Expand and Exterminate — Phase 2: Codename Strategic Failure

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Broadcasting from CS Defiant, in the Syzygifer System
Day 310 of the Second Swaparaman Space Age

Fear not, Cherished Audience; we have returned.

Apologies for the interruption in our transmission. We’ll need to insulate our communications systems better from the Proton Shaver’s radiation output. Which incidentally may also be slowly cooking the crew.

–Who are all prepared to cook for the Cause, no doubt.

No doubt!

When last you saw your Spacefaring Heroes, we’d just left orbit of Syzygifer III!

Over the next few days, we traveled halfway across the system, to Syzygifer I.

Just three days ago, we arrived at the planet, where we have established the first offworld settlement in modern Swaparaman history.

Those who were volunteered for this task are the Bravest Souls the Swaparamans have to offer. They and their families have Greatly Honored the memory of Tanandanam.

In fact, we’re getting a report from the colonists right now. It says, “We have begun work on an agriplot, but are uncertain whether the climate will sustain any crops. It is very cold. It is very cold and we don’t like it here. Please let us go ho–“

Such Brave Souls! We will check in with them again later. In the meantime, the CS Defiant is approaching the star lane out of the system.

We shall be out of communications during our trip through the lane, so this is another goodbye.

A short goodbye, we hope!

IN WE GOOOOoooooooooo……….

CS Defiant, in the Hope System
Day 327 SSSA

And we are back. The Defiant has j–

Tananni, we’re being contacted!

The Frutmaka?!

No, something even weirder!

Thank you, Mebes. I am glad you recognize us as the Marvelous Swaparamans that we are. We have returned to claim our Great Destiny among the stars… and it is good that our interstellar neighbors know us to be their superiors from the beginning. There shall be less need to demonstrate our Greatness that way.

Very eloquent, Tananni.

The Mebes are amused by this speech, but will leave the Swaparamans to believe whatever they wish — for now. Farewell.

They seem nice.

“Nice” perhaps, but we shan’t let our guard down — not ever. Swaparamans can only trust Swaparamans.

Speaking of Swaparamans, Syzygifer III is sending word that they’ve begun construction on a third laboratory.

Good. We may soon need all the defenses and weapons the Science Wizards can give us.

The Mebes appear to have only one colony here in the Hope System.

In fact, the Most Wise and Potentially Psychic Tanannidon can tell our Good Viewers that this is indeed the sole colony the Mebes have. Their fleet, however, outmatches ours.

Outmatches ours in numbers, perhaps, but Swaparaman resolve will always outmatch that of our enemies. Do not fear, my people. Soon, Syzygifer III will launch a second ship to defend our doorstep. The Defiant, however, must continue on its mission of Righteous Expansion.

Since this system has nothing for us, this is Tanannidon signing off as we make our way to the next star lane…

…and toward an unmapped yellow sun…

CS Defiant, in the Aglarond System
Day 372 SSSA

The Aglarond System welcomes us!

In the time we were traveling the star lane, it seems the Mebes have established a second colony here — Aglarond III.

However, four other worlds stand before us for the taking.

  

Before that, though — I’m picking up an unknown ship on sensors! They’re hailing us.

Frutmaka?!

Tananni… I’ll let you know when it’s Frutmaka.

“Excited,” they say. Excellent. They must also have heard of the Marvelous Swaparamans. Send them the standard greeting. We have a planet to colonize.

Which one should we claim?

Set course for the largest, most mineral-rich planet, Aglarond IV.

CS Defiant, in the Aglarond System
Day 378 SSSA

Our third colony is a reality!

And a necessity. Forward Station shall be our eyes and ears in this dangerous, distant region of space — and our front line of defense.

Even before we reached the Aglarond System, two unknown alien ships were on their way into our space! As you know, the one designated orange turned out to belong to the Chronomyst. But we still don’t know who green is.

And now, a third ship approaches from here:

We are surrounded.

But don’t be afraid! The Great Tanannidon can protect you!

Toward that end, our scientists have shifted focus to Invasion Modules and Molecular Disassociators.

With those, we’ll continue to combat the dangers of the universe.

Yes, so do not fear. But do continue to send your donations to the Reasserting Swaparaman Dominion Fund. “Only We Can Keep You Safe.”

We’ll check in once again on the other side of this star lane!

CS Defiant, in the Icarus System
Day 412 SSSA

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S “GONE?”

I… I’m not sure yet. But, T-Tananni… we’re on the air…

Ah. I, uh, yes. Hello. We have just emerged from the star lane and been notified of the news you may have already heard back at home…

Y-yes. It seems Forward Station has been lost. We’re just now reviewing the footage from the attack…

That ship…

I know that design. It’s–

Wait, they sent a transmission just before the invasion began!

–Frutmaka.

…that’s the whole message.

Do you see, Revered Viewers? The savage Frutmaka attack a defenseless colony unprovoked. What have we been telling you all these years? The universe is a remorseless place, but you must count on us to bring order to it.

Yeah… our single unarmed ship is super prepared to fight a war…

Did you say something?

Uh– I said the Swaparamans were born to fight this war!

CS Defiant, in the Ribulon System
Day 453 SSSA

Defenses have been under construction in orbit over Syzygifer III to protect you, Good Citizens.

They’ve already been a success! A Frutmaka entered the system several weeks ago…

And before even coming into range of our missile battery, it turned tail and fled back to the star lane!

Indeed. The mere sight of the Swaparaman Empire sends the Frutmaka — once our greatest nemesis — running for the hills.

The pause in their assault has given us time to begin working on a new warship:

The “WS Liberator” is not only armed with three missile launchers, but a low-grade shield generator…

And more importantly, Invasion Modules to take back the colony the Frutmaka stole from us.

Meanwhile, the Brave and Good Tanannidon have continued deeper into Frutmaka territory!

The Icarus System was an unthreatening Frutmaka backwater. Ribulon I, however, is more developed.

Likely closer to their — and our — home system. Though our ship be unarmed and vulnerable, nothing shall stop Tanannidon from completing that quest to find our former home.

…well, I can think of one or two things…

CS Defiant, in the Ribulon System
Day 499 SSSA

We have turned back.

…We have.

Now, you may remember that I said nothing would stop us from finding our home planet of old. And this is true.

But we didn’t say we’d find it right now! And… we don’t have a fast enough ship to make a run past the missile bases we found at Paragon I — or the Frutmaka ship stationed in the system.

Sooo we’ll be back with a bigger ship. Later.

However, the more pressing matter is this Frutmaka ship that has been approaching the Syzygifer System for days now.

It is about to come out of the star lane now, and while the Liberator is not yet space-ready, Terrifying Presence is just as terrifying as it was when last we frightened the Frutmaka off.

Here they come, Tananni!

…and they’re not turning back this time.

What? Then open fire.

We can’t. They’re out of range.

Making for Syzygifer I. Those cowards.

Syzygifer I is sending a message: “Despite the freezing cold, our colony has begun to get off the ground. You’ll be happy to hear that a missile base will be complete in three days, in case we meet any hostile lifeforms out there.”

Oh. I don’t think we ever hooked them into the Empire-wide broadcast system. Do they even know we’re at war?

Uh, it goes on: “Once we’ve set up some decent defensive systems here, can we please come home? It’s really cold and– Tanandanam’s ghost! What is that in the sky?! …That’s all. The Frutmaka ship has descended on the colony. We’ve lost them.

All… part of the plan, folks. Please do not be alarmed.

Now the ship’s making a run for Syzygifer III!

Are they in range?

Yes. We’re firing!

Direct hit! But… they’re still flying.

Fire again, then. Destroy them.

Tananni… these missile bases take 24 hours to reload and rearm.

…At least the shields will hold them off.

…uuhhhhhhhhhhh…

What now?

Looks like they were going for Syzygifer II, actually.

They’ve launched a colonizer pod onto the surface. They’ve taken Syzygifer II right from under our nostril flaps.

All. Part. Of. The. Plan.

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