I farmed a bit in the neighboring regions for some needed money in preparation for the Zoq-Fot-Pik expedition. Not only are those dudes way out in the boonies (relative to Sol, which is the only thing that matters), they're in the middle of the territory of the two deadliest races in the game. Which means we're gonna take on the two deadliest races in the game with nothing but Eluders. And only two of them, at that.
Ur-Quan: What! A human in a Precursor service vehicle!? How did you escape the slave shield, human? Or are you a rogue?
Captain: Why do you wish to enslave us?
U: Although you consider us the enemy, these conclusions are flawed. We are your salvation. We bring you peace, a peace built upon OUR social framework imposed on your planet, a new world order in which your prosperity and security are assured by the Ur-Quan. We will protect you from the hazards of this hostile universe, from dangers so hideous your simple minds cannot imagine their dark scope. Today, we are the enemy. In time, this will change. Soon, you will come to understand the boon of slavery we force upon you, and then, you will revere and even love us for this gift.
C: You didn't answer my question. What's your problem?
U: You have intruded upon the battleground of our Doctrinal conflict with the Kohr-Ah. This is not tolerable. We must maintain our concentration on this war. We must win. Should we lose, the consequences to you and all other sentient life in this part of the galaxy would be very grave. Since you have refused to depart willingly, it appears that we must eliminate you ourselves.
Fighting against the Ur-Quans are annoying, because you have to constantly run away from their fighters, all the while evading their fusion blasts, which actually have a pretty respectable range. But here's the trick with the Eluders: their BUTT missiles are homing. That means you can fly in between the Ur-Quan's firing arc, since this game doesn't have a complete 360 degree range of movement, and keep pinging them to death with the missiles. It's a tiresome battle, though, doubly so since we have to fucking deal with 4 of them. At the end, though, I only lost 8 dudes, which isn't a bad average.
Kohr-Ah: We are the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah. We cleanse our destiny. You will soon die. Make whatever rituals are necessary for your species.
(Alternate Intro) We are the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah. Your presence here is premature. We fight the Kzer-Za for supremacy of Doctrine and possession of the Sa Matra. When the battle is won, our task is simple. We cleanse. You are the filth.
Captain: What are you hanging over?
K: My trophy bone-pit. In here is one skeleton from each of the races which I personally exterminated. I fondle these bones and recall the fine cleansing. Perhaps your bones will grace this pit momentarily, unless they are accidentally vaporized.
Fighting the Kohr-Ah is both easier and harder than the Ur-Quan. On the one hand, they're much easier to hit since they're more sluggish and you're not dodging little gnat shits all the time. On the other hand, their shuriken looking projectiles stay in place for quite a long while, making the battle a constantly shifting minefield. Oh, yeah, those shurikens have infinite range, too, so you have to up your dodging. Their special is a ring of fire which I didn't cap, but its use is limited. It's a pretty great "get the fuck away from me" attack, but it uses up half their slowly recharging battery.
As I flew into Alpha Tucanae, the ZFP world, there was a bunch of Ur-Quan ships in the system, so I didn't get the chance to take a cap because I was too busy gunning the engines and trying to dodge them, because my fingers can't take that many fights at once. I think there were somewhere between 5-10 Ur-Quan ships, and with 3 ships each in those battles...that's quite a lot.
So I finally Solid Snake my way to Planet I, fearing that I was too late, but we arrived in time!
Zoq (Green): Ah! It is the alien from the Chenjesu's Alliance!
Pik (Blue): Just look at those weapon pods on his ship.
Z: We hope that during this visit, you can make clear to your species the benefits of a mutual assistance pact.
P: But we're also armed to the teeth, so don't try stealing our atmosphere or anything sneaky like that!
Captain: So what's happening around here?
Z: We had a close call last week.
P: One of those black ships was snooping around the system.
Z: But before it got to our world, some of the Green ships warped in, destroyed the black vessel, and then left immediately.
P: We got lucky.
Capt: Any news about the war between the two alien races?
Z: No. We have nothing new to report.
P: Nope! Not a thing.
Capt: I have traveled here to seek an alliance between our peoples.
Z: How wonderful! We accept!
Z: How marvelous!
Z: Captain, we are delighted that your people have made this choice!
P: Now WE won't get slaughtered!
Z: In exchange for our cooperation helping you with captains and ship design, all that we ask for is your protection.
P: So we won't get slaughtered!
Z: We shall begin fulfilling our commitment at once! We will transport officers and our Stinger design to your base immediately!
P: Why, heck! Maybe I'll even make a trip to your planet! I'd make a good starship captain, Captain! I'm pretty darn mean in a fight, and there ain't nobody better than me with a thrusting stinger tongue attack!
Capt: What do you know about other alien races?
Z: Not much, to tell the truth.
P: This space exploration stuff is kinda new to us.
Z: Besides the green alien ships
P: Which have only tried to kill us.
Z: and the black alien ships
P: Which have actually been QUITE SUCCESSFUL at killing us.
Z: The only other starships we have encountered are strange tumbling red probes, which profess to be on a peaceful mission
P: But then attack like slavering Zebrankys.
Z: We believe that the probes are actually robotic scouts which have suffered some kind of malfunction, resulting in their aberrant behavior.
P: And what's worse, they're multiplying.
Z: Yes, that's true. The probes seem to be replicating at a geometric rate.
P: AIEE! That means if there was only one last week...then next month...ah...wait a minute, let me calculate...uh...That means, next month there will be...A WHOLE MESS OF THOSE THINGS!
Z: By back tracing the probes' course paths, we have been able to calculate that the source of the probes is somewhere on a direct line that includes our star, and Epsilon Muscae.
P: Go get 'em, Captain!
Capt: Tell me more about your people.
Z: Ah! Cultural exchange. A good idea.
P: Yeah! Let's tell him about Frungy!
Z: Be quite, you fool! He asked a serious question! He doesn't want to know about Frungy.
P: How do you know? What makes you so smart? You never even asked him if he wants to know about Frungy. Why, I'll be right now he's wondering "What is this wonderful sport, Frungy?", "How is it played?", "What kind of equipment do you need to play Frungy?" and "I wonder who's ahead in the Frungy Championships?"
Z: AUGH! Will you SHUT UP ABOUT FRUNGY!? If you say another word about that STUPID GAME, I'm going to lose control and blow a cloud of spores at you!
P: Yech! Okay, okay. Don't blow your sac. I won't mention Frungy again, I promise.
Z: Well, Captain, as you can probably see, our culture's predominant trait, its greatest strength AND weakness, is the diverse interactions between Zoq, Fot, and Pik.
P: FRUNGY! FRUNGY! FRUNGY!
Capt: Can you describe your "Stinger" starship?
Z: The Stinger is the peak of our technological prowess.
P: It's totally awesome!
Z: These vessels are cheap to build and can be quite effective in short range combat.
P: They turn on a...on a...well a small round thing that's REAL small!
Z: Remember though, against most ships, the Stinger must close distance immediately and give unrelenting tongue attacks until either the enemy or the Stinger are destroyed.
P: Yeah! The tonguing is the best part!
Capt: Does that guy in back ever say anything?
P: Not a word.
Capt; What was your history like?
Z: Our past? Quite a broad topic for this short conversation, but we'll share a key piece of our history with you.
P: After we killed off the last Zebranky, we faced an interesting question.
Z: Should we proceed, and establish a culture which would advance in art, technology, and social sophistication?
P: Or should we just go back into the forest and kick back and enjoy ourselves, knowing that a Zebranky wasn't gonna jump out of the bush and eat us!
Z: Well, we DID go back into the forest. We stayed there for about five thousand years and had a great time.
P: Then, one stormy day, a Zoq, a Fot, and a Pik were walking up a steep path, looking for something good to eat, when a bolt of lightning struck nearby. With a huge flash of light, the bolt of energy carved a strangely-shape chunk of granite out of a cliff.
Z: It was a disk, with a hole in the middle! As the rock began to roll down the hill, toward the three terrified beings, some dry grass got caught in its hole, and since the rock was still hot, the grass caught on fire.
P: When the rock finally got to the Zoq, the Fot, and the Pik, they simultaneously discovered the Wheel, Fire, and Religion, thus catapulting them on to the road of progress.
Z: Which has led us to this day, Captain. Oh! How did the flaming wheel give religion to our culture, you ask?
P: I will explain. You see, when it got to the threesome, the flaming wheel was going at a pretty good clip, and it ran smack into the Zoq, killing him.
Z: The Fot and the Pik felt so bad - they really liked that Zoq! - that they decided the Zoq hadn't really died when the wheel flattened him, he had just gone to a "a better place."
P: Presumably one without lethal flaming wheels.
And with that we say goodbye to this amusing trio.
Getting back to base pretty much sucked, because it was basically chain after chain of Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah fights. Luckily, two Spathi are apparently good enough to take on 10+ Dreadnoughts and Marauders, so we finally mosey our way back to base, ignoring any mining within this space for obvious reasons, and upgrade our ship with another Crew Pod (2000RU!) and add another Eluder, just for good measure.
For the record, the Stinger is a pretty shitty ship because it's not only fragile, but requires extremely close range to be really effective. At least it's fast and maneuverable, though.