Part 31: Turns 369-377Hey chaps, I know my schedule has slipped, but that's no reason to have a slapfight over Valve. Here, have an update.
The Publishers have assembled a mighty force at Heegaraa, a name that sounds oddly familiar to Greatfather, and conjures up images of past success. To avoid comparing it with the present, he orders the Ego Fleet to invade.
They discover that the Publishers have not wasted their time, as they are confronted by the first enemy dreadnought ever seen.
Of course, we still have bigger ships. Ships that you certainly should not turn sideways on if you're sporting a disruptor shield.
Meanwhile, our pirate fleet, hanging around the outskirts of the Publisher home system of Mu, picks up the trail of an inbound freighter. The Tomn heads starwards to begin Operation Depredation.
The Publisher freighter picks up the signal of our ships even through their stealth armour, and bravely dashes straight towards them.
Apparently this kind of behaviour is intentional because, in the history according to Mecron, captains occasionally panicked and sailed straight at the pirates. Unaccountably I cannot find anything to back this up.
It is escorted by a single vessel, apparently part of some kind of civilian militia charged with protecting trade. It has amused Greatfather to arm our ships with weapons taken from the Publishers, as this vessel now discovers.
One of our ships succeeds in grappling on to the freighter with its Disruptor Whip.
Unfortunately the freighter was apparently not designed for any kind of combat at all, and the slightest touch of the whip causes it to immediately explode.
Frustrated by the loss of captives, one of our captains fires his disruptor whip at the first vessel, causing both to drop out of formation while entangled.
The other captains take out their frustrations on the nearby defence fleet in a much more useful manner.
They also start to get the hang of this whipping business.
They judge it excellent sport.
Apparently not put off by their imminent extinction, the Publishers send us a message entitled 'Payment for breach of contract.'
They allege that Greatfather failed to deliver a game on time, and they instead received what appeared to be an early alpha. Greatfather alleges that they failed to respect his genius and orders his pirates to steal more things.
In an amazingly audacious theft, our pirates succeed in stealing a vessel right out of the naval yard of the Publisher homeworld by simply sending every single female in the fleet right at it. Such is their imagination!
At Heegaraa, the Ego Fleet encounters a Publisher command dreadnaught. It promptly runs away.
As the Keisari pursues the beleaguered vessel, its captain is astonished to notice that it actually fires back, using a beam weapon the Zuul have not yet seen. Mounted on its engine, it is the perfect weapon for such a cowardly people.
There can only be one outcome, however.
To celebrate actually having an interesting thing to kill, Greatfather permits his Inquisitors to finally finish off a project designed to kill interesting things in interesting ways.
It permits us to build the most lethal Leviathan yet, named after Greatfather's most recent words of wisdom.
Our pirates repeat their performance, this time putting a Publisher dreadnaught into more appropriate hands.
The AI here loaded all its small mounts with PD. The DN folded instantly. Clearly, buff boarding pods.
During another battle along the Publisher front, at Beta, we spy a novelty. It seems that the Publishers have somehow anticipated the arrival of the Dolphin Fleet, still in preparation at Pyyrus, by launching their own battle riders.
However, they continue to pursue the more useless arts.
The Dolphin Fleet arrives at Cargg. The defending Publishers have a fleet lying in wait, and the Ratsolovs scramble from the Dolphin.
We have not skimped on their numbers.
And they are devastating.
We leave with a technology that would've been useful centuries ago.
But sometimes, even old tech is helpful.