Part 56: Turn 69TURN 69
Our morale is waning. A Scout will chart out the southwestern territory and see if we can find more Minor Races to declare wars against.
Volon has finished upgrading its factories to level 6. Now to add more internal security structures.
TURN 70. Even the Romulans are now in an affiliation with the Cardassians. All of this is directed toward isolating the Ferengi.
More money is stolen from our treasury. We're barely holding off the Cardassian spies enough to keep our economy afloat.
We only have one more Troop Transport, so upgrading our Outpost on Mintaka into a Starbase will take several turns. 5 Scouts stand watch.
TURN 72. The Romulans are furious with us, so they could turn against us at any moment. Hopefully a moment after the Starbase is finished.
Even though we have a higher-level treaty with the Romulans, they're our biggest threat. The 8 Scouts guarding Volon in case of Ferengi betrayal will help guard Mintaka in case of Romulan betrayal.
Our Scout in the southwest finds no new species, but gets to watch some action on a new Cardassian colony. The Ferengi have dispatched a 24-ship invasion fleet against it. If the Cardies cannot stop them, the Ferengi will basically be unchallenged in most of the western half of the galaxy.
TURN 73. The Cardassian colony in the southwest was called Galdonterre, and it is now under Ferengi control. On Mintaka, we've got the Starbase at 50% completion.
A fleet of several light Cardassian ships is just across the Romulan border from Mintaka. Only now do we realize the effect of the Romulan affiliation treaty with Cardassia. The Cardies can cut across Romulan territory and use their ship range to attack our empire from the south!
TURN 74. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief that the Cardassians did not attack Mintaka this turn. Our scientist has finished development of biotech 6, so we can upgrade intel centers to level 6 when we get the chance. Two more tech breakthroughs and we invent the Bird of Prey.
Our intel power has gone up to 1,000 points. But our security is still being breached. This time, Cardie spies have spread propaganda to lower our morale.
Mintaka wasn't attacked, but heavier ships are gathering across the border, including Cardassian Battleships. There are also several cloaked Romulan warships hanging out with their Cardassian affiliates, including 2 Battle Cruisers and 3 Strike Cruisers. A Ferengi Scout is also somehow at that system and not getting attacked. Ships from 3 empires in one sector is a rare sight.
Our Scout in the southwest discovers a wormhole. Klingons are fascinated by this anomaly and demand that the ship go through.
TURN 75. It dies. No more wormholes.
The Starbase on Mintaka is 68% complete. Our fleet of 13 Scouts stand at the ready. The Cardassians are unlikely to allow us to finish building before they attack.
TURN 77. But two turns later, an attack does not occur. The Starbase is nearly finished. Mintaka braces itself for invasion. A bunker network will improve the system's resistance to ground assault.
We see what the Cardassian fleet has been waiting for all this time. A Troop Transport has caught up with the warships. Now it's an invasion fleet.
TURN 78. Just before the Starbase is complete, the Cardassian fleet attacks Mintaka. The Romulan affiliation treaty with Cardassia has given them a way to attack us. Now the wisdom of our refusal of peace with the Cardassians will be tested.
The Cardassian fleet includes 3 menacing Battleships. Our Starbase's construction will be aborted at the last possible moment, because there's no way to save our Troop Transport. Our priority must be the destruction of the Cardassians' Troop Transport to abort their invasion.
All but one of our Scouts are cloaked, so they draw no fire. Each fleet targets the other's Troop Transport.
Torpedoes go flying everywhere. It looks like someone's eating a bowl of Skittles for breakfast.
Both sides were successful in destroying the other's Troop Transport.
The one Scout that wasn't cloaked to begin with took some fire, but impressively managed to avoid destruction. It has a sliver of hull strength left. Our job is done. There is no way to defeat the Cardassian fleet. All Scouts are ordered to retreat immediately. This is our whole fleet, and we must keep some of it intact. Klingons hate retreating, but they will do their duty.
All 13 Scouts zoom around as they fire up their warpdrives. But the sheer extent of Cardassian firepower in this fleet is overwhelming. Before the Scouts can retreat, the enemy kill every...last...one of them.
Adding insult to injury, the Cardassian saboteurs on Qo'nos manage to destroy half a dozen of our factories. Our internal security has improved, but apparently so have the Cardassian spies.
The list of ships destroyed in this battle is depressingly long. We only killed the Cardassian Troop Transport and, in the cross-fire somehow, we killed the "CDS Gravedigger," a ship of unknown type.
The empire is heartbroken to hear of the loss of our fleet and the abortion of the Starbase on Mintaka. Morale was already low, and this news is crushing. But with nothing to stand in the way of further attacks, it seems the worst is yet to come.