Part 71: Turn 282TURN 282
The Feds have a real talent for attacking us and then blaming us for being too aggressive. After their Command Cruiser task force chased our Bird of Prey away from a neutral system, they condemn us.
The Borg have arrived at the Ferengi system of Ophicus, just south of the Ferengi's eastern base. The Borg know how to make an entrance: They kill about 130 million people. Borg technology enables them to bypass the Orbital Batteries defending Ophicus. The Borg's attack is brazen nevertheless; there are 87 Ferengi ships one sector away.
If the Borg kill everyone on Ophicus, they will move on, and perhaps even create another Borg Cube. Either way, Shelia will be exposed. We move all of our Birds of Prey to Shelia. We are uncertain of our chances against the Borg. But if we do not stop them now, they will kill us all.
TURN 283. The Borg reduce Ophicus' population to 69 million. The Ferengi get more reinforcements to Deinonychus; their fleet numbers almost 100 vessels. We have been planning to invade the Ferengi empire for some time now, and it would be nice to see the Borg do some damage.
We still have a decent-sized treasury, so we may as well spend 10,000 credits to buy another Bird immediately. Our fleet needs to be strong enough to kill a Borg Cube during the free cloak turn.
TURN 284. The Federation request 6,425 credits. We ignore their demand as always. They don't ask as much as the Ferengi, but the increase in the size of their demands indicates the Federation is economically healthy.
The Borg have almost wiped out all life on Ophicus. Still, the Ferengi have not lifted a finger to help their people. Klingons are disgusted by their cowardice.
The only thing standing between us and the Borg will be a Starbase, 2 Strike Cruisers, and 23 Birds of Prey. It has to be enough. It would be ironic if the Borg were able to bomb the Sheliak and ignore the 31 Orbital Batteries we built.
TURN 285. Enemy sabotage is rarely a concern, but there is no defense against being framed.
We just now noticed that the Romulan empire is down to only 4 systems. Their colony on Cirrus was completely wiped out when its red sun went nova. The empty sector will now be a contested zone between the Cardassians and Feds. Our scientist thought nova events were rare, but if it's happened twice recently, Volon may be in more danger than we thought.
The lethality of Borg attacks seems to diminish after they kill all the idiots. The population of Ophicus is down to 28 million. 94 Ferengi ships stand watch, but do nothing.
TURN 286. ...Then they do something. The Ferengi have organized their monstrous fleet into a bunch of 9-ship task forces and squished the Borg Cube like a bug. Since the Ferengi had been shuffling ships in and out of their main fleet, we do not have an exact count, but they do not appear to have taken any real losses; all 5 Marauders are still intact. The Borg threat to the galaxy is over. Too bad. Our hopes of the Borg softening up the Ferengi empire are dashed. We will have to do what the Borg could not.
Our income has diminished lately. This is because our empire is no longer expanding while the cost of maintaining our fleet has gone up. Each Bird of Prey costs 100 credits per turn to maintain, so we will reach our limit soon. To free up a little cash, we will scrap the redundant Starbase on Yridia. It's always a shame to have to do this, but we will eliminate the 104-credit maintenance cost. Scrapping Outposts and Starbases is very rare--in fact they had to add the ability in a patch.
Our fleet will top out at 24 Birds of Prey, it seems. With the Borg gone, they will resume training on Volon and wait for the order to attack.
TURN 288. The Ferengi have around 100 ships that we know of, but only 5 of them are the dreaded Marauder IIs. We will keep a close eye on these whenever we can. They will be the primary Starbase killers.
TURN 289. As far as disasters go, this one isn't too bad.
The Cardassian demand for 2,740 credits is interesting because it's almost as small as the demands the Romulans make. The Cardassians and Federation may be in an Alliance, but it's clear who the senior partner is.
Out of nowhere, we detect 5 Romulan Battle Cruisers cloaked in Ferengi territory. They must have snuck in through a corridor of space where we lack scan strength.
TURN 290. We will no longer be able to afford increasing our main fleet, so we will prepare for conquest. Scouts will be needed to kamikaze against Orbital Batteries. These ships have a maintenance cost of their own, however. We will need to seize Ferengi assets quickly.
There is some activity on the Federation border, with 6 warships and a Colony Ship moving out, hopefully not toward New Halana.
It looks as if the Romulans took a bite out of one of the Marauders and nearly killed it. If only the Romulans had been able to inflict 57 more points of damage, the Ferengi would be down one of their most important ships.
Our scientist is told to speed up his research, or else. He's barely more than halfway done, even though he has a 125% bonus to weapons research. Getting to level 9 takes awhile no matter what.
TURN 291. The Ferengi task force is chasing the Romulans back toward our territory, where the Ferengi cannot cross. Sadly we are not able to coordinate naval movements with the Romulans--it would be cool to have a joint Romulan-Klingon cloak strike.
TURN 296. Orellius has not reached its full potential, but it has upgraded its factories enough to be a serious industrial center. We will begin building Scouts here for our future anti-Battery force.
TURN 298. It's about time. We are Klingons. Now we show the Ferengi what that means.