Part 70: Turn 261TURN 261
when Klingon soldiers misbehave, they are threatened with reassignment to defense on Shelia. 2 Strike Cruisers and a Starbase are the first line of defense against the Ferengi juggernaut.
TURN 264. The Ferengi continue their war exercises. 83 ships are at Deinonychus at the moment, and another 10 or so Strike Cruisers are about to join them.
TURN 268. Research power tops out at 2,000 points. Everyone in the empire urges the scientist to complete his work quickly. He is halfway done with the final propulsion upgrade. After that, one weapons upgrade will give us the Bird of Prey II. Most military advisors suggest at least getting that upgrade before launching war against the Ferengi.
TURN 269. The galaxy urges our empire to choose sides. The Ferengi and Federation demand we declare war against the other.
TURN 270. Volon is determined to build as many Birds as possible before the upgrade occurs. Our fleet breaks the 20-ship barrier. When critics scoff at the approximately 80-ship deficit between us and the Ferengi, Vice Chancellor Martok responds, "The difference is that the Ferengi ships are not manned by Klingon warriors. There is no comparison. Our fleet will cut through theirs like a hot bat'leth through bloodbutter."
TURN 271. Our Orellius colony shows promise. Perhaps one day it will be fit for building ships. To speed things up, we'll indulge them with one factory upgrade purchase.
TURN 272. Peace could not last forever--it was in the treaty. The 25-turn non-aggression treaty with the Federation expires.
TURN 273. As always, we will throw the Romulans a bone every once in awhile. We have much bigger fish to fry.
The Federation irks us. It's bad enough they colonized Merak, but New Halana would make things much worse. A shipyard there would put the southern reaches of our empire within range of Federation Command Cruisers or even Dreadnoughts.
New Halana is in neutral territory, and we'd like it to stay that way. A small group of Birds of Prey will go to New Halana immediately to chase away the Federation Colony Ship.
TURN 275. We've had a good relationship with Gul Damar's Cardassian government for awhile, and neither side has threatened to break the affiliation treaty. Unfortunately, Vice Chancellor Martok proposes a toast to the fallen Mintakans during a Cardassian event.
The Cardassian leadership is outraged. Privately, Martok scoffs. "They kill brave warriors from orbit and they're the ones who are upset."
The Romulans surprise everyone by sending a fleet of cloaked ships into our scan range. The Romulans have not yet invented the Warbird II, but they have 2 Warbirds and 6 Battle Cruiser IIs. This fleet would do serious damage to our own, if we were on opposite sides.
The diplomacy matrix is as follows: Everyone but us is at war with the Ferengi. Everyone else is at peace with each other, except that we are neutral with the Federation. Curiously, several Minor Races are marked as having "unknown" rather than "neutral" status to various empires. I blame the Sheliak.
We chased away the Federation Colony Ship, which docked at a nearby Romulan Outpost. We need to keep the Birds together, but one will stay behind on New Halana to preserve the system's neutrality.
TURN 276. The Romulan warships are headed toward the Ferengi. We can't send Scouts into Ferengi territory due to our friendship treaty, but we'll send a Scout as near to the border as possible to get a closer look at the action.
TURN 278. They definitely have a purpose. Romulans are detected crossing over into Ferengi territory for the first time in awhile, and with a serious fleet. They scare away some detachments of Ferengi. The Romulans are over the Ophicus system. Sadly, the Ferengi buildup on Deinonychus makes this area less than ideal for a sneak attack.
TURN 279. It's good to have propulsion tech done with. We have a 125% bonus to weapons research, so it shouldn't be long before we get the Bird of Prey upgrade the empire demands. Our scientist insists the project is not vaporware.
Disappointingly, the Romulan fleet is spooked by the size of the Ferengi fleet, and it turns back home. They had no idea what they were up against. Our war plans would have benefitted by a Romulan suicide attack, though.
TURN 280. Out of nowhere, the Bird of Prey guarding New Halana is ambushed by a Federation task force that managed to avoid our Scout's scanners.
The Feds must have enough scan strength to detect our cloaked Bird, because they sent a task force just powerful enough to ensure victory. They have a Strike Cruiser II and 2 Command Cruiser IIs. The latter ships have as much shield power as our Starbases.
If only we had enough Birds to fight on even terms. But this is the problem of dealing with two different fronts. Our ship is forced to retreat during the cloak turn. The public is infuriated.
TURN 281. To make matters worse, a foreign agent has succeeded in planting negative propaganda in our home system. "The government never intended to attack the Federation," the mass e-mail reads, "Chancellor Gowron secretly loves peace!"
The proud system of Qo'nos is reduced to "apathetic" morale. Martial law would have no benefit, as the morale losses are too ingrained.
Out of nowhere, the Borg show up. The Ferengi had no trouble chasing away the Romulans, but the legends about the Borg say they don't scare easily.