Part 74: Turn 318TURN 318
Our blitzkrieg fleet circled around enemy defenses and landed on the Ferengi homeworld before they could realize what we were doing. An invasion is ordered immediately. 9 Scouts will deal with the Batteries, 6 Troop Transports will invade, and our 25 Birds of Prey will blow stuff up.
TURN 319. The war declaration spooked the Ferengi enough. Now they send a small force to test our defenses on Shelia. 3 Strike Cruisers, that's all? Out of how many ships?
It is absurd. One of their Strike Cruisers is killed and the others retreat. The Ferengi are apparently unwilling to commit to any full-scale operation yet.
Klingons prove that fortune favors the bold. We conquer the enemy's homeworld while inflicting heavy casualties--77 million are put to the bat'leth. Klingon commanders let their soldiers have a little leeway with the civilian population, it seems.
Klingons are proud to return to their warrior tradition. This is the first time a Klingon invasion force has conquered a system while it was guarded by an enemy empire. It is also the first time in the galaxy an imperial homeworld has changed hands.
Enthusiasm is taking root all over. Even the restless Caldonians and Yridians are merely "apathetic".
The first thing we will do is power a shipyard on Ferenginar. Even if Shelia falls, we will not be stranded.
In the very middle of the Ferengi core, a Klingon system burns red on the map. We have taken their home and executed their Grand Nagus. Normally an empire's power radiates outward from their center. What do they do when that is taken but everything else is left intact?
TURN 320. We will also begin building some fortifications on Ferenginar in case their giant fleet makes its way here. Our economists are pleased by the recent acquisition of this system (and the destruction of 6 Scouts): We are now gaining credits per turn again.
The Humans are slightly less angry at us than they were before we decapitated the head of their archenemy. But only just. "Self-righteous hypocrites," Vice Chancellor Martok grumbles, "I hope Picard is next."
Construction of an Outpost/Starbase on Ferenginar will give us greater scan strength in the northern section of the Ferengi empire. There are a few lost ships near Ferenginar, but almost the entire fleet is still on Deinonychus.
We saw the strange alien Gomtuu earlier, and apparently he has been rummaging through Ferengi space this whole time. Maybe he's the one who blew up the Outposts that should have been built on the Ferengi core?
If we can get away with it, we will use our remaining 4 Transports to build a Starbase. Behold the Klingon ship order interface, optimized for orangey-red angular stuff.
It's worth pointing out that by taking Ferenginar, we have taken half of the Ferengi empire's dilithium sources. Their only other supply is the Harrakis system to the south. It only has a population of 100 million and 2 Orbital Batteries. We could feasibly put an end to all Ferengi ship production from now on.
The increased morale on Volon improves our productivity. Troop Transports only require 2 turns to build; Scouts can be built in only 1.
TURN 321. The Ferengi probe us again at Shelia. Did they bring the Marauders?
No, it's just 3 War Cruisers. The Ferengi cowards are unwilling to risk anything.
They lose 2 War Cruisers and the third retreats. Worf grimaces. Maybe defending Shelia won't offer opportunities for a glorious death after all.
The Ferengi still have sufficient ships to make fleets and interrupt traffic.
TURN 322. It's true, the Ferengi are in denial. They know they cannot survive if all 4 empires are at war with them, and they see us as the prime threat. They offer 6,700 credits to end the war. Klingons are insulted. For 300 turns the Ferengi have been demanding double that amount just because the sky is blue. We reject their offer. Will will take what is really owed us.
Despite the Ferengi fleets buzzing around, we'll still create a detachment to go after Harrakis. 3 Scouts and 3 Transports should do the job if they can get some assistance from Birds of Prey when they arrive.
TURN 323. Even the status quo lifts Klingons' spirits. Rejecting the Ferengi peace offer is a bonus to morale.
Apparently the Ferengi are tipped off by the new Troop Transport detachment headed to the southwest. Either that or they have very high-level spies. They seem to have completely anticipated our next move. Harrakis, once undefended, bristles with defense ships, including all of their powerful Marauders.
Indeed, defense of the remaining dilithium source has changed the Ferengi calculus in its entirety. They have completely abandoned Deinonychus. Their fleet, including 55 light attack ships and plenty of others, is headed for Harrakis.
But the confusion in the Ferengi ranks is seen by their movement of their 31 Troop Transports. When things get dangerous, empires often move their Transports back to their homeworld. And that seems to be exactly what they're doing!
TURN 324. Due to an incredible bureaucratic blunder, the Ferengi Transport ships have all been ordered to Ferenginar. But Ferenginar is under new management.
Like all non-Klingon Transport ships, the Ferengi's have no weapons. This promises to be a bloodbath.
The captains of our own Transport ships are pleased to have an opportunity to fire their weapons. The Scouts who weren't killed by Batteries join in as well. That's a lot of red.
Klingon torpedoes fly at the enemy like a catapulted bowl of cherries. How many of the Transports will live long enough to retreat?
The Transports light up. When the dust settles, every single Ferengi Transport has been destroyed. Every last one of them. The Ferengi are no longer capable of mounting a serious invasion. It is the greatest military blunder we've seen. Perhaps they just wanted to keep up the tradition of sending a fleet at us the turn before the Starbase finishes construction.
Pearl Harbor came to us.