Part 23: Turns 226-237Turn 226
Martin Cirulis hungers. He feasts on the minds of the colonists at Pyyrus, but they fail to satisfy.
He opts instead to give them the honour of beta testing his latest plague. On the side of each missile is emblazoned 'RELEASE VERSION'.
The plague devours machinery, scouring the planet clear of all traces of civilisation. The population remains, but in an impoverished state.
This is the nano virus, which removes infrastructure from a planet. Less handy than the ones that actually kill people, but fun regardless.
He returns to the new Zuul worlds of Lusus, and embarks on a titanic feast. The planet's native biosphere is novel, fresh and without comparison in all the worlds of the galaxy.
It is also tremendously tasty.
Biosphere regenerates psychic power, but since we didn't get any of the decent psychic powers, we're free to have He Who Shapes eat all of it. He can regenerate psi points on his own very slowly, but it's much more Zuul like for him to just eat the stuff. Every Suul'ka has its own voiceover for each action - the Bloodweaver says, "The Life of the Universe Itself Is Mine To Drink," whenever you drain biosphere.
Meanwhile, our Inquisitors stumble on a means of controlling our planned larger vessels, once many of them are in flight. Building on the old PainTech technology, every captain is placed in a chair made of the Admiral's thoughts, a chair suspended directly over an array of spiked claws taken from dead females. This has the unfortunate side effect of occasionally killing any captains foolish enough to remain in said chairs when the Admiral is distracted by his imminent death, but any captain that foolish clearly deserves to die anyway.
Our Scavenger vessels descend on Pyyrus while the bulk of our fleet awaits sufficient infrastructure to be constructed to support a full invasion force. They sweep aside the meagre human defences with ease.
Building infrastructure to support fleets means that wars of extermination go reaaaally slowly.
We also receive a few more cursory incursions from the Internet and the Publishers, but they fail to interest the great mass of Zuul as they are easily swept aside. Of note is that they appear to be redesigning their vessels to counter each other as part of their pointless war: the Internet no longer fields the fusion torpedoes that the shields of the Publishers were designed to counter, preferring simple missiles.
Having finished consuming the native lifeforms of Lusus, He Who Shapes grants a boon. He transports an entire colony's worth of Zuul on the city on his back through the dark spaces through which he moves to be planted on the now vacant world of Pyyrus.
He Who Shapes can be used to perform the Colonise mission. It's very handy to be able to drop a colony and have it immediately guarded by a titanic space monster.
In the ruins of Pyyrus - or what was left after Martin Cirulis ravaged the world - a particularly ingenious Inquisitor comes across a collection of scattered diagrams on a peculiar human material known as paper. This organic residue was not subject to the Nano Plague, and survived to point this particular Zuul down a new and exciting technology path - one which promises to change the Zuul way of live forever.
This inspiration is lauded throughout the empire, except for the Inquisitor station orbitting Aaryn, who have other things on their minds.
Greatfather, in his wisdom, opts to leave them to their own devices.
There is really no point in worrying about randoms at this stage.
The Spectres barely scratch Aaryn, but some more elderly Zuul indignantly demand the development of more energy weapons with which to fend off such incursions. After pausing to have them put to death, Greatfather instructs the Inquisitors to amp their ideas up. They follow suit.
This bold new era in power, weaponry and cruelty demands new ships. The first to be designed is the Hazamuth class, which will cut the tunnels our ships will take to conquer the rest of the galaxy.
Our fleets will be led by vessels of the Deadmeat5150 line, designed to inflict the maximum punishment on unruly subordinates.
Replacing our valiant Scavenger vessels will be the ArgleBargle III behemoths, carrying the dread SugarAddict discs into battle.
The heavy weapons onboard the Khisanth Magus will follow on, eradicating worlds now empty of slaves.
But our new ships are slow, and the enemy may try to run away. Preventing escape will be the Grizzwold class, with legions of F22/A Raptors to rain down the badly procured pain.
Dreadnought fleets tend to be a bit more complicated than cruiser fleets, so you've all got ship classes rather ships named after you - I'm likely to only build one or two of each. Execu-speak, I haven't missed you out - I had something 'ridiculous' in mind but DN construction doesn't seem to have unlocked it like I thought it would.