Explore and Exploit — Year 3: Through the Red Link!

ascend_title4

I suggest keeping the map open in another tab of your netsurfing application of choice, for easy reference. (Clicking on the image will bring you to a full-size version.)

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 571.3

Going forward, I’ll include a periodically updated cheat sheet of the known galaxy along with these log entries. In recording them, I’ve noticed that the system and colony names can get overwhelming. Not to say that the esteemed High Board of Executives won’t be keeping up with their interstellar intelligence briefings, but I always find a handy map to be an essential part of any complete textfast.

Defenses have been under construction on all colonized planets since we spotted the Marmosians on radar. Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since then — with no interspecies conflicts yet!

a1_03_01

a1_03_02 a1_03_03

These missile bases are more powerful weapons than anything we can install on our ships — by about an order of magnitude. They may be relatively short-ranged, but no known ship-based weapon gets better distance at the moment. And orbital shields prevent any enemy ship from entering orbit until they’re destroyed.

Planets with no other tactical purpose will slowly be converted into defense outposts. Rhovid I, for instance.

a1_03_09

It may take a while with the limited factories, but we’ve got enough personnel to man four orbital structures there. Two missile bases and two shields? Better than nothing.

We just need to figure out a way of cloaking entire planets and then we can forget about all these silly defenses.

Good luck. Even my creators hadn’t figured that one out.

In news more up the Appropriator’s alley, we’ve found the Nougat System, a convenient dead end.

And unclaimed to boot! Four decent worlds for us to settle on!

Nougat I, Enormous Special-Class Planet
Nougat I, Enormous Special-Class Planet
Nougat I, Enormous Special-Class Planet
Nougat IV, Small Mineral-Class Planet [Mineral being the crappier version of Supermineral.]

Ten days prior to that, our colony on Elwyssen unearthed more long-lost alien tech in the ruins we spotted there.

“Momentum Deconservation” — better shipside shield systems. Not that we’ve had room for shields of any kind on our ships so far.

Speaking of ruins, the CS Birthright has established a colony on Feculon II, where we’d spied ruins last year.

We’re calling this Feculon Outpost, since the husk-class planet will never be able to sustain any kind of population or infrastructure. Best case scenario is we very slowly build up some orbital defenses here — once the ruins are excavated.

From there, the Birthright is on its way toward Chippendale and Nougat to secure two more systems for the “glorious” Dubtak Consortium.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 592.0

Our plans to colonize Nougat are dashed the very next day. Those Marmosians love grabbing planets from right under our noses.

Predators love toying with their prey, Gizmo.

Come on — they haven’t made a single hostile move yet. You can’t assume everything bigger than you is trying to eat you.

That’s exactly how we survived this long.

Philadelpha II, our first extrasolar colony, has been working on factories (and more recently, industrial megafacilities) for the last 300 days. Its industrial production is the highest of all planets we have, and it’s ready to become our primary shipbuilding site.

The shipyard takes just 10 days to become operational. A far cry from the 48 days when we built one in orbit over Amoroso.

Meanwhile, construction of our fourth ship is well underway at Amoroso, perhaps one of the last to be built there before production is shifted to Philadelphia.

a1_03_10

We’ll fly circles around the Marmosians with this little guy.

The SS Startrotter (you can thank me for the name; the ship will trot between star systems with ease!) employs the second-tier engines first seen on the Birthright, and is thus twice as fast as the Fortuity and Possibility within star systems. Where it really shines, however, is in its triple star drives — meaning it can travel through star lanes at three times the speed of our other ships. And probably any other ships out there at the moment.

a1_03_11

Of course, that takes up all five slots on a small-size hull. But the Startrotter will be our dedicated scout ship, locating planets for colonization ahead of the slower colony ships.

And spying out other aliens before they find us.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 596.6

It’s only been four days since my last entry, but we’ve made a massive breakthrough:

Which includes the Plasmatron…

I hesitate to even tell the Appropriator how important this discovery is. Plasmatrons give us a huge range advantage in combat, and may very well make us the military superpower in this region of space. Maybe I’ll just say —

Hey Gizmo. They’re serving Glalblorian dog sausage in the cafeteria again, so I ordered takeout. How’s the log coming?

N-Nothing! …I mean, uh… it’s great. Nothing to report.

What’s that on the viewscreen? A new gadget?!

Shit.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 616.1

Well, that was a disaster…

In the event that my dear Dubtaks blow themselves up with all these new gadgets, or accidentally start a war with the Marmosians, I’d like the history books to reflect that I was against building this… incredibly stupidly-named ship under construction at the brand new Philadelphia shipyard:

The WS TechnoGuard — the Dubtaks’ first warship. Not so much because they need a warship than because they want to test out all these new technologies.

Technologies including the Plasmatron, the Quantum Singularity Launcher, and the Positron Bouncer, and the already-familiar Backfirer we discovered last year.

 
 

The thing doesn’t even have enough power to use more than two of those devices at once! But the Appropriator isn’t listening to–

I’m listening! But right now, what we really need is something fancy to show to the Board before our funding dries up. We’ve been in space for almost two years and what have we been installing on all our ships? Engines! Generators! Colonizers! Where’s the flashy, colorful, wow-factor stuff?

So this weaponized monstrosity is a PR move.

Yeah. Don’t worry. We’ll blow up a few asteroids, do a few interviews on the nightly newsblasts, and then roll around in the new cashflow. It doesn’t have to actually perform in combat. I told you we’re not fighters.

The archaeological dig on Defense Post 1 has also given us another tech boost: the Shield Blaster and Specialty Blaster. The Shield Blaster shuts down shields on a ship for a day, and the Speciality Blaster destroys one gadget on a ship at random. But both require a ton of power.

That breakthrough, combined with the Backfirer, opens up a new potential field:

…Doom Mechanization.

[LPer’s Note: Yeah, that’s one of the final nodes on the game’s tech tree. I cannot believe how many ruins we’ve found in this run, and how well they’ve paid off for us.]

I’d rather not think about the horrifying implications of the Dubtaks having the technology to disintegrate whole ships. Thankfully, it would take almost ten years of constant research to get there. So the galaxy is safe for now.

Those issues aside, there’s some interesting exploration news. The Fortuity has arrived at the next system, Fomalhaut — here:

It contains a single medium-size Tycoon-class planet — Defense Post 2, once the Birthright arrives.

What’s more interesting, though, is that this system, like Ephemera, also contains a single red link out of our territory. And those two red links meet up in a single system: here.

I hope the strategic significance of this isn’t lost on you.

It is. But go on.

You know I’m not actually talking to you when I’m recording logs, right?

It means there’s a single way into our corner of the galaxy. If we ever need to fight a war, that’s a damn fine choke point.

Unless it’s the Marmosians we’re fighting.

Unless you piss off the Marmosians, yes.

While Defense Post 1 and 2 are built up in the Ephemera and Fomalhaut systems, respectively, and the Possibility and TechnoGuard hang out nearby as backup, we’ll begin the long, long journey toward the center of the galaxy and that mystery system.

CS Fortuity and Birthright will enter the red link from Fomalhaut shortly, with SS Startrotter to meet them coming from Ephemera not long after.

Until then, signing off.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 740.4

Now that was a long trip.

The Fortuity emerged from the end of the link on star date 675. It took the next month to explore the three systems in this region.

First, Intransigent:

Intransigent I, Large Husk-Class Planet
Intransigent II, Large Eden-Class Planet
Intransigent III, Medium Supermineral-Class Planet

Intransigent II is a lucky find here — perfect for a forward base.

[Eden is arguably the second-best planet type: 75% white, 20% green, and zero black squares.]

And if you think that’s lucky, just wait!

Next up was the Ignatius System:

Ignatius I, Enormous Cornucopia-Class Planet [Jackpot!]
Ignatius II, Large Tycoon-Class Planet
Ignatius III, Medium Husk-Class Planet

[And I’m sure you can already tell: the first-best planet type is Cornucopia. For obvious reasons. And Ignatius I is an enormous Cornucopia. Damn.]

Finally, Vishnu:

Twin… enormous… Husks.

A cosmic joke.

Or the universe balancing things out after dropping that Cornucopia in our laps.

So those three systems form a triangle between the red links we traveled through to get here, and another that crosses over to the other side of the galaxy.

This region is essentially the “midway” point on a huge bridge across the galaxy.

And it was entirely uninhabited when we arrived. Not for long, though.

Intransigent II and III become Midway 3 and Midway 4, with plans for Midway 2 Colony at Ignatius II and Midway Prime at Ignatius I.

Unfortunately, we’re out of colonizer units before we can grab Ignatius II, and our two new colony ships, the CS Due Diligence and CS Exploitation, are still in production.


Which leaves us with a Midway 1, 3, and 4.

That really grinds my logic processors.

My senior year, we wanted to release four Turgian boarpigs in the school labeled #1, #2, #3, and #5. But we couldn’t afford the boarpigs.

Meanwhile, we’re colonizing the remaining non-husk worlds closer to home: Elwyssen I and II, and Philadelpha V…

Putting the finishing touches on a number of our smaller, earlier colonies…

…stealing–

Finding and Keeping.

–some decent tech…

…and working on our relationship with the Marmosians.

That line’s getting really old.

The relationship is… cordial?

Honestly, I think the Marmosian representative is taking a liking to the Appropriator.

Funny way of showing it. What a tool.

Since a lot of colonies closer to home aren’t going to be tasked with being ship-building sites or major defense posts, I’ve also talked the Appropriator into building up our research capabilities with laboratories and research campuses.

“Research campi,” as my daddy used to say.

Your daddy was a clod.

We’ve figured out how to build orbital docks, which will let us refit our old ships. Upgrade systems, replace spent colonizer units — that sort of thing.

Next project is Subatomics — and the hyperpower plant, building one boosts the output of all factories and industrial megafacilities on the whole planet.

Should help develop Midway Prime into an industrial superplanet. As soon as we’re able, ship production will be moved there, with the Midway region becoming our new staging area, with our combat-ready ships stationed in the Vishnu System — the only way into ours and the Marmosian’s neck of the woods.

[It’s so weird that we haven’t run into any other species yet. Even taking the multiple red links into account, this game has been crazy-quiet so far.]

While the bulk of our ships move toward Vishnu, the Startrotter heads into the red link there. It’s worth seeing what’s at the end of our Galactic Bridge.

The Fortuity, Possibility, Due Diligence, and Exploitation will follow in their own time.

Get ready for another long wait between logs! This lane looks even longer than the last two.

Woo! Pornogram vacation!

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 804.2

Here we are, back in the office…

I’ve been managing all the day-to-day development and maintenance tasks while the Appropriator was on his “vacation.” He’s back to work as of today, looking a little dried out but otherwise ready for the important transmission we’re expecting from the SS Startrotter.

I didn’t miss your snark.

And I certainly didn’t miss… any of you. Good to have y– Hold on, it’s coming through the transmocomm now!

Whoa whoa whoa. Hold up. ENHANCE.

ENHANCE AGAIN.

IS THAT TWO NEW ALIEN SPECIES?

…Yeah. I don’t really know why you had to do all that pointless zooming in for that.

For drama, mostly.

ascend_previous ascend_table ascend_next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *