Part 51: Turn 22TURN 22
A few sectors away from our systems, a Ferengi War Cruiser and Troop Transport are spotted together. They weren't part of the fleet that conquered the Sheliak. It's a little unsettling to see the Ferengi throwing around bigger ships and Troop Transports so close to the border. We have nothing big enough to stop a War Cruiser yet.
East of Qo'nos and Evade is the Torman system. We're finally ready to add a fourth system to our empire. If we could only build Starbases and such to really defend our western systems, we'd have a great pocket of out-of-the-way systems in the northeast.
TURN 23. The Ferengi send another fast attack ship to scout out Volon.
This time, one of our own Scouts gets to help pop him. As long as the Ferengi can't penetrate further into our space, they can't spot Qo'nos and get any ideas about conquering our homeworld.
The Mintakans are anguished by our war declaration, even though it was a total bluff.
Chancellor Gowron looks like a foreign policy genius. The Mintakans have surrendered and agreed to join our empire!
The Federation proposes a non-aggression treaty for 25 turns. But we've seen neither hide nor hair of the Federation. What's the use in taking a morale hit for peace if they're not a threat anyway? We ignore their proposal.
Our newest colony will follow the usual routine. First we buy any free energy structures, then we'll buy theoretical simulators to add research points.
If the Ferengi keep pushing east, Volon will be the first place they attack. We must add more orbital batteries before this happens. The empire is ecstatic about winning the war against Mintaka, but privately the leadership is in panic mode. There is no plan for how to avert Ferengi invasion if and when it comes.
Our medium-range ships can't quite reach all the way to the eastern edge of the galaxy, so Evadne will have a shipyard built. We don't have enough energy to accommodate all the structures on this system, so we'll turn them on and off as we need.
TURN 24. Our Romulan neighbors are now affiliated with the Federation, wherever they are.
At last, our first technological breakthrough. A Klingon scientist insists he can build stuff faster. We believe him because we can't understand him. We have access to level 6 factories, but we would have to spend around 20 turns to upgrade all the level 5 factories on Qo'nos and Volon. Time is not a luxury we can afford, so we pass on that for now.
Despite being a core system, Volon is a stick in the mud. It's always less happy than our others.
We're truly next-door neighbors with the Romulans now that we control Mintaka. We accepted the Mintakan surrender because it was the honorable thing to do. If we can't defend our core against the Ferengi, how could we defend this isolated system from the Romulans? It's so far from everything else that it's not even within our medium ships' range. It is believed that Mintaka is a mere 2 sectors away from Romulus itself.
The Mintakan special structure doubles the food supply just on Mintaka. But it's too expensive to build for now.
Our basic plan for Mintaka is to get some energy, maybe put a theoretical simulator down, and start building lots of orbital batteries for the inevitable invasion. The Klingon commander of Mintaka is already training the people to become warriors.
Our research power has grown to 704 points. The next step is to research computer tech. Afterward we'll only need a level-up in weapon tech to invent Starbases. Luckily, we'll get a 100% bonus to weapon research thanks to a special structure on Qo'nos. Still, if our speed doesn't improve we won't have Starbases until turn 60.
We got lucky. Our acceptance of the Mintakans into our empire was bound to provoke the Romulans. But the turn before this happened, the Romulans drafted a non-aggression offer which we receive now. In this rare instance, we will accept. It would be lunacy to do otherwise, even for a Klingon.
TURN 25. The Ferengi haven't heard back from any survivors, so they toss another Scout against Volon, where it gets blown up. I guess when you're that rich, you have Scouts to spare.
The one lawyer in our empire has finished reading the terms of our peace treaty with the Romulans. He needn't read the fine print. It can be summed up as "25 turns until Mintaka gets invaded, if not before."
The empire is full of confusion and disappointment to hear that peace has broken out. We haven't even had a proper war yet with any empire. Luckily the Ferengi are feeding us morale by launching Scouts against us.
Now the Romulan diplomats react to our acquisition of Mintaka. They are not happy. They cannot believe they've been outwitted by Klingons.
TURN 26. The two empires we haven't seen yet sign a non-aggression treaty with each other.
Thalos, a medium-sized colony to the east of Evadne and Torman, is colonized this turn.
The Ferengi are not happy with us. They demand the empty disputed sector be handed over. Chancellor Gowron quietly agrees. He does not inform the Klingon empire of this arrangement, as Klingons are just as prone to fight over empty space as anything else.
TURN 27. Another Ferengi Scout goes pop. What's the definition of "insanity" again? We slowly add more Scouts of our own to our fleet.
Disappointingly, the Cardassians have found us. It was nice while it lasted. Chancellor Gowron's most trusted advisor, a decorated military hero named Martok, is in charge of handling high-level diplomacy. Martok is notified that a new alien race wishes to speak to him. When Martok sees the scaly gray alien enter his office, he throws a boot at him and tells him to leave.
The Cardassians discovered us when their Scout went by Mintaka. Already this system is a hassle. There are several points of interest on the map this time. The non-aggression pact with the Romulans allows us to see the extent of their empire. It's still pretty small. The disputed sectors on its southern border indicate another empire beyond it, most likely the Federation. The last time we spotted a Cardassian ship, it was to the west in Ferengi space, so the Cardassian empire is probably somewhere to the west, not to the south of the Romulans.
Bottom line, the eastern half of the galaxy looks crowded. The west may well be carved up between only the Ferengi and the Cardassians. They have the advantage. Speaking of Ferengi, they now own a sector of space immediately next to Volon.
In the northeast, our new shipyard allows us to reach Volchok.
The free intel report tells us what we already knew: The Cardassians are ahead of us. But they only have 4 systems, and the Romulans and Federation still only have 5. It seems that the Feds are wedged against Romulan space in the south, and the Cardassians may be wedged between Ferengi and Romulan space. Hopefully they fight that out amongst themselves.
Chancellor Gowron has been accused of not being Klingon enough, as it has been several turns since our last war. Once again the Minor Races will work to our advantage. We will send our 2 leftover Transports to Yridia. We wouldn't think of venturing that far to the south except for our treaty with the Romulans. And besides, they'll attack Mintaka long before they go after Yridia.
Our diplomats tell the truth. The Yridians have done nothing to impress us.
TURN 28. The empire returns to its natural state.