Part 29: Bonus: Scamming the Druuge
Let's turn back the clock a tiny bit!
Instead of instigating endgame, I'll go chat with the Yehat a bit.
For fully TWO THOUSAND YEARS there has been peace between the Clans! And now you have cast the ancient seed of dissension between our beaks! The bloody Wars of Ascension are renewed, and YOU are the cause, Captain! While the Zeep-Zeep traitors may be your allies, Captain, I can be assuring you that we, of the Feep-Eeep Starship Clan, are wanting nothing more dearly than your death!
The pain and suffering of this useless conflict are being nothing but a tragic waste of life. Congratulate yourself, Captain. The source of all this death and misery is yerself.
Revolution!? Ye compliment yerself unnecessarily, Captain. This is nothing more than a... band of thugs trying to undo the peace of a hundred generations! We will roast the traitors in their ships, and crack the eggs in their Clanhome, so that never again will the Zeep-Zeep criminals be flying though our stars.
Now ye must pay fer yer crimes, human!
Sorry! I'm not interested in fighting you guys.
Maybe the next one will be nicer?
The revolution has begun and clans flock to our cause!
We have cleaned the Royalist traitors from five systems, and even the Veep-Kreep Clan is joining with us against the false Queen!
We are honored to help ye, Captain! We shall attach four Terminators to yer fleet immediately.
Of course! What knowledge do ye seek?
As we abandoned the Shofixti to the oncoming Ur-Quan armada, we watched the situation on the sterile displays of our long-range sensors. Suddenly the screens flared and went black... burnt out! We ran to the windows just in time to see the Shofixti's sun burning with incredible light many orders of magnitude greater than its normal brilliance! A million tongues of fusion fire spread through the star system, devastating the inner system's planets, but incinerating ALL the Ur-Quan vessels! In that moment, the Hierarchy's war fleet was reduced by almost thirty percent.
We later remembered that not too many years before the appearance of the Ur-Quan, the Shofixti had told us that they had found 'something'. With the pride of a hatchling's first flight, they unveiled their find; it was about the size of a surface transport, but cylindrical and entirely black. Across its surface were a million characters scrawled in an alien script. The message was clear... DANGER! DO NOT TOUCH!
We trusted the Shofixti to respect the warning, and left the device in their possession. At the end, when the Ur-Quan were approaching their planet, the Shofixti must have realized that they could not win, but at least they could insure that both sides would lose. They must have detonated the device in the outer layer of their sun. The sudden removal of a section of the sun's surface layers allowed the pressurized plasma from the interior to burst out like a miniature super nova.
The FALSE Royals, ye should say, Captain!
To understand our relationship with the Veep-Neep Queens, ye must first learn a bit of our history. In the ancient past, we Yehat were little more than a collection of warring Clans. That history is bloody, Captain... hideous. We were barbarous then, aye... murderers all. Many great warlords rose from the hills and forests of our verdant homeworld to unite the clans to become King of all Yehat Clans. Each one failed. It was no male who finally won the great prize, the High Perch of Caer Zeep-Reep! No, Captain, it was a female!... a wise and powerful Queen... the first of the Veep-Neep Dynasty.
In exchange fer the Clans' fealty, she gave a simple, compelling promise. She guaranteed that united under her wing, the Clans would NEVER suffer defeat! And she kept her promise. At long last, there was peace on our world. Her line kept true to this promise fer over twenty centuries, soothing ruffled feathers, dispensing justice, stamping out foment, but then came the present Queen... a true harridan! Under her rule, the power of the Starship Clans was transferred to the sycophantic Homeworld dandies... to 'warlords' who had nae seen true combat. We, the beak and claw of the Yehat Empire were powerless to influence her decisions. When the Queen showed the true colors of her plumage and allied with the evil Ur-Quan worms, we realized that she would do anything, ANYTHING, to maintain the illusion of upholding her ancestor's promise, even if it meant destroying our honor, everything that we stand fer, in the exchange.
Now we, the true Yehat Clans, seek to pull the false Queen from the High Perch. Perhaps we will find a new Queen someday who will bring together the Clans once more. Or sadly, I fear we may never replace the Veep-Neeps Queens, and we shall fight Clan against Clan until only the bloody feathers remain.
I will describe these events, Captain. They make fer a tale, Captain, wrought with sadness... and heroism!... and betrayal.
After the Chenjesu, Mmrnmhrm and yer species were defeated, we prepared a defense in the Shofixti homestar, Delta Gorno. Aside our Shofixti, our adopted children, we awaited the onslaught of the Ur-Quan armada. We waited with eagerness, with the hot anticipation of battle! But then we received an unbelievable message from our Queen... 'Retreat'. We could not believe it! Tactical withdrawals, yes... but to pull back the entire fleet? There was no mistake... no garbled orders. We obeyed.
Oh, Captain! The eyes of the Shofixti! Their bright and valiant eyes!... as we moved away. Without us... they had no hope of forming a tactical wedge. They would barely slow the Hierarchy fleet. When the Ur-Quan came, the Shofixti fought as immortal heroes! Darting in and out of the Dreadnought formations, and then suddenly BLAZING!... like dying stars.
But... in only a few hours... the Shofixti fleet was gone, and the Dreadnoughts moved towards the homeworld.
The grotesque monsters? They are an effete and bigoted race, unworthy prey, with one exception... General ZEX. He commanded the entire VUX fleet during the Great War, and even by our high standards of battle skill, he is a genius. The brilliant tactics of Fortress Square and the Dynamic Triangle are his creations. Without ZEX, the VUX would have fallen to our Alliance fleets in weeks, but ZEX always found a way to turn his own weakness into an advantage.
After the War, we learned that the Primat and the VUX High Council decided to move ZEX out of the picture, and sent him off to `luxurious retirement' at Alpha Cerenkov I. We have heard that he spends his time pursuing his hobby, though we do not know what more than that.
If I were ye, brave human, I'd probably be seeking the focus of the Ur-Quan's power and do whatever is necessary to destroy it. We may have a hint as to just what that weak spot is. When we were being Hierarchy battle slaves, we learned that the Ur-Quan were possessing some kind of super-weapon, a huge battleship they called `Sa-Matra' with the firepower to destroy an entire star fleet.
For some reason, the Ur-Quan were reluctant to use the vessel. It wasn't until their armada was finally held back at the coreward front that they brought the Sa-Matra's power to bear on the Alliance. Captain, here's my advice... ye can be destroying Dreadnoughts until the breegs come home, but ye are never going to defeat the Ur-Quan Hierarchy until ye eliminate their Sa-Matra.
If you need to know anything more, just ask.
Goodbye human comrade. Fight well!
And with that taken care of, it's time to go even further back in time!
January 3, 2156. A few days before we sent the Ilwrath to fight the Thraddash.
I'm choosing this timing to undertake a zany scheme.
Step 1: Get a Portal Spawner.
Step 2: Make slight adjustments to the Heart of Gold's design.
Step 3: Go to Arcturus IA.
Step 4: Realize that I can't launch the Lander without any crew.
Step 5: Swing by Sol to tweak this design before coming back to the planet.
WE HAVE FOUND AN IMMENSELY POWERFUL HYPERWAVE TRANSMITTER HERE ON THE SURFACE OF THIS MOON.
IT IS SENDING A STRONG HYPERWAVE OUTWARD, INTO THE UNEXPLORED, ANTI-SPINWARD REGION OF THE GALAXY. SINCE THIS EQUIPMENT IS EXTREMELY VALUABLE, AND WE HAVE FOUND NO SIGN OF ANY INTELLIGENT LIFE ON THIS MOON, WE HAVE DECIDED TO DISASSEMBLE THE TRANSMITTER AND BRING IT BACK TO THE SHIP.
This is an alternate place to get a hyperwave caster, if you don't bother with the Spathi plot for some reason.
Step 6: To Earth!
The analysis reads as follows:
SUBJECT: HyperWave Broadcaster - Unknown Design.
DATA: This technology is new to us, but though a bit primitive by Alliance standards, is capable of generating a VERY strong signal.
SUMMARY: Should you wish to call someone in HyperSpace, or send a message through a mile of steel, this baby will do just fine.
Ship design corrected.
Step 7: Go to the Druuge homeworld.
VIDEO: THE SCAM
You have arrived at the Central Trade World of the Crimson Corporation, Home of the Druuge. Be welcome and take advantage of our excellent deals.
We know that you have Mycon Deep Child egg case fragments aboard your vessel. Would you consider trading them to us for a shiny new Mauler starship?
Our sensors reveal that you have one of our more powerful HyperWave 'Casters on board your ship. Have no fear, Captain. It was abandoned on the Burvixese moon, and by our law it belongs to you; however, we are fond of the device and wish to regain it through trade. Give us the 'Caster, and we will give you all the fuel your ship can hold.
We note you possess a Vortex Spawner. In exchange for the simple device we will give you three Mauler starships, and fill your fuel tanks, at no extra charge.
We are prepared to make a deal.
Captain! A special deal, a bargain unequalled! Instead of the usual payment we would give for this item, what would you say to a different exchange?
We would like to trade your commodity for a highly valuable Precursor artifact: The Rosy Sphere! Its origins are filled with wonder, and its powers are uncontestable, though subtle. What is your response?
Very well, we can understand your trepidation. We have been unfair in springing this offer on you so suddenly. Perhaps we can offer the deal again, in the future, when you have had time to think about it.
I will buy the HyperWave 'Caster. In exchange, you shall receive all the fuel your ship can hold. We are now hooking up the fuel lines to fill your tanks.
Aieee! I am ruined! You have sucked my full tanks until they are dry! Cruel Monster! Bloated Villain! Slicer of innocent throats! What shall I tell the Manager?! My spouse?! I shall certainly be assigned to tend the furnaces. I shall burn in the atomic fires! Aieee!
Return soon, Captain. Your patronage is appreciated.
So yeah, we totally just got a planet's ransom in fuel for one 'Caster.
Fun to consider: What was that 'Caster doing on that moon?
The resources I get from selling the fuel are enough to go straight from freighter to fully-tricked warship. Total was around 30,000 RUs.
Next: Let's finally properly apologize for Rand's great insult.