Part 25: Turns 261-270Turn 261
The Empire is now overcome with a mad craze for Building It Big. Particularly ferocious hobbyists have even started building full-scale working replicas of warship heavy beams on Zuul colonies. Apparently these can also be used for defence, but it is centuries since any Zuul colony even saw a hostile vessel.
Meanwhile, Zuul on the frontlines continue our war of extermination.
The bounties found in this last phase of the war are great. Our colonies at Pyyrus, which are being used as the staging area for this extinction, are practically drowning in slaves. Over half a billion shackled humans swarm over the shipyards of this system, creating the instruments of their species' destruction. This always makes Greatfather chuckle.
The Goonfleet returns to Maltus to survey the remnants of their handiwork, and discover that Mother is once again trying to colonise the planet.
The few Publishers living on the surface rapidly discover the importance of missile defences.
The ones that survive provide us with the details of something called the Mind of Minovsky. Regrettably this is some kind of metaphor rather than an actual brain in a jar, which would look very nice in Greatfather's throne room.
The slaves at Pyyrus produce a wondrous device. Part ship and part factory, this Execu-Speak machine absorbs and consumes the wreckage of dead ships and fashions new Zuul ships from these remnants. Our vision of a never-ending raid stretching the length of the galaxy is closer to hand.
Which is what the Zuul could do in SOTS 1. In SOTS 2, they can't go beyond a single raid without having to re-arm most of the time because of the fleet & supply system. They're less an unending horde of nomads and more portly Vikings.
The Mind of Minovsky turns out to be a huge circular device for emitting enormous amounts of plasma. This would also look good in Greatfather's throne room, so he has one installed over his Critic Pit.
Our Tunnelling Fleet arrives in the Tupile system, the last bastion of Human power. All Zuul are certain about that this time. While preparing the way for the final Scavenging, they note with amusement that the meagre Human defences include boarding pods. The fleet's females are all licking their muzzles in anticipation of their arrival.
While the women amuse themselves, our ships applaud the humans' courage with rapturous applause. Applause with lasers.
The Second Goonfleet arrives at Tupile. This will be the first test of the Execu-Speak's capabilities.
Many Zuul look forward to seeing what arises from its maw.
This one in particular, as I've never actually used one of these before.
They will not have long to wait, as a Human supply ship wanders by itself into range of the fleet's heavy guns.
Doubtless they thought they were being brave. But all this bravery was for naught, as the SugarAddicts disconnect from the ArgleBargle IIIs and descend to the planet below.
And, with that, the only humans remaining in the galaxy are shackled by the Zuul.
The Execu-Speak did nothing. Am I missing something? Or is this a TO BE COMPLETED feature, like nodespace combat?
A new era of war dawns - war against our remaining rivals. All Zuul hope that they have grown, that they have developed: for only then will crushing them be made interesting. But this is a new era indeed, for it carries with it the tiny prospect of allies:
As well as the prospect of even greater war.
Thoughts on the Human war
Firstly, it was barely a war, more a progression bar that filled up slowly with slaves. They barely fought back at any point; the Internet and the Publishers both put up more resistance even though I wasn't attacking them. There may be a good reason for this, however - apart from the terribad AI - and that's one of my first moves. This is Human Space from their perspective at Turn 100:
You'll note that Dosadi, the red system I've just taken, neatly cuts off the north and south side of their empire from each other, and is an important route for all their Southern colonies. With that stroke, I prevented them from bringing together the industrial resources of both sides of the empire into single fleets. In SOTS 1, they could've chucked ships at the world at the same time and overwhelmed me that way, but the fleet system means that while they could've sent two fleets at the same time, both those fleets would've been at half strength. The poxy pathfinding AI also boned them, because they kept sending their civilian fleets through the only pathway between the two sides of their empire. The Humans are very easy to screw over in SOTS 2, although owing to their speed they're pretty good in actual human hands.
Who shall we eat next?
The Publishers have a larger empire and better technology, but terrible ships. The Internet is the opposite; their ships can actually put up something of a fight because they're made of Fuckoffium. Leaving either one alone means the other will be stronger when it comes time to take them down.
Shall we eat the utukku?
I have no idea whether Zuul can incorporate minor races into their empire, but I'm prepared to give it a go. Studying them will give us lots of info about their race, including their backstory, and will enable us to bring them in to help the good (well, bad) fight. But doing that would be totally unZuullike.