Part 30: Turns 355-368Turn 355
The Internet has just fallen, and the invasion of the last remaining holdouts against the obvious genius of Greatfather has begun. Goonfleets full of upgraded ArgleBargle III and Khisanth Magus class dreadnaughts launch assaults on three outlying Publisher systems immediately.
The death of so many Opinions has created fractures in nodespace where their neutrino gates once stood. A jumble of fragile node tunnels connect their former worlds.
Look at the centre of the picture near the retreating Publisher fleet. All those orange lines are node tunnels that popped into existence when The Internet died.
To aid this final invasion, we design a wholly new class of ship. The Ratsolovs do not have FTL capability and are designed to be hosted inside another vessel, disembarking when combat is joined and bringing their twin spinal mounted positron beams to bear. We expect the effect to be enlightening, at least for the brief period before their recipients are set on fire. They will be carried by a vessel named by the Greatfather's Chief Female.
It begins. A Goonfleet darkens the skies of Majpoor, right before the skies light up as beams slice through the atmosphere.
We steal the women of Maltus as their males look on in terror.
If you squint, you'll see a Morrigi Command Cruiser in the top left, which didn't move for the entire battle. I'm ascribing it to fear.
The women provide us with presents, in a fitting reversal of Publisher society. Their males succeed in winning mates by presenting their females with the licensing arrangements for whichever first person shooter franchise is currently in vogue.
At Tiamat, the Publisher forces are taught a lesson by the Keisari. The lesson is 'More guns is better'.
They obligingly provide us with more.
This one's for ArgleBargle III!
And more still.
We also find something odd. The Publishers have been attempting to use psychic energies as a substitute for market research. Greatfather does not hold with market research; he will tell the customers what they want, not the other way round.
Martin Cirulis rises temporarily from his slumbers to swat a pesky Publisher outpost that was far too close to the Empire for comfort. Not that it presented any threat, but it made our battle line look untidy.