Part 8: Days 101-128: The (non-)Fight For Sluis (And the Nuke for Yavin IV).
DAYS 102 TO 143: DIPLOMACY AND THE WET MISSION
I took stock of our economic situation. It wasn't looking good. The construction yards (and troops, weirdly enough) took processed materials to build, and I wasn't exactly rolling in those. We were low on mines and refinery.
I so need to put this tottering economy on the gold standard. It'd make Threepio worth something on the black market.
The exploration/exploitation of new worlds needed to speed up. What's the point of a massive industrial infrastructure if I didn't have the expansion necessary to fuel my manifest destiny? The Happy Parachute fleet added one more planet to add to the list...
This is the first time any member of the Alliance has ever visited Hoth. I felt the urge to make a note of that.
It's said that in baseball after making a good play on defense, you'll make a good play on offense. It's coincidentalist bullshit, but apparently the philosophical bent of that argument clearly applies to diplomacy. After crushing the body of Imperial negotiator Pter Thanas, our own diplomats secured a major victory.
Why he wears a badge with the Purina Pet Foods logo is a mystery to me.
Apparently, Dodonna is so mighty that he conquers worlds through reputation alone. Dread Pirate Dodonna.
Umgul is worthless, but Praesitlyn had a bunch of use for me, 2 pre-existing construction yards in this hotly-contested sector tips the balance in my favor. I can't think of anything negative to say about this particular deal.
This thing can survive on any kind of world? Okay. Go patrol on the surface of Jupiter. Or Mercury. Or Alderaan. What, too soon Leia?
: Mon Mothma, when your only job is to find good people, could you please make sure it's not an unholy abomination?
: If we get too picky, the Empire will surely best us. We must be accepting of all those who are willing to support our cause.
: Oh I've been accepting as ALL hell. Look at Crapflaps, I've accepted that alien abortion.
: When I brought her in the room you sprayed her in the face with grease before throwing your cigar at her.
: I told you it was a mistake. I thought the grease was inflammable.
: Master Meteor, I am a master of six million forms of communication, and I believe the word you just used doesn't mean what you think it means.
: No, trust me, it does. It most definitely does. Anyway, just have Mawshire or whatever patrol around here for a while, looking for probe droids.
As it turned out, the only way I could tell if the enemy was sending missions to my worlds was by conducting espionage. ON MY OWN PLANETS. There was no modern anti-infiltration surveillance system in place. I had to keep telling bothans to spy my own systems to ensure no probe droids spotted us. This frustrated me to no end.
[i]The local papers have been screaming for exploration of the Kessel system. The people want spice. Fucking hippies.
The lonely little Hokage continues its perilous journey. Mincing boy-hungry Dr. Smith, the Hokage's chief physician, sends us a note of "the inconceivable calamities that have caused great heartache, oh the pain, the pain of it all!" I instructed Threepio to make a sitcom of their exploits.
The CKitten plans to stop exploding around day 132. I hope it takes longer to repair whatever problem causes spontaneous explosions, because it's pretty fun to watch.
Word from the HappyParachute fleet indicates that Hoth is the best settlement site in the entire sector. A frozen ball of ice is officially the Next Big Thing for the Rebellion. Goddammit.
It's time to graduate from assaulting weak old men to assaulting the most powerful old man in the galaxy.
I wasn't expecting this mission to succeed, per se.
: You WHAT?
I just wanted to give something a shot, and there weren't any better targets available.
I sent the ObMeiste fleet and its mighty complement of three medium transports to Mon Calimari. This system now had 99% of my non-HQ military force. It still sucked, but maybe it could ward off a star destroyer.
I felt like letting loose with my battle cry: TREMBLE BEFORE MY OBSOLETE FIGHTERS AND TRANSPORTS!
I don't give a shit. The Corellian sector was already a lost cause.
The daily exploration reports brought some news.
The fleet commander keeps asking who "Jimbo" is. I don't have answers, so I just tell him that's need-to-know only.
Kessel appears useful. For MORE than spice. There's numerous prison applications begging to be put into action.
Also interesting were my spy reports.
Spying a friendly system...I AM Big Brother. It's a good feeling.
Lookie here. Captain Needa, with his hand in the cookie jar...
: Threepio, get troops stationed and ready for his arrival in two weeks.
: I don't think that's possible yet, Master Meteor. You must verify his presence.
: I have to what?
: You have to have the espionage units visually verify his presence before an abduction mission can be performed.
: That sounds horribly inconvenient. By the time we spot him here, he'll have completed his mission and flown the coop.
: It's the way things are done, Master Meteor.
I'm torn. I just sent Han after Vader, and now I have a much easier target to hit, and I can't get him...I hope my infiltrators can get there in time to stop his sabotage, I NEED my construction yards. Dammit.
I felt a tremor in the force. An ominous tremor. My day was about to be ruined.
: I've got great news, Meteor!
Yep, here it comes.
: I've got a new recruit!
No...oh dear God no.
I imagined the two of those...creatures...together. Mating.
Jungle boogie, da na na, da na na, jungle boogie...
I awoke four hours later in a hospital. I had suffered a minor stroke. I don't remember what set it off. Luke was there, he mentioned something about sending a new recruit somewhere else. I just need to relax and eat some of this ice cream. It's pretty good.
ObMeiste Fleet isn't actually as big as that picture suggests, sadly.
Mon Mothma was kind enough to take my earlier words to heart. She probably wanted to spare me another cerebral hemorrhage, bless her soul. She recruited a human.
On top of an awesome beard, he can do troop research.
: Good to meet you, Crix. You have a cool cereal-based name, you can do research, and you kick ass in combat. You're...you're my new hero.
: Thanks Meteor, I get that a lot.
: There's just one thing I worry about, Crix. On your Imperial Personnel Report, it's listed that you have a tendency to get captured, requiring extraction by friendly forces constantly.
: It's something psychologists call Princess in the Castle syndrome. I provide a motivating goal for elite forces, who pool all their resources into rescuing me. Like if we were to form an elite fighter squadron, I bet they'd have to save my bacon at least half a dozen times a year.
: I get this weird sensation in the Force, like somehow this conversation is related to my future as commander of an elite fighter squadron.
: Fair enough, Madine. Get your ass to the system that's down from Triton, I'm gonna have a training yard built there so you can sit in a cubicle and draw up ways to create wookiee regiments.
: Well, that'd be pretty simple, you just give wookiees bowcasters and point them at the enemy.
: Great, sounds like you have a head start on the project, I'm expecting big things! Get me updates every 10 days or so.
: But, I just told you how to...
: Bye now!
With that situation in hand, I got word from Captain Solo regarding his "Capture Vader" suicide mission.
Yeah. "Not there." I bet. Well-played, Solo. Lie to the CO, live to fight another day.
The only problem is that I don't think he'll get back before Needa's mission gets underway. Crap. Where's Jack Bauer when I need him...
: Yes Master Meteor?
: You outdid yourself.
: ...I did, sir?
: Well, hell yeah! I didn't think I'd have to show you this pic fresh off the holonet, but take a look!
I felt like channeling my inner Marvin the Martian when confronted with what must have been an earth-shattering kaboom.
: By the creator, Yavin has suffered a tremendous natural disaster! This is horrible news!
: Well-played, Goldbrush Threepiowood.
: What did you call me?
: Nevermind, it sounded funnier in my head. Well done on the bomb, it didn't blow up the planet like I wanted, but it definitely helped cover our tracks spectacularly. The Imps won't go within two parsecs of that system now. Any data we left behind is wiped away. Considering how you hemmed and hawed, I didn't think you had it in you.
: But, I didn't do it!
: Good story if you can stick to it. I'll catch you later, I think I'll want to blow up Triton at some point. After I'm not on it. When I do I'll let you know.
: ...Oh dear.