Part 63: Turn 138TURN 138
Our scientist has made another breakthrough on construction technology. This will be our first level 7 tech. But as we saw before, it would take around 20 turns to upgrade our factories--and that's if every factory on the system is manned. We'll have to ignore this advancement for now.
TURN 141. Either due to a Random Event or simply unrest on Caldonia, we lost our bunker network.
Presumably we wouldn't get hit with two Random Events in a single turn, so I'm guessing the terrorist act on Caldonia was due to poor morale.
It seems almost unfair that we have to put Caldonia under martial law, considering we haven't suffered a big defeat in awhile. But the Klingon empire is a restless one, and we need victories to keep up morale.
TURN 142. No one can stay at peace with the Ferengi for long except us. They're too well-positioned to win this game.
The fact is, we need to do something to shake this game up. Even if we were at full strength, the Cardies would be too far away to conquer, so there's no use in remaining at war with them. We'll accept their treaty and their credits. If they break the treaty again, we'll get a morale boost.
Our Starbases can detect cloaked ships just west of our core. The Romulans scrape together a measly trio of Destroyers to send against the Ferengi. Perhaps the Federation is putting more pressure on the Romulans than we knew.
TURN 143. Cardassian spies make another successful attack against us. They have lowered our morale in Volon, the system primarily responsible for building Birds of Prey. Volon has a chronic morale problem anyway, so the Cardies really hit their mark here.
Morale on Volon is so bad that it's gone down to "disgruntled" level. It is humiliating that we actually have to put them under martial law now to improve morale before we resume building our fleet.
TURN 144. Evidently the Cardassians are framing us for acts of sabotage against...themselves?
We need a morale-boosting exercise. If the Ferengi refuse to reconquer the Sheliak, then maybe we should give it a try. It would be incredibly provocative to take a system on the Ferengi border. But we have to shake things up somehow.
TURN 146. The Colony Ship we built on Qo'nos earlier has made its way to Durenia to begin the terraforming process. Durenia is not a very attractive system, but its barren planet will provide a native power source, and its location puts it between our Starbases on Yridia, Caldonia, and Volon. Colonizing Durenia will not extend our defensive lines.
It's disconcerting to always see the Ferengi military buildup near our border. Yet they won't use any of that power to attack the Sheliak next door. Why?
Our Friendship Treaty with the Ferengi doesn't allow us to see all of their ships, but it does let us see the populations and names of their systems. This turn, a new system has been added to their empire. Deneb is the homeworld of the Bandi. The Ferengi have bribed them into joining them. It appears the Bandi are in an advanced state, as well, judging by their Orbital Batteries and almost fully terraformed system. Another plumb system goes to the Ferengi. Their territory extends almost all the way to the southern border of the galaxy. They have definitely carved out a nice chunk of real estate for themselves.
TURN 148. It seems like the Ferengi are putting the heat on the Cardassians in the southwest. Gul Damar has asked us to put old grudges aside and join them in an affiliation treaty. It's a major step, and the Klingon people will not take it well. But if our goal is to shake things up and find some way of improving our situation, we must accept.
Volon's morale has improved to merely "apathetic". Once we finish building these Troop Transports, we'll launch a strike against the Sheliak. In addition to getting a new system, the invasion will improve morale. But we'll have to brace ourselves for Ferengi reprisals.
TURN 149. Generally speaking, negative climate shifts can be ignored unless they're in an important system or they've changed an "M"-class planet into one that supports few people.
This is a weird situation. The polar planet of Caldonia shifted to a barren one. Polar planets allow you to have charge collectors, which grant you +100 energy. By shifting climates, Caldonia has lost that power source. We can no longer power the Caldonians' special structure that grants +25% research empire-wide. Instead, we'll have to build wind turbines and more power plants to make up the difference. Ugh.
The affiliation treaty with the Cardassians has been signed. We can now see their 6 systems, most of which are underwhelming. More importantly, we can open a trade route with Cardassia Prime for more credits per turn. Besides Volon, Cardassia is the most populous system we've seen--it always has a population of 400 million.
Our Troop Transports are built and ready to go. Assisting them will be the Birds of Prey we built so far, along with the Strike Cruisers normally on guard duty. The Sheliak should fall easily.
TURN 150. We hold our breath as our ships arrive on Shelia. Because it is neutral between us and the Ferengi, and because we have a Friendship rather than Affiliation treaty, I believe the Ferengi could destroy our fleet on Shelia if they wanted to.
TURN 151. Normally Cardassian spies target our economy, but we lost some research due to an attack against our laboratories. Our empire's scientist shakes his head and tells the Caldonian researchers on staff to clean up the mess.
We'll ignore another war pact proposal. The Ferengi diplomat is already furious at us and we haven't even taken Shelia yet.
Just as we order the invasion of Shelia, our empire's lawyer, Ch'Pok, tells us that we cannot do this until we declare war against the Sheliak. It is dumbfounding news. We can't declare war against the Sheliak because the Sheliak are not on our list of races on the diplomacy menu! A freak glitch is in play. It seems to have something to do with the fact that we never made first contact with the Sheliak before they were first conquered by the Ferengi and then declared independence from them. Their territory is in a weird limbo state where we can't make first contact with them. And since the Sheliak have no ships, we can't make first contact by encountering those, either.
At last we understand why the Ferengi have not reconquered the Sheliak: A loophole has rendered them legally invincible! So much for our plan to boost morale.