Part 55: Turn 55TURN 55
Vice Chancellor Martok has been put in charge of dealing with high-level diplomats. There are just too many demands to keep up with. President Picard's envoy expresses his disapproval over our handling of the Cardassians' peace offer.
Since our betrayal of the Cardassians didn't give the empire the morale boost we were hoping for, we will declare war against a random Minor Race across the galaxy. This is part of why we sent a Scout around, to seek out new life and new civilizations to declare war against.
TURN 56. The Benzites are confused by our war declaration, but the Klingons are thrilled. Many buy maps to find out where Benzar is.
Ironically, the Benzites sent us a nice message just before our war declaration arrived. They were thanking us for declaring war against the Cardassians. That's karma, I guess.
The Cardassian spies have been framing us for their sabotage of the Ferengi. Gul Dukat is still trying to drive a wedge between us. The Ferengi's attitude brightens a little upon hearing that we didn't really intend to go along with Dukat's "everyone against the Ferengi" plan.
The Romulans, on the other hand, are getting angry with us for not joining the crusade. We'll provide the Romulans with a gift: an empty disputed sector.
TURN 57. President Picard and Gul Dukat have bonded of late, mostly over mutual frustrations in dealing with Klingons. Picard is convinced that Dukat is the greatest proponent of peace in the galaxy. Everyone else is stunned to hear that the Federation and Cardassia have signed an alliance treaty. It is strongly supported by the Federation, especially among the Vulcans. If the Ferengi cannot be defeated militarily and the Klingons will not help, the only way to outnumber them is with an alliance.
This changes the math considerably. The Cardassian and Federation systems are combined for purposes of galactic domination. Together, their alliance holds 11 systems; the Ferengi have 9.
Our Colony Ship is done terraforming the planets for the three Minor Races we conquered. It goes back to work preparing the isolated Volchok system for colonization.
Meanwhile, our own non-aggression treaty with the Ferengi has expired.
TURN 58. Our Starbase on Volon is at high alert. A Ferengi Marauder is detected 2 sectors away. Why has it moved from its post? With such ships, the Ferengi could destroy even our Starbases.
We have no choice but to offer another 25-turn non-aggression pact to the Ferengi. We can't afford to send money, but we'll grant them rights to all disputed territories. There are none. But maybe we'll have another miracle like last time.
TURN 59. It appears that the Ferengi appreciate our refusal to join Dukat. They ignore our proposal because they were sending one of their own. We eagerly accept.
But with all of the peace lately, and with the complete lack of glorious battles to fight, Klingon morale is in the dumps. We must compensate for our peace with the Ferengi with a new war. We've declared war against every Minor Race we know of. Now we will declare war against the Federation. Like the Cardassians, they are too far away to be any threat. Besides, they hate us anyway.
TURN 60. This act raises morale across the empire, but we wish we knew more species.
It has been a long time since we added a new system to our empire.
At long last, the Starbase on Qo'nos is complete.
TURN 61. Dukat experiences righteous indignation when he hears of our war against his Human allies.
But it's obvious why we choose peace with the Ferengi over peace with the distant Cardassian-Federation alliance. Only 2 sectors from Volon, the Ferengi have amassed a powerful fleet. But it is not merely a war fleet: The inclusion of a Troop Transport makes it an invasion fleet. Only our humble non-aggression treaty keeps us safe.
We must remember that we share a border with the Romulans, too. Their hostility toward us is growing. Rumor has it Captain Sisko of the Federation was sent to visit Senator Vreenak, claiming we have a secret plan to invade them. It is utter nonsense. Vreenak is uncertain, as he is bombarded with such conspiracy theories by diplomats from all empires.
If the Romulans do betray us, Mintaka will be in their crosshairs. They never forgave us for taking a system 2 sectors from their homeworld. We can build Starbases now, and Mintaka seems like a very good location for one. We'll need Troop Transports right away.
TURN 63. Even better news has arrived. The Ferengi want to upgrade our peace treaty to an indefinite friendship treaty. We accept it immediately, seeing as the alternative is being put on the wrong end of their invasion fleet.
We have enough power plants and population on Caldonia to power their species' special structure.
TURN 64. Klingon morale will take another hit, but it's worth it. A friendship treaty is basically the same as a non-aggression treaty, but with trade routes allowed.
We set up trade routes with the most populous systems of the Ferengi and Romulan empires. We also get info on all of the Ferengi systems and their populations. Ferenginar itself, thankfully, is a bit more to the west. But it's incredible how quickly they expanded eastward from the very beginning. It's almost like they knew where we were and went right for us. The system names reveal the identities of their Minor Races: The Sheliak, Anticans, and Bynars.
Dukat is determined to put an end to our war so he can concentrate on fighting the Ferengi. Once again, he offers us 2,000 credits. It's tempting to accept it and declare war all over again, but that would hurt our morale. On this rare occasion, we'll explicitly reject a treaty instead of ignoring it. Just to rub it in.
TURN 65. We have made yet another tech advancement.
Right on cue, Cardassian saboteurs strike our scientific infrastructure again. It's another big hit, with our homeworld losing many of its laboratories. But to be honest, we've been relying more on our colonies for research anyway (using theoretical simulators). Much of the Qo'nos population is assigned to internal security.
There's a modest drop in our science power due to the attack, but we now have a 25% bonus to all research thanks to the Caldonians' special structure. We'll take a slight detour to research biotech level 6. This will enable us to upgrade to level 6 intel centers.
TURN 67. The first Troop Transport has arrived on Mintaka and construction of an Outpost will begin. We've seen time and again how often Starbases get attacked while under construction, so a pack of 5 Scouts will be sent along as an escort.
TURN 68. It looks like the Cardassians (or possibly Romulans) are also targeting our economy now. We lose 3,600 credits. It doesn't sound like much, but our entire treasury only contained 17,700 before the theft. (As a side note, the other empires started out with 30,000 credits on turn 1.)
Senator Vreenak appears to have accepted Sisko's lies as the truth. The beginning of Starbase construction on Mintaka may have exacerbated the problem. The Romulans issue what amounts to an ultimatum: Join the war against the Ferengi or we'll know who's side you're on.
TURN 69. For their part, the Ferengi are happy to have a trading partner. But they want even more money. Vice Chancellor Martok sighs. A diplomat's work is never done.