Explore and Exploit — Year 7: Stellar Strife!

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OPEN FIRE! …Man, I’ve always wanted to say that.

Open fire on what?

I dunno — what’s it look like out there?

Not great.

The Marmosians are down to one ship. Plus our four. Versus seven Shevar ships. Take your pick.

Uh… the closest one?

Fair enough. Our ships are engaging the enemy now —

Blam. Blam! Pew pew!

What… are you doing?

There’s no sound effects over these monitors. I was just spicing things up.

There’s no sound in space period, Appropriator.

Lalalalalala~ I don’t want to hear that garbage. That’s not how it worked in the science-fics I watched when I was a kid.

One more ship down! That’s the last within range. The Marmosian ship is closing in on the rest.

And taking fire.

Follow them in!

Sir?

I’m beginning to feel a little sentimental about our Marmo buddies. Besides, we haven’t even taken a hit yet.

The Board is reminding you that each of these ships cost trillions of Dubcoins to build and to please keep them as far away from the fighting as possible.

To hell with the Board!

For once, I agree with you. I’m giving the order to back up the Marmos.

That’s all our power for the day. It looks like every ship in this fight has run its batteries dry — I guess the conclusion will have to wait until tomorrow…

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1631.0

We’re in range of the last Shevar ships. Power systems are coming online now.

Okay, here’s my second-most anticipated order:

I’m glad this war has fulfilled so many childhood fantasies.

FIRE AT WILL!

Pew gosh dang pew, Gizmo.

That’s the last of them. Can you believe we did that without any loss–

Oh! I, uh… forgot about Atropos II.

Yeah, that Shevar colony armed to the teeth with missile bases? I forgot too.

Nothing the Amoroso’s shields can’t handle.

brzzzt! (…that’s the sound of missiles hitting our impenetrable shields.)

I figured as much.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1661.4

Atropos II didn’t last long against our concentrated fire.

And while some Shevar reinforcements arrived late, they didn’t last a day.

Of course, without an invasion ship in the system at the time that Atropos II’s defenses went down, the Marmosians claimed it for themselves.

We got Atropos IV instead.

Now known as Deep Space 3.

Back in Hope, we’ve abandoned one of our orbital shield bases in exchange for a new shipyard.

That’s where our newest warship is being built…

The WS Appropriator.

Yes, named after our very own Grand Appropriator, who is now the closest thing the Dubtaks have to a war hero. My contributions to the Battle of Atropos have gone predictably overlooked.

The Board wasn’t pleased with our actions at Atropos, and even less pleased about the Marmosians getting Atropos II, but there are other unguarded Shevar colonies not far away…

They’ve given us the go-ahead to move on the Syzygifer, Stavern, and Millitrin Systems. The Gadgeteer and Finder-Keeper have been placed on invasion duty.

Last I checked the charts, there weren’t any ships guarding these systems.

Must have just finished construction.

…did that ship just turn white and disappear?

Seems they’ve installed Recallers on their ships. They know one Large ship can’t stand up to our Enormous, but they may be recalling them to gather their forces in their home system.

[LPer’s Note: Actually, there’s a bug in the AI where it can determine it’s outmatched and decide to retreat… except it will keep sending ships at you anyway. A fleet will arrive in your system, notice you’ve got way more ships, and then immediately retreat. Over and over. Ascendancy has really bad AI, folks.]

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1700.9

After all the time researching the Murgatroyd Hypothesis, our plunderprobes were able to steal all this tech on their own.

From here, it’s on to mega shields.

Map of the known galaxy

Those’ll certainly be helpful in holding our five new colonies, Syzygifer II, Stavern I, Stavern III, Millitrin III, and Millitrin IV.

The conquest was beyond easy, with virtually no resistance, and almost that entire arm of the galaxy up to the red link is now inside our territory.

Thanks, Shevar!

The furthest system, Millitrin, is now home to orbital docks where we can repair ships and replace all our spent invasion modules.

And the other worlds are being turned into formidable defenses bases through a combination of our new high-powered orbital weapons and surface-based tractor beams to draw ships into range.

Despite their losses at Atropos and elsewhere, the Shevar fleet remains slightly larger than ours.

A fleet which they continue to send at us and then withdraw at the first sign of resistance.

The Marmosians have arrived at the far end of the red link from Atropos to Delphinius…

…where those two Shevar ships are quickly removed from the picture.

And Delphinius III itself is claimed by the Marmosians.

Our own ships have arrived in the next system on from Millitrin, Algol.

There’s where we’ll hold for now, with Algol V under our control and not a single Shevar ship this side of the red links.

And those that arrive here are quick to turn tail and Recall back to Shevar space.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1764.5

The WS Appropriator was completed 21 days ago.

It’s flown from Hope to Atropos over the past few weeks.

Where it will head into the red link to help the Marmosians hold the other end. Their single Enormous ship was lost further into Shevar space, and Delphinius III has been retaken by the Shevar.

But first, a test of the Appropriator’s systems.

My “systems” work very well, I assume you. Especially my reproductive system — if you know what I mean.

The ship, not you.

Oh, I’m sure that works fine too.

Wow. I’d call that a pass.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1881.2

The Shevar continue to pointlessly throw ships at our defensive line at Algol. Then retreat straight away.

That’s given us plenty of time for refits. New guns for the Possibility:

And invasion modules for the Due Diligence, which has finally returned from its long back-and-forth through the Atropos red link.

That makes it the IS Due Diligence from now on.

And more technology is on the way to defend our frontier colonies.

But on the other side of the galaxy, that’s where the excitement has been happening.

The Appropriator emerged from the red link with three Shevar Mediums and Delphinius III facing it down.

We activated shields…

Boosted the range of the ship’s weapons with our new Accutron…

And laid into the enemy.

With one down and the colony taken, the other two ships fell back.

It’s almost like this whole war thing is way easier than everyone made it out to be.

Or the Shevar are the dumbest foes in galactic history.

That’s about the time the Marmosian fleet arrived.

Now who’s late to the battle?

Still you, in the grand scheme. We’ve been fighting this war for years. But I’m glad your species is finally evolving a spine.

Grand Appropriator’s Log, Star Date 1918.7

Delphinius III is the first colony to employ our newly-discovered Long Range Orbital Whoppers — to satisfying effect.

In Algol, the assembled fleet blasted Shevar scouts out of the sky for months. It’s almost pathetic.

But that was the last incoming ship on radar, so we’ve begun sending the ships through the lane. Speaking of lanes, after our offensive it looks like the “alliance” has decided to follow us into Shevar space. Here comes the cavalry:

Not the mention the Capelons reaching out very often to continue our semi-cordial trade relationship.

At least, as cordial as it seems the Capelons are capable of being.

The siege of Vega (the system at the end of Algol’s red link) began and ended in a single day

From our arrival… to the Shevar’s predictable retreat.

This is getting old.

Which leaves us with not just one solid foothold in Shevar territory, but two. Delphinius is undeniably ours, with the Marmosians backing us up and Capelon and Kambuchka reinforcements in the pipeline.

And we’ve begun to set up in Vega — we’re just waiting on the rest of the fleet we’d left at Algol.

You know what all this means? It’s about time for a pincer attack!

Your knowledge of military tactics is astonishing.

Yeah, that’s about the extent of it.

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