Part 77: Turn 337TURN 337
Klingons are crestfallen to hear that Antica is immune to invasion and bombardment. But at least they are no longer part of the Ferengi empire. The Klingons head back to Ferenginar to contemplate their next move.
TURN 338. Our Scouts and Transports have thus far avoided being ambushed by the 3 Marauders, but our supply lines are threatened.
TURN 339. The Marauders have decided to attack the Starbase at Shelia. Marauders are just the kind of ship they'd need to blow up a Starbase, so at last the system will see action.
Marauder IIs have an impressive 740 hitpoints from shields alone. But the Starbase is not undefended. We have a pair of Strike Cruiser IIs to complement the weapons of the Starbase itself.
The Starbase and both Strike Cruisers select one of the Marauders and open fire. Their damage output is intense, and the Marauder goes up in flames.
The other 2 Marauders are forced to retreat in utter shame.
The Ferengi know the Klingons are serious. This time they offer us nearly 10,000 credits to end the war for 25 turns. But we reject their offer, triggering another morale boost.
We offer them a counter-proposal: They give us 10,000 credits, rights to all disputed territories, and the war continues.
The Kentanna system is next on the chopping block. Just south of Ferenginar, it will be another step to the south--3 sectors from the Ferengi stronghold of Harrakis.
TURN 340. Kentanna never had any hope of defending itself from Klingon soldiers.
Our intelligence offers were aware of increasing problems, but they are surprised to hear about 25% of our treasury has been stolen.
President Kirk makes no bones about it, he doesn't approve of the Klingons. And he doesn't like us messing with the Ferengi, with whom he has a peace treaty. If only he could have been here the first 300 turns, when the Federation was desperate for us to get into a war with the Ferengi.
Kentanna is ours, and since our Birds of Prey can move 3 sectors per turn, Harrakis is within striking distance. The Ferengi apparently understand this, and have begun an evacuation of sorts. They leave behind a token force of 15 ships. The rest of their force must have retreated further south.
We're tired of not being able to see things, and from now on we will build and upgrade scanners on all our systems. This will also be important if the Romulans ever stir up trouble.
Volon has long served as our dedicated ship-building system. Today it shifts into more of an intel center system. We already upgraded the centers to level 7, and we can build tons more. The Cardassian intel strength shows no signs of slowing, so we must keep up.
Since Harrakis no longer hosts the giant defense fleet, we will make an opportunistic strike. It's possible that the Ferengi fleet will pull back to Harrakis after baiting us in, but it's a chance we're willing to take--especially since we know of 3 Marauders (1 dead, 2 living) that aren't in the area.
TURN 341. Our Birds of Prey arrive and see that no additional Ferengi returned to Harrakis. In fact, their lighter ships have left. There are 4 Strike Cruisers, 6 War Cruisers, and 1 hapless Colony Ship.
Our Birds target the Strike Cruisers during the cloak turn. Strike Cruisers have a fair amount of hitpoints but are thinly armored compared to their potential damage output.
The torpedoes just keep on pouring out of our Birds during the free turn. One of the advantages of very experienced crews is that they know precisely how much weaponry to allocate to their opponents. Even though they were only ordered to attack the Strike Cruisers, they take initiative an apply spare torpedoes toward the War Cruisers.
Ferengi ships just keep lighting up. It was a devastating opening attack.
When the dust settles, only the defenseless Colony Ship is left alive. Its captain is able to see the fully decloaked fleet before it kills him.
Vice Chancellor Martok is invited to another Cardassian banquet. While Gul Damar is offering a toast to the fallen Klingon and Cardassian warriors in the war against the Ferengi, Martok ambles drunkenly up to the stage and interrupts him, offering a toast to the Mintakans. Damar is pissed.
The victory on Harrakis may have paved our way toward the Ferengi empire's sole remaining dilithium source, though the giant fleet could return. Nevertheless, eliminating those Strike Cruisers and War Cruisers will go a long way toward reducing the fleet's firepower.
The Ferengi are furious to hear of our demands for free stuff. Who do we think we are, them? "All the wealth in your coffers could not buy those territories from us!" they growl. But Klingons, unlike Ferengi, do not acquire territories by purchase. We seize them by force.