The Let's Play Archive

Star Control 2

by GrandpaPants

Part 16

On this episode, we head towards the Beta Orionis system. We do our usual bumping into the locals to find...

Enslaved Umgah


Captain: You are evil blobbies, I say! Avast!


C: I am Captain Stubing, of the starship LoveBoat. What is your response?


C: Our message is Peace Between All Species! Blobbies included.


C: Umgah humor is renowned across space, so...know any good jokes?!



C: Uh, that wasn't very funny. Can't you do better?




C: Ugh! That wasn't a very good joke either. I don't think you guys are very funny.


C: So how's that talking pet getting along?


C: The Arilou told us they had given it to you...they did, right?


And then they come at us. It's not really worth mentioning at all, since I just use the Precursor ship as my main attack ship at this point, because it has three homing bolts that do either 4 or 6 damage per hit.

The, I believe, is a really horrible ship. It's a light ship with a short range cone attack, but without the speed and maneuverability of light ships. Its secondary lets it move backwards rapidly, so at least it can retreat. Woop dee doo.

So we finally reach Beta Orionis and meet:


Dnyarri: What do you want?

Captain: I thought this was the Umgah homeworld. Who are you?

D: I am, uh, a peaceful creature, a friendly alien life form. The Ur-Quan call us "talking pets." Until recently, I was employed on a Dreadnought starship as a translator. Then, after the ship suffered severe damage in combat, we crashed at Alpha Pavonis. Miraculously, I survived, and was rescued by an Ariloulaleelay exploration vessel. The Arilou, they could not heal my most severe injuries, so they brought me to the Umgah, who possess superior bio-engineering skills.

C: I am Captain of the starship LoveBoat. We have come in peace to talk with Umgah leaders about overthrowing the Ur-Quan Hierarchy.

D: Good idea! May I just say, I am behind you 100 percent! But unfortunately, the Umgah are all too busy to come to the Hyperwave 'Caster right back later...much later.

C: But I thought Talking Pets weren't sentient. You seem smart enough.

D: know about that, do you? Oh well, I guess that means I will have to kill you now. I can't permit you to reveal my transformation, the Ur-Quan might find out and then my plans for revenge will be ruined. Well, I tried to spare your life, Captain, but you were just too now...

Aieee! I cannot compel you!? Your mind is closed to me, how can this be? I am forced to resort to...more primitive measures. Umgah commander, summon your ten combat ships and attack this intruder instantly!

You can also say this to get into combat.

C: Strange creature. Explain your presence immediately.

D: YARRGH! I will explain NOTHING, monkey boy! Your stupid curiosity has sealed your doom! You could have left well enough alone. You could have departed this planet alive, but NO! I am afraid you have stuck your stiff, protruberant sensing organ into one too many dark holes, Captain, and now you shall pay the price.

Aieee! I cannot compel you!? Your mind is closed to me, how can this be? I am forced to resort to...more primitive measures. Umgah commander, summon your ten combat ships and attack this intruder instantly!

Then we fight 10 Umgah. Yawn.

D: Uh, hi there, friendly starship Captain! You will never believe this, but somehow, the injuries I suffered when the Ur-Quan crashed triggered some kind of, uh, personality transformation. I became evil and spiteful! Cruel and nasty! Whimsically unpleasant! You may have also noticed that I gained some kind of "temporary psychic powers."

Well, I just wanted to let you know...I AM CURED! Captain, I don't know exactly how, but when you were fighting those Umgah ships, a chunk of the ceiling fell upon my head and gave me quite a whack! Ouchy-ouchy, it still hurts!

When I awoke, the universe had ceased to be the dark and hostile place I previously thought it to be. Instead, I was overwhelmed, yes, even awed by the beauty and perfection of it all! I had also discovered that I had completely los those wicked mental powers and could now look forward to a NEW LIFE, filled with happiness, butterflies, and goodwill for all! Your job is done, Captain! You have saved me! Now you can safely remove your psychic protection device, and leave.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THAN...Why are you looking at me like that, Captain? Don't you believe me? You question my word? Okay, okay, so I was lying. Big deal! So what. Boy, are you A PAIN, do you know that? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, MY LIFE!?

Oh, you do? Hmph. Well, as an alternative, let me make this little suggestion. If you don't kill me, I'll help you do whatever you wish. Is it a deal, Captain? Hmm? Hmm?

C: What kind of deal, Talking Pet. Provide details.

D: I get the basic idea: you want to overthrow the Ur-Quan. Bravo! Good idea! Way to go! I too wish to see the Ur-Quan beaten, humiliated, destroyed, and I alone possess the unique ability that will help you achieve your goal. I can use my psychic powers to temporarily distract the Ur-Quan, confuse them for a few seconds. Presumably you will use this moment to strike a lethal blow against the Ur-Quan. Such a plan cannot fail, Captain. We must see to that.

C: Talking Pet. What are you...really?

D: I will gladly tell you my story, Captain. Gladly! I was indeed a Talking Pet aboard an Ur-Quan Dreadnought. Those years are like a forgotten dream to me, because I was not sentient. I was a dumb beast, an unthinking slave to the heinous Ur-Quan!

Then there was a great battle, the ship was hit and severely damaged. Slaves running down the corridors! Commands, counter-commands! Then there was the scream of atmosphere outside the hull. There was a big explosion of light and thunder! We hit the surface of a planet, I'm pretty sure. The next thing I can remember was the face of a creature you call the Arilou.

I was in great pain, but the creature was kind. It did what it could for me by applying its own medicines to my alien form. I was transported off-planet. I remember an all-pervading green light, then we were at the homeworld of the Arilou. Again, Captain, forgive me if I am not more clear, but I was not intelligent yet. Give me a chance. I presume my injuries were too severe for the Arilou to repair, or perhaps I reacted badly to their medicines or something, because the next thing I remember was being moved back into a ship. Things grow dim, my next memory was being on board an Umgah starship, wet flesh throbbing all around me, the Umgah laughing as they worked on my body. It was kind of unnerving.

Suddenly, like the explosion of a bomb, thought - I mean REAL thought - flooded my brain! I don't know how or why, but the Umgah had discovered that my brain could be easily changed, improved to give me true intelligence! What they didn't realize is that it also brought back a flood of memories. Memories of my species' ancient past! From before the time the Ur-Quan castrated our thinking minds and transformed my people into crude beasts. I am the only intelligent Dnyarri left in this galaxy, Captain. Now do you understand my lust for vengeance?

C: An amazing story, if true. Pardon me if I am a bit skeptical, but you are a proven liar.

D: It's all true, Captain! Every word! Now listen, and I shall tell you why the Ur-Quan did this to us.

It was over twenty thousand of your years ago, Captain, when an Ur-Quan slave raider landed on the surface of my world and began capturing my people - killing those that would not submit! How can I know this, you ask? These memories are embedded deep in my genetic structure, they cannot be forgotten.

How we fought the Ur-Quan! Even then, they had a Hierarchy of combat thralls, though then, they called themselves by the absurd name, the Sentient Milieu! Ha! They were nothing more than thugs, especially those hideous Taalo. Those evil rocklike creatures were the worst of all! For fun, they would take one of our children, and then...roll over it! Again and again, oh!

The war against the Ur-Quan and their Milieu lasted decades, millions of our people died, but with the forces of truth and justice at our side, we were prevailing.

Then the Taalo made their fateful discovery, a shield against our only weapon, our weak psychic powers. With that shield, they were unstoppable, we had lost. But the Ur-Quan were not satisfied merely with our defeat, our slavery, they wanted MORE! They wanted to punish us for our insolence at fighting back against them, so they devised the sickest, most cruel and perverse punishment ever imagined! They invaded our very genetic structure and hacked out enough of our minds to lobotomize us for all eternity. And then we were made their closest servants, their "Talking Pets." This was our punishment.

C: You tried to kill me! Your words are lies! How can I possibly trust you?

D: Captain, Captain, calm down. Be reasonable. Listen to me. I am nothing more than a single being, hardly larger than one of your Earth dogs. Woof woof!

My only weapon - my weak psychic abilities - have been nullified by your protective device. I am harmless. But perhaps, I can be of some small service to you. Consider this my hopeful attempt to compensate you for all the trouble I have caused you in the past. In the Past, Captain, and now we look to the future! To victory over the evil Ur-Quan! I am your secret weapon against these tyrants, Captain. Do not leave me here.

C: I know what you are, evil creature. You are a lying, boneless dweeb!

D: Yes, Captain. I am a lying, boneless, toady dweeb, but I am YOUR lying, boneless, toady dweeb!

C: All right, I agree. But any tricks and you'll be sucking vacuum.

D: No tricks, Captain. No tricks. I fear you cruelly misjudge me. I am on YOUR side now. Together we will make a great team, Captain. This day, this MOMENT shall go down forever in the history of our galaxy. I am coming aboard your ship now. I will make a nest in the pressurized section of your ship's hold. When you wish to talk with me, I will be there.

Let's see how the Umgah react to their new liberation.


Umgah: Hail! Hail! Human earthling! GREAT HERO HAS RETURNED! Oh, my lipids quivering just looking at him on monitor! What smile! What sparkling eyes! What nice bony structure! He one who has saved us from mental compulsion of evil Talking Pet! HAIL! HAIL HAIL! Oh great Hero! We grateful species! Speak to us! How we reward you!?

Captain: Yup! That's right! You guys owe me BIG time.

U: HAIL! HAIL! HAIL! You right! We do owe you! We MUST reward you! But what do we have to give?

Protoplasm? No, no, no, not easily appreciated. Vigorous esters? No, too common. HAVE IT! HAVE IT! GENETIC MODIFICATION!! YES! IT PERFECT GIFT!! Listen, human Earthling! We add some extra eyes! A few tentacles! Other organs of whatever size and shape you desire!!

What? You don't want more organs? You sure? How sad. This was best gift. We Umgah have nothing but vast supply of biological skills and data. Huh? What you say? You want Biological Data?! Just plain raw Biological Data? What you do with it? Oh, well, you Hero. Whatever you want, you get.

C: So what should I do with the Talking Pet?

U: You mean, CORPSE of Talking Pet, don't you Captain?! DID kill it, didn't you?!

C: Er...yeah! That's right. Real dead. So what should I do with its corpse?

U: Hmm, as a general rule, corpses aren't too much fun. When we first starting to mess with its brain, our intention to get it smart enough to accept orders from us, and then repeat them as though they legitimate Ur-Quan commands. Har! Har! Har! Har! We going to play little joke this way! We going to use Talking Pet order Spathi to attack VUX! Har! Har! Har! Har! That been great! ZAP! ZAP! KABOOM!!! Har! Har! Har! Even better than old Dogar and Kazon routine we pull on Ilwrath few years back before those spoil-sport Spathi stole super cool Hyperwave 'Caster.

C: So how did that Talking Pet get control of your species?

U: Ah, well Arilou Lalee'lay, who kind of our neighbors, gave us Talking Pet, hoping we could heal it more severe injuries, which we did. While we were working on it, we do routine brain structure scan and discovered that creature have extremely sophisticated set of neural pathways, even more complex than own! Further analysis showed that with minor genetic manipulations, Talking Pet intelligent greatly expanded, perhaps even to sentience!

Little did know what monster we creating. Only few hours after injected nanots with modification program, creature wakes up. Almost immediately, took control of hospital, then city, then whole planet. We try to resist, but creature, even in drugged, weakened state, too strong. From that day on, we just mindless slaves who live only serving Talking Pet and "Big Plan."

What "Big Plan"? We never quite sure about details of "Big Plan," except it involved getting revenge, and mean LOTS of revenge, against Ur-Quan masters.

C: Why the Ur-Quan? What did it have against them?

U: We don't know, but whatever it was, must have been pretty bad, because Talking Pet mad...REAL mad! How mad, you ask? Blowing up planets and eating juveniles mad! That how mad. We got impression Ur-Quan did something awful to Talking Pet or maybe even whole species. Whatever it was, it worse than slavery, maybe even worse than death.

C: So, since I'm your Great Hero Guy, tell me all your secrets.

U: Secrets, huh? You want secrets? OUR SECRETS?! YOU MADE FATAL MISTAKE, HUMAN!!

...Har! Har! Har! Good joke, eh? Scared you!

Sure! We'll tell our secrets. Now let me see...what ARE secrets? Oh, yes, I remember! It about Mycons! You see, Mycons only other race we know of that have same kind of biotechnical skills as Umgah. But amazing thing, they do all with their own bodies, don't need tools. They just THINK genetic modification, and it happen! We found that pretty hard understand, so when nobody looking, we clonk one on head, bring it back to our homeworld and slice it up for detailed study.

Those guys not product of ANY natural evolutionary process, they constructs! Some kind of multi-purpose biological tool. We don't know who made them or for what purpose, but they WAY beyond anything we ever heard of. We not figure out much before tissue samples all gross, so guess that's pretty much all of big secret.

Oh, do us a favor? Please not tell anybody about clonking Mycon. It kind of against Ur-Quan Laws, and not want get Mycons mad at us.

C: Well, your Great Hero must leave now, but rest assured, I'll be back.

U: You know, Great Hero, I getting this funny feeling. Would like to know what feeling is? Good, I tell you. My feeling that Great Hero stuff, well, boring. Not funny at all. You only say "HAIL! HAIL! HAIL!" so many times before starts to lose appeal, so instituting slight deviation in course of our relationship. Specifically, instead of being dull and lifeless Great Hero, you now glamorous and exciting...Great Enemy! We give you some our Drone ships to make even more interesting! Yes! This going to be LOTS more fun! Here, let me show you.

And then they give us 4 of their shitty ships and attack us. After retreating form their infinite swarm, we talk with the Dnyarri before heading back to base.

Dnyarri: Captain. The Taalo device on board this vessel is, uh, giving me a headache, please remove it. NOW, Captain! It is foolish to resist! remains more effective than I had thought, you are still able to disobey. Ah, well. What can I do for you, Captain?

C: Dnyarri. There is a nearby ship which is annoying me. Compel it to self-destruct.

D: I am saving my meager powers for our final confrontation with the Ur-Quan. Sorry, Captain. You'll just have to deal with this one yourself.

C: How's it going, Dnyarri? You okay down there in the cargo bay?

D: It is cold and empty. I could use a thermal blanket. Since it is incredibly boring down here, I am using the opportunity to try and get some sleep.

C: What can you tell me about your race, the Dnyarri?

D: I consider such a question to be intrusive and impolite, but that is consistent with your behavior. What do you want to know?

C: What can you tell me about the history of your people?

D: Over twenty thousand years ago, my species was happy and carefree, living a life of peace and content on the surface of our world Benteflork. We spent our time gathering foods, creating art, and compelling each other to do the boring chores. Then a ship from the Sentient Milieu landed, and well, things to pretty complicated.

C: I know so little about the Sentient Milieu. Can you describe it?

D: The Sentient Milieu were a blood thirsty Empire that ruled a large section of the galaxy for thousands of years. If you heard that the Milieu was a cooperative union of sentient species, it's LIES, all lies! The Ur-Quan were just a part of the Milieu, but their dark and evil hearts infused the entire association with a sinister ambience.

C: So tell me about the war between your species and the Sentient Milieu.

D: Well, after we had been in contact with the Milieu for a while, they decided to kill all of my species! Now does that sound like a reasonable, friendly bunch of aliens, hmm? Huh? Does it Captain? No! It does not!

Well, the war was over pretty quickly, and my species lost. Instead of just killing us, the Ur-Quan modified our genes. Our children were born non-sentient, dumb animals. For the past twenty millennia, we Dnyarri have been serving the Ur-Quan in the most demeaning way they could imagine, acting as mindless translators who communicate the words of inferior races.

C: What can you tell me about your species biology?

D: You mean my superior brain, my mental prowess? I don't want to talk about it.

C: Come on, we're friends! Tell me about the scope of your psychic powers!

D: Captain, I don't think you meant to ask about my powers.

C: Yes - Dnyarri - I - wish - to - know - about - flowers.

D: Flowers are beautiful, and smell nice. Now be a good human and .

C: I - wish - to - go - now.

D: An excellent idea, Captain. You must have a great deal of work to attend to. Goodbye.


SUBJECT: Talking Pet Lifeform.

DATA: This creature is physiologically identical to the so-called Ur-Quan "Talking Pet," with one notable exception: It is highly intelligent, and evidences strong psychic capabilities. Initial AIQR tests rated it well above human super-genius, though immediately after we made this shocking assessment, its scores dropped to the normal sub-human range.

Interviews with the subjects have shown it to be cooperative, though a class IV pan-species psychological profile places the creature far into the "Furtive-Hateful" domain. There were also some disturbing incidents where...we talked about roses, daisies, and other pretty flowers!

SUMMARY: Everything's okay! Nothing to worry about this cuddly little guy. Not one thing!