Part 85: Turn 376TURN 376
Our newly Transport-free fleet orbits over Cardassia Prime, awaiting orders. Dukat demands that 5 of his idle Destroyers suicide attack our fleet in case we've added new Transports.
They go pop-pop-pop like popcorn.
Klingons are a race of warriors. They do not commit genocide; they conquer. They send troops down to planets to face the enemy eye-to-eye, rather than cowardly bombing from orbit. Until today. In the mind of Chancellor Martok, Cardassia's actions against Mintaka deserve a punishment that is long overdue.
TURN 377. 59 million Cardassians are wiped out by our bombardment. 8 of our Scouts sacrifice themselves against the Orbital Batteries. The Cardassians are helpless to prevent the slaughter.
TURN 378. Our fleet pounds Cardassia Prime again. This time 40 million are killed, along with a lot of the system's infrastructure.
The Romulans are furious. Senator Vreenak receives an intel report that we are secretly planning to bomb Romulus in the same way. The Romulans declare war against us (again).
TURN 379. The Cardassians build a new Orbital Battery and manage to power it, but that just means one fewer Scout in a fleet of them. 74 million Cardassians die.
Nearly half of the population of Cardassia has been killed. Martok pauses. Hearing reports of the cowardly bloodshed does not fill him with joy anymore. But Worf encourages him to continue. Dukat and his Cardassians deserve it.
TURN 380. Behind the scenes, Dukat has been demanding that the Romulans open a new front to distract us away from his homeworld.
I really hate that thing.
3 Romulan Battle Cruisers appear at the Orellius Starbase on our southern border. But they know they are no match for the Starbase in such small numbers. Rather than sacrifice themselves, they use their cloak turn to retreat. But they tell Dukat it was a valiant effort.
The Cardies are desperate to get us away from Cardassia Prime. Some of their Destroyers try raiding our systems, but we do not care. Our finances are in wonderful shape now that we rule over all the galaxy's Ferengi.
Another Orbital Battery is raised against us, knocking out another Scout. They'll have to do better than that if they hope to get down to our Birds of Prey.
Our intel power has increased, especially now that morale is higher. We'll spare some intel points and direct them toward military sabotage of the Cardassians and Romulans. Our spies are lousy, but the enemy shouldn't expect them to appear at so late a date. The interface is wonky, with the little meters that don't line up to the words "espionage" and "sabotage." The thing is worse than a butterfly ballot.
TURN 381. Cardassia's infrastructure has been crippled by another attack wave. Their population is under 100 million. There's no question about it--it's an act of genocide.
The devious Romulans betray their Cardassian allies and offer us a separate peace. We reject. We're tired of these Romulans.
From now on, we'll be at war with everyone all the time. It is the simplest policy. We have new Troop Transports gathering nearby, but they are not deployed to Cardassia Prime.
TURN 382. Cardassian Destroyers have not moved us by raiding. Having failed their mission, Dukat orders them to suicide into a Starbase and die like the people on Cardassia Prime.
2 of the Destroyers are killed, but one of them runs away.
Thanks to our vast intel resources, our empire has trained two spies and sent them to the Romulan and Cardassian empires. One spy gets an opportunity to attack the Cardassian science infrastructure. But he wants to know which empire to frame for his activities. Martok tells him to frame the Humans, as they haven't done anything lately.
The infrastructure of Cardassia Prime is all but gone. The people are likely starving by now for lack of food. Only 16 million Cardies remain alive on their homeworld.
Meanwhile, our spy in the Romulan empire manages to pour bloodpoison into the food supply of one of their colonies. 50 million are killed. Officially speaking, none of these kills are credited to the spy because they were not made with a bat'leth.
Dukat knows that he is likely to be killed in the bombings eventually. He secretly makes an offer of peace, but it is rejected. The time for peace has long past. Treaties did not save the Mintakans, and they will not save Dukat.
Dukat's likely successor, Damar, has been surreptitiously gathering forces on the small colony of Norpin. His intentions are unknown. Will he attempt to stop the carnage, or is he waiting to take charge of the empire?