Part 42: Turn 239TURN 239
President Kirk announces the conquest of the Romulan capital with a short televised message. "Time to break out the bubbly," he says, but he is caught off guard when his advisors tell him that the subjugation of Romulus is hurting his popularity ratings. "What did they think they were electing me for, to play shuffleboard with them?"
A small group of Romulan Destroyers slips into Federation territory and raids some systems. Once upon a time, they were committing acts of genocide there. Now the Romulans are only capable of stealing a few hundred credits.
A Defiant is built on Sol and assigned to scare away the Destroyers on its maiden voyage.
Romulus is an advanced system. Its only flaw is its poor morale, which impedes industry.
With so many intel points to spare, we will assign roughly half of them to sabotaging the Romulans.
TURN 241. We are immediately rewarded with a positive report. The Romulans will likely increase their security, but it is satisfying to be able to do something offensive with our spies.
The Cardassians again beg for credits, but we ignore them. Kirk is beginning to wonder whether these demands are for real. "How can they demand anything from us? We have more systems than they have."
With fewer Romulan ships to win battles against, we need new ways of improving morale. Everyone likes hearing about new colonies, so we'll fill in all of those little systems that were too tiny to be worth colonizing.
The Cardassians are moving more ships to the Romulan northeast, and we're eager to capture more systems before the Cardies take them all.
TURN 243. The Cardassians are impressed by the fact that we were able to inflict some damage against the Romulans by using our spies. But it's a little patronizing.
TURN 244. We keep running low on Scouts and other small ships to deal with Orbital Batteries. Luckily Romulus is right next door to the areas we intend to invade next.
TURN 245. The Romulans send a group of Scouts to check out our defenses on Romulus.
Luckily for them, they can use their free cloak turn to simply run away. Our fleet is now primarily Defiants. Only 2 Heavy Cruisers survived the war up to this point.
Delta Rana is next door to Romulus, and an obvious target.
TURN 246. We did everything like we always do, but the Romulans manage to find courage and repel our invasion. Over 100 million Romulans died for their independence. Federation citizens identify with their cause, and "Kirk" is used as a curse word in the media.
TURN 247. We'll need more Troop Transports to replace those lost in the invasion. Since they're pretty cheap, we'll just buy them on Romulus. You can buy things in one turn regardless of the system's morale.
TURN 248. On our second attempt, we take the system. The Romulans' sacrifice only bought a few extra days of freedom.
Only Sol itself remains as a base for President Kirk's support. He starts spending more time there.
You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when you colonize a system like Korris, over in the northwest. But our Colony Ships are dedicated to the task of grabbing every system they can.
TURN 249. Hoping to restore morale, Starfleet vessels are encouraged to crush every Romulan ship they can spot, no matter how unimportant.
As a result, a group of nearly defenseless Romulan ships finds itself on the receiving end of a lot of blue torpedoes.
Cardassian ships swarm the remainder of Romulan space. Many of them take advantage of our facilities on Romulus. You'd almost think it was a Cardassian system.
TURN 250. The Cardassians launch a full-scale invasion of Blue Horizon, which was one of the Romulans' original core systems. It's incredible how many Battleships the Cardassians are throwing around.
TURN 251. Not to be outdone, the invasion of a tiny Romulan system is ordered.
TURN 252. Predictably, it is taken with no problem.
TURN 254. There are already calls for President Kirk's impeachment by the time he has ordered the invasion of Miridian.
TURN 255. The people have never even heard of half the colonies we're enslaving, and tens of millions of Romulan civilians are dying at our hands. The people have had enough. They thought the invasions might stop after we took Romulus, just as President Picard stopped after we took Qo'nos.
It seems there are almost as many conquered systems in our "free" Federation than Human-populated ones. At first incredulous, President Kirk realizes that he must either step down from authority or face charges at a war crimes tribunal. "The only crime is that the Romulans have made winning this war too easy," he sighs. "There's no chance for a captain to find glory these days."
Long seen as a contender for the presidency, Benjamin Sisko is elected on a platform of peace with the Romulans. It is the subject of his speech at the inauguration. "It is abundantly clear from our intelligence reports that the Romulans no longer pose the greatest threat to the galaxy."
TURN 256. Cardassian leader Gul Dukat orders a fireworks display of sorts to celebrate Sisko's election: He orders the brutal bombardment of Daran, killing most of the people living there. "The people of the Federation have again proven their wisdom with the selection of the honorable Benjamin Sisko," Dukat declares, "The day I met him on Qo'nos, I knew that his destiny and that of Cardassia were inextricably linked. Generations from now, Cardassians will still remember the name of the great Human leader Sisko." President Sisko smiles and thanks him.
President Sisko lives up to his promise. The invasions of Romulan systems stop as soon as he takes office. Instead, he orders a group of Scouts to report to the Cardassian homeworld.
TURN 259. On the southwestern edge of the galaxy, in a pocket of neutral space in the heart of the Cardassian empire, two Colony Ships are ordered to take the systems. It is clearly an infringement upon the Cardassian sphere of influence in the south. Meanwhile, more ships start heading toward Cardassia Prime.
TURN 262. Some restless Cardassian citizens start to question the increasing presence of Federation ships in their territory. Cardassian spies take note of a new term they hear again and again in the Federation's coded communications: "Operation Pale Moonlight."