Part 34: Turn 82TURN 82
We are completely amazed by the level of firepower the Romulans are able to bring into this battle. Their fleet is unlike anything we've seen before: 2 Warbirds, 7 Battle Cruisers, 4 Strike Cruiser IIs, and nearly a dozen light ships. All of them are cloaked. They brought a Troop Transport, clearly intended for an invasion of the Holberg 917G colony--which is protected by a measly Outpost. The same kind of Outpost that a single Klingon Destroyer is capable of killing.
The Outpost is ordered to target the Troop Transport and destroy it before the Outpost gets crushed by the Romulan fleet.
The Outpost is only able to get the Romulan Troop Transport down to about half shields before the enemy fleet casually fries it. Communication logs suggest the commander of the Outpost suffered a heart attack while watching all of the warships decloak.
On Deneva, we were able to power an Orbital Battery before the Klingons' second bombardment. It was well worth it: Of the Klingons' strike force of 2 Strike Cruisers and an Attack Cruiser, the Attack Cruiser was downed by the Battery.
Now that the Romulan death fleet has arrived on Holberg 917G, they will undoubtedly order an invasion. As a matter of pride and principle, the Federation cannot allow its citizens to become slaves. The Heavy Cruiser that was just completed in the Sol shipyard is ordered to attack the Romulan fleet. Not exactly a plum assignment for their maiden voyage.
We will purchase an Orbital Battery on Holberg 917G in the hopes of bringing down at least one Romulan warship.
TURN 83. The Heavy Cruiser arrives at Holberg just before the invasion is about to begin. The Troop Transport in the midst of the Romulan death fleet must be destroyed. The Federation's existence has now come under enough threat to warrant kamikaze attacks. It is not a good sign.
Just before meeting its doom, the Heavy Cruiser finds its mark. The citizens of Holberg 917G will not be enslaved. But what will happen to them?
The 2 Strike Cruisers remaining from the Klingons' attack against Deneva make a move against the Starbase on Alpha Cygnus. Perhaps they have come to avenge the lost Attack Cruiser.
Strike Cruisers are known for their weapon output, but not their defensive capability. Our Heavy Cruiser and Starbase should make short work of them.
We target one of their Strike Cruisers, and it goes down in a blaze of glory. After witnessing this, the second Strike Cruiser goes against Klingon custom and retreats.
Our counter-intelligence remains insufficient. In a daring heist, enemy saboteurs have stolen roughly 20% of our empire's treasury. Counter-intel reports that the Klingons were responsible, but we know better. Either the Romulans or the Cardassians must be responsible.
The Romulan death fleet no longer has a Troop Transport, so its invasion turns into a bombardment. Virtually every structure, and nearly the entire population is dead. Citizens are shocked and awed by the Romulans' superior firepower.
With no way of powering an Orbital Battery should we choose to build one, the people of Holberg will at least get some decent fish as a last meal.
In other news, a large fleet of Cardassian ships moves against the Milika system in southern Klingon space. They obliterate a Klingon Outpost.
TURN 84. Relatives of the Holberg colonists are told that everyone on Holberg has been killed by the aptly named Romulan death fleet. This is the first time the Federation has lost a system. It is a sobering development.
Holberg 917G is still terraformed, but it is uninhabited and belongs to noone. Was the sacrifice worth it? Were the people of Holberg better off dead than enslaved by the Romulans? President Picard shows an unusually steely resolve as he addresses the citizens of the Federation. "We value peace because we value life. But being assimi--being enslaved is a fate worse than death," he says. What he doesn't mention is that by keeping Holberg out of Romulan hands, we have denied them a foothold from which they could launch further attacks against the Federation. No doubt the Romulans would have built a shipyard there to extend their range.
TURN 86. Officially speaking, when the Cardassians' spies frame us for their sabotage against the Klingons, they really believe it's us. The Cardassians congratulate us on the operations that they themselves carried out.
The Klingons build another Attack Cruiser and launch a new fleet of command ships, then fly it to Deneva. We are forced to remain on the defensive. In the north, the Romulan death fleet remains on Holberg, uncertain of how to proceed without a means of extending their ships' range.
TURN 87. The Orbital Battery defense on Deneva keeps getting rebuilt, but it's worth every bit of energy we spend doing it. The Battery destroyed another Klingon Attack Cruiser and a Battle Cruiser this time. But the people of the Federation are tired of getting bombed. It wasn't that long ago that we were the ones attacking enemy systems.
Federation scientists worked quickly to make their latest technological breakthrough. The Heavy Cruiser II has now been invented, and all of the older models are upgraded.
The invention of the Heavy Cruiser II means that our next goal is the invention of the Heavy Escort, better known as the Defiant. We will need a breakthrough in computer technology, as well as level-ups in energy and weapons technology. We will also need two level-ups in propulsion technology since we haven't gotten that to level 9 yet.
Fortunately the computer technology advancement will be easier, since a special structure on Sol gives us a 100% bonus for that.
TURN 88. We receive news that the Romulan death fleet has left Holberg for an unknown destination. Without bringing extra Troop Transports, they could not even build an Outpost there. The Romulans were absolutely dumbfounded that we were willing to make a suicide attack against their fleet just to keep them from having the system. The Federation is not as soft as it's made out to be.
The Klingons' strike force against Deneva was thinned out by the Orbital Battery defense, so it seems to be floating around aimlessly. If it attacks Styris, the Starbase should be able to protect itself. A large group of Cardassian Troop Transports has taken refuge there.
TURN 89. Diplomats are stunned by the Ferengi once more. They have offered us a 12,000 credit bribe for peace. If it weren't for these large payouts, the economic sabotage we've received would be a bigger issue. Unintentionally, the madness of the Ferengi has been keeping our treasury in the black.
The Cardassians ask for a token gesture to prove they are the senior partner in the alliance. We agree to their request for an empty disputed sector to be turned over to them.
TURN 90. The Cardassians have been held up by the stiff Orbital Battery defense on the Klingon core system of Milika. Now that they've brought in the big guns, perhaps they can make some progress.
As a show of defiance, the Colony Ship that had been set to colonize Ingraham B will instead be sent north to colonize the ruins of Holberg 917G. We will not be terrorized by cowards in invisible ships.
TURN 91. The group of 3 Klingon Battle Cruisers arrives at Alpha Cygnus. We now have enough Heavy Cruiser IIs to spare 2 for defending the Starbase.
Our upgraded Heavy Cruisers now have the opportunity to show what they're made of. They quickly obliterate 2 of the 3 Battle Cruisers, with some help from the Starbase.
The third Battle Cruiser slips off into warp just before we can finish it off.
We have ascertained the location of at least part of the Romulan death fleet. A group of 8 cloaked Battle Cruisers is detected between the Ingraham B and Quazulu Starbases. We counted only 7 Battle Cruisers in their death fleet on Holberg, so they must have picked up another along the way. Either that, or this is an additional group of warships--a possibility that noone wants to consider. We have a total of 3 Heavy Cruisers defending our core systems of Borka and Sol. They will be dispatched to protect the Quazulu Starbase, which is the more likely target. Now we may have the opportunity to do some damage, because as a battleground, a Starbase is at least home turf.
TURN 92. The Romulans have other plans. The Battle Cruisers decide to attack the Starbase on Ingraham instead. Despite the enemy fleet's size, we intend to make them suffer for their attack. Federation Starbases are no small target, and we have yet to lose one.
Most ships take a few rounds to get within their weapons range of a Starbase, but the Romulan Battle Cruisers avoid that problem by decloaking right in front of it. As they decloak for their free turn, green torpedoes go flying everywhere.
The Starbase commander is in a state of shock as the torpedoes from the first salvo continue to pour in, bending the Starbase's shields until they crack. Before we can even order our own attack, the Starbase is completely destroyed. The Romulans are victorious again.