Part 36: Turn 112TURN 112
There is widespread outrage across the Federation when everyone learns we have conquered the Klingon homeworld. The official line is that we will leave when the Klingons no longer pose a threat, but everyone knows this is nonsense. The Klingons vow they will always be a threat.
We have grown at the Klingons' expense, and they no longer have a source of dilithium. They have no ships and can produce no ships. The Klingon empire has been completely neutered. Combined with our Cardassian allies, we have a total of 21 systems. The rest of the empires have 20.
There is no danger of a Klingon fleet in the future. All eyes look to the mysterious Romulan empire of the east. Yet we will still build a Starbase on Qo'nos and leave a Heavy Cruiser to defend it. Just in case the Cardassians change their loyalties.
TURN 113. Styris is our first colony to begin producing intel centers. It has enough infrastructure and population to build, upgrade and run them. Our core systems' intel centers have proven insufficient.
TURN 114. One big advantage to our conquest of Qo'nos is that we have the ability to immediately build class 8 intel centers there at a pretty good rate. The Klingon homeworld will become our empire's primary intelligence system. For some reason, enslaved Klingon agents are just as trustworthy as free Human ones.
Our Romulan experts have brought us a report, claiming to understand "the eastern mind". The large death fleets that attacked Holberg contained so many Warbirds and Battle Cruisers that it's likely they constituted the entire Romulan fleet. Why leave nothing for defense? Because they're so used to peace. There may not have been a single hostile ship in their entire empire. We will begin a series of bluffs by sending ships into Romulan territory, even if they're just Scouts. We want them to think an attack may be possible, so they will keep some forces tied down.
TURN 115. Counter-intel remains pessimistic as we receive news of the biggest heist yet: Foreign agents have stolen over 40% of our treasury. Nothing seems to be able to stop them.
TURN 116. Our scientists achieve the next level of energy technology. There are still a few more to go until we can invent the Defiant, but advances are coming more quickly.
Our science power has grown to nearly 3,000. This is largely because of subatomic simulators being equipped on new colonies, but it's also due to population overflow assigned to high-tech labs on Qo'nos.
TURN 117. One of the Scouts we sent into Romulan territory was busy charting the Romulan system of Melona when it got a combat warning.
This message is the bane of our existence. The Scout doesn't even get to try retreating before the Romulans attack.
The Romulan Strike Cruiser II is a formidable ship, and it casually sends the Scout to his doom. But seeing it alone with one fast attack ship, at least we know the Romulans aren't massing all of their ships into one giant death fleet.
TURN 118. More bad news from counter-intel as our economy is hit once more. They clear about 40% of our treasury, bringing us down to around 20,000 credits. Counter-intel agents breathlessly claim they have finally discovered the source. But the fact that evidence shows Romulan involvement actually leaves one possible truth: The Cardassians have been behind all of these heists. Our allies are robbing us blind. But this doesn't change the fact that we need them.
TURN 119. Our Heavy Cruiser fleet is now larger than it was before our big loss at the Battle of Qo'nos. (Of course these are the upgraded version.) We put as many of them as we can in Sol, where they can train. But we also keep some on Quazulu, which is also close to the Romulan border.
Reports on our systems' morale shows that the Federation is collectively in a state known as a "funk". Even core systems Quazulu and Borka are apathetic. Our priority in virtually every system is to build or upgrade intel centers. The Cardassian sabotage of our economy has us in emergency mode. President Picard attempts to cheer up the people with a public declaration that after the horror of our conquest of Qo'nos, we will no longer occupy any systems. "If we are to expand further, it will only be through peaceful colonization consistent with our values. Never again will a Starfleet boot set ground on foreign soil."
TURN 120. Saboteurs targeting our economy have stolen about 10% of our remaining funds. Sadly, this is practically good news because at least it's less severe than other recent attacks. We're under 20,000 credits now.
TURN 121. The Cardassians have recently captured the core Klingon system of Delta Vega and are preparing further attacks against the remaining Klingon systems. We are committed to abstaning from any further invasions ourselves. The Cardassians are happy to do our dirty work for us. Each system they conquer adds to our alliance total.
TURN 122. Ordinarily colonies are encouraged to use their own industry to develop their infrastructure, but gaining more intel strength is the only priority. We will use what little money we have left to buy intel centers on every colony.
TURN 123. A lesser Klingon colony, that of Tyrellia, has been brought under Cardassian rule by force. The Klingons only have two left.
TURN 124. So far the Romulans have been put into their traditional mode of keeping to themselves. But we don't know if our bluffs will continue to work. Since the Cardassians are so worshipful of us, maybe they will join our war against the Romulans.
TURN 125. Since we cannot win any more battles against the Klingons, and since we've never won battles against the Romulans, we'll try to boost our people's morale through colonization. Ingraham B, a system on our eastern border that used to host a Starbase, is finally colonized. Another Colony Ship heads to Holberg to colonize it for the third time. On our southern border, the Cardassians build an Outpost, which may ward off the Romulans since the two powers are not yet at war.
TURN 126. The Cardies may love us, but not enough to join the war against Romulus. Perhaps they just want to wrap things up with the Klingons first. We cannot blame them.
TURN 127. Our efforts to build intel strength may be working. This time the spies could only steal 5% of our treasury.
TURN 128. Luckily, the Ferengi have decided to offer us 5,500 credits to buy peace. We eagerly accept the treaty. Peace is always good for a morale boost, too.
TURN 129. The Ferengi peace treaty and recent colonizations have improved Federation morale. We have been living a peaceful lifestyle of late, even though we're still technically at war with the Romulans. We continue building intel centers as quickly as we can, even on Sol.
Our efforts have brought our intel strength to over 4,000 points. This is an astonishing increase for such a short period of time--in 17 turns we have nearly doubled it, and it's still rising. We and the Cardassians are also growing in size according to our cultures' preferred methods. We're up to 25 systems together, with the rest of the empires at only 18. When the Cardassians conquer the rest of Klingon territory, that will be another net gain of 4. The Romulans cannot hope to keep up.
TURN 130. Counter-intel is pleased to report that only an extremely minor work of espionage has taken place. But this one targeted science rather than money, so it may have been the Romulans' handiwork.
TURN 131. As expected, the Ferengi declare war again.
The Ferengi's war declaration has further improved our morale. These people have been unbelievably useful to us.
TURN 132. The Cardassians have attacked the Klingons' only remaining core system, Milika. It appears the invasion failed, but they eliminated the Klingons' Orbital Battery defense, so it shouldn't last much longer. In the east, the Romulans have colonized Exo, finally giving them a border with the Ferengi.
TURN 133. Our scientists make short work of the assigned propulsion research.
TURN 135. It's time to make a run on every system we can grab. More Colony Ships are on their way in Sol.
TURN 138. It looks like we're close to reaching intelligence invulnerability. With our intel strength just shy of 5,000, we receive word that a Cardassian agent has admitted spying on our research. This will be kept secret for diplomatic reasons, of course.
Since the improved internal security has been working, our treasury has risen back up to 40,000 credits. In the southeast, an isolated Cardassian colony hosts a Ferengi Light Raider ship that the Cardies stole. At least we're not the only ones they're sabotaging.
TURN 140. The land grab is underway, and we're colonizing even the least desirable systems around. We did well in carving out the northwestern quadrant of the galaxy for ourselves early on, so we've got a number of empty systems all to ourselves. We've noticed that Cardassian expansion near our borders (and especially around Klingon territory) has created disputed sectors. Usually disputed sectors are empty, but these contain no less than three different systems. Our border with the Cardassians is long.
TURN 142. The Cardassians conquered Milika. They did not bring an extra Troop Transport to take the Klingons' last colony, so now they're just bombing the life out of it. It's a good thing they're doing it and not us. Humans would never tolerate such barbarism.
TURN 143. The Cardassians issue a demand. We accept it, as we cannot afford a war with our allies. Besides, the amount they ask for is a pittance compared to the money they've stolen all this time. At least now they're requesting it.
TURN 144. The Cardassian leader, Gul Dukat, is true to his word. The war against the Klingons ends when his soldiers butcher the last surviving Klingon.