Part 13: Turn 118TURN 118
There is one ironclad rule in the Romulan empire: Nobody ever leaves. No matter what other problems we're dealing with, the first one we will solve is the issue of Sheliak secession. The production of Troop Transports at Tama and Takara left extras nearby, so we direct them to Shelia. We didn't built any Orbital Batteries there, so unless they build some quickly, the Transports will be enough to reconquer the system on their own.
The Klingon economy must be getting more robust, since they demand a larger sum of money. As usual, we just ignore them rather than hitting the "reject" button. For some reason this insults them less.
TURN 119. At last we have unlocked the final technology for the Battle Cruiser II. All of our Mark I Battle Cruisers in space will be upgraded automatically. We had hoped there would be more of them, but we'll take what we can get.
The endgame ship would be the Warbird II, which has an added bonus of being able to move two sectors in one turn, just like the Battle Cruisers do. However, we would need to make a ton more technological progress to invent it. For the moment we're considering whether this will even be worth it.
Our Starbase is completed on Draylon. It went much faster this time, since we had multiple Troop Transports working on the project. With improved scan range from the Starbase, we can see the Cardassian main fleet nearby (at least we hope it's the main fleet). We have 4 Battle Cruiser IIs and assorted light ships sitting cloaked at the Starbase. This is a test of how serious the Cardassians are about their war against us. If the Cardassians rolled directly to Draylon with that fleet, they might wipe us out, but not without suffering grievous losses. Since Cardassian space is not in danger (we can't even see it yet), they must ask themselves whether it's worth it to take that upon themselves. Or should they rely on the Ferengi and Klingons instead? Such is coalition warfare.
Our invasion fleet is ready to set course for Ktaria. We will have 4 Battle Cruiser IIs, 6 Strike Cruiser IIs, and 9 Troop Transports. Our latest intelligence has Ktaria with only 2 Orbital Batteries and a population around 130 units, so this should be overkill. The Strike Cruisers and Transports only move one sector per turn, so having enemy at our doorstep isn't all bad.
TURN 120. The tribunal process finishes on Yridia, leaving the people merely disgruntled rather than defiant. We still have to buy the organic regenerator plant from the last time it was blown up.
The Cardassians have split off a squadron of 6 Destroyers to have a look around. This division of their forces is a solid indicator that they don't intend to gamble everything against us in one big attack. The Romulan forces at Draylon breathe a sigh of relief.
In the northeast, the Klingons feel comfortable enough to begin building an Outpost, but only under heavy escort. It's been awhile since last destroyed the last one they had, on Arvada. Our Scout observes the Klingons wisely choosing Acamar as the new site. Further north, we see the Klingons have ninja-colonized the uninhabited Sigma Iotia system.
TURN 121. With our invasion force just outside of Ktaria, we prepare a war declaration against the Klingons. They shouldn't be too upset about that, but it's kind of amusing that we're the ones who keep having to do it.
Our 4 Battle Cruiser IIs arrive on Ktaria first. All of our enemies' ships have fled Ktaria in advance.
TURN 122. The group of Klingon warships that was overseeing the construction on Acamar has moved on to strike our Outpost at Deneb, the homeworld of the Bandi. Their firepower is more than enough to blow up our Outpost. The Klingons get first blood in this war, but they didn't bring any Troop Transports to invade the system since they hadn't yet received our declaration of war; they had planned to strike the Outpost anyway.
The Klingons must renew their non-aggression pact with the Cardassians. We're thankful the two empires aren't on better terms with each other despite their wars against us. Facing their combined fleets would be a real pain.
We officially declare war against the Klingons for the second time. Let's hope this one works out better than the first.
The Klingons hypocritically lecture us about passage rights while they're blowing up our Outposts.
4 Troop Transports arrive on Shelia and immediately begin the invasion to bring our wayward friends back into the fold. Since their revolution was illegal to begin with, we are not required to declare war. We're pleased to see they still have not built any Orbital Batteries since they declared independence. Perhaps governance is not as easy as they thought.
Our invasion fleet at Ktaria gets greenlighted. Changing strategy pays off: The Klingons spent all their time building up defenses at Acamar rather than Ktaria.
TURN 123. Our defense fleet at Draylon gets the news of an attack by 3 Ferengi command ships. We are eager to learn whether they sent War Cruisers or Marauders.
They were only testing us. The Ferengi sent 3 War Cruisers, which are quickly sent to their graves under a hellish barrage of photon torpedoes. In this picture you can see two unfamiliar gray ships: They're the Tamarian Defenders that we got when the Tamarians joined our empire.
The Romulans once again are inspired by the beauty of the "invasion success" notification. All the Strike Cruisers did a lot of collateral damage, killing 48 out of 130 population units. 2 Battle Cruiser IIs were destroyed by the 2 Orbital Batteries. Still, we are relieved.
The only thing better than one successful invasion is two successful invasions. The Sheliak are forced back into our empire. Hopefully the Yridians take notice of this. No quitters.
Amazingly, the same instant the Sheliak are conquered, they begin to foment more rebellion and destroy a power plant. We institute the tribunal process immediately.
News of two successful invasions lifts the spirits of everyone in the Romulan empire. Even the Bandi, a conquered race who saw an Outpost get blown up a few turns ago, are merely "apathetic." We do not believe there is any more threat of revolution.
The Edo diplomat's hatred of the Klingons allows her to temporarily drop her calm demeanor.
The Andorians, a quiet race that joined our empire early on, offer their support as well.
He's right, the people do seem to be united. Minor Races are coming out of the woodwork to support our war against the Klingons. I guess it wasn't just us who hated them. Granted, these are all members of our empire, but still.
Hey, Nausicaans, we almost forgot you guys existed.
Although we took some casualties, we still have a decent invasion fleet after conquering Ktaria. We will build an Outpost and upgrade it to a Starbase to strengthen our border. Now the only question is: Where do we strike next? Betazed could become the next Ktaria, but it is much more heavily defended, and borders Ferengi space.