresy, riots, and internal violence. Despite the Holy States' heartland in southwestern Chiron Minor being one of the best-terraformed portions of the world, shortages and breakdowns remain endemic. Former Human Hive territories in the North and the wastes to the east remain less developed. Although only the southernmost portions of the former Human Hive have fully assimilated into Holy States culture, the inhabitants of other conquered territories in the Human Hive hardly retain nostalgia for the days of the Hive. Rampant unrest has begun fueling an underground revolutionary sentiment, and hidden workshops across the Holy States have begun assembling small arms in secret.

New developments have revealed more of the nature of the xenofungus, while mankind's first steps into space from Chiron have opened new horizons. The war against the Spartan Federation goes well, despite attrition and slowing pace of operations. It seems likely that the future of the Republic of Pholus will remain bright.