Expand and Exterminate — Phase 5: Codename Attack of the Clods

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Broadcasting from WS Vanguard, in the Hope System
Day 1044 of the Second Swaparaman Space Age

Since we took Hope I, the Mebes and their allies have sent countless ships to the system. All have been annihilated.

All… four countless ships, yeah.

What fools would throw this many ships, this many lives away in the hopes of taking a single world?

Taking back their homeworld, you mean.

Whatever.

Actually, doesn’t all this sound kind of familiar, Tananni?

I have no idea what you mean. In any case, construction of defenses has begun on Hope I, so that we may soon turn our attention away from holding this system and back to taking back the– er… to resuming our Righteous Quest to return to the Homewor– uh…

Like I said…

Just… cut this part out, Don. Cut it. Turn off th–

*krrzt-*

–and after the Kambuchka’s humiliating defeat, they’ve made a peace offering.

It may come as a surprise, but we have accepted the offer.

If it means fewer distractions on our way into Frutmaka space, the peace will be welcome.

And now that the ships coming through the red link aren’t an imminent threat — and orbital docks have been built in orbit of Hope — it’s time for refits!

Our brave crews can take a bit of shore leave while the ships are repaired and the spent invasion units are replaced with additional weapons and power systems.

Meanwhile, acquiring this second star system means we can add a third ship to our fleet — a dedicated invasion ship.

The invasion ship “Liberty?”

That’s correct. Bringing liberty back to Forward Station! (And any other hostile colonies along the way.)

WS Vanguard, in the Hope System
Day 1139 SSSA

The fleet stands ready.

The warships Vanguard and Shieldbearer, as well as the invasion ship Liberty are assembled in the Hope System, and we are ready to pass through the star lane to the Aglarond System. There, we reclaim Forward Station from the Frutmaka.

Before we go radio silent for the trip, we wanted to update our Eager Audience on the Great Progress we have made. A new shipyard will soon be ready above Hope I, allowing construction of ships closer to the warfront.

Or, if we ever have the fleet capacity to build more than one ship at a time,–

We surely will.

–we could be constructing one in Hope while another is built back in Syzygifer.

Speaking of Syzygifer, these colonies behind the front lines now have the freedom to pursue scientific endeavors with our new research campuses — an advanced version of the older laboratories. And all this research will soon make possible an advanced type of industrial facility to replace our aging factories!

Don seems somehow averse to mentioning all the inferior alien scum we’ve destroyed in white-hot fireballs, but rest assured — that has also been happening with great regularity.

Anyway… when you hear from us next, we’ll be in the Aglarond System!

I will do one better: When you hear from us next, we will be in control of Forward Station.

Forward Station, Aglarond IV
Day 1184 SSSA

This may have been your first prediction to come true, Tananni.

With every day passing day, the will of Tanandanam becomes clearer to me. Five days ago, we arrived in Aglarond…

and today we stand on the surface of Aglarond IV, victorious.

The Frutmaka defense forces could do little to resist our assault.

Unfortunately, the Shieldbearer had to turn back and return through the star lane. To deal with… some stuff.

Yes, yes. A minor oversight back in Hope.

If you are living on Hope I, please do not be alarmed by the Mebes ship currently pummeling your orbital shield grid while it sits just out of range of missiles.

We may have been slightly overconfident and forgotten that the same tactics we have been using to attack planets could be used against us.

I am sure the Shieldbearer will be back in time to save you from destruction. Just keep rebuilding those shield generators!

Actually, I’m getting word that all orbital structures have been destroyed already. 

Oh. Well, you fought well, Hopeans. Farewell.

Doesn’t look like the Mebes invaded, though. Maybe they didn’t have any invasion units? They’re on their way to Syzygifer now.

Damn them to the nine spore-pits.

Forward Station, Aglarond IV
Day 1218 SSSA

The damned Mebes have continued their cowardly hit and run tactics against us. They bounce from Hope to Syzygifer and back again, destroying our orbital structures but doing little else.

At last, just today, the spore-brained idiots bumbled into range of our missiles… and that was the end of them.

With that victory, the Shieldbearer’s return to the Hope System tomorrow might now seem like a waste…

…except now the Chronomysts might be coming down the red link at us at any moment.

Must have felt threatened by our rise to power, I suppose.

But I’m sure what’s on everyone’s mind is the Frutmaka ship just one day away from Aglarond.

We will be with you tomorrow for a special report. How truly vile and repugnant are the Frutmaka? The truth may shock you!

Forward Station, Aglarond IV
Day 1219 SSSA

We meet at last, face to ugly face.

Just as I told you, viewers. There’s no talking to them!

And as I told our people. There is no dealing with a Swaparaman.

Deal? You are correct there. There will never be any deals between the Great Swaparamans and the Treacherous Frutmaka. Betrayal and backstabbing are the only language they understand!

Ha! For a time I had believed maybe the stories were wrong, but you sound just as misguided as that old fool Tanandanam!

Destroy the nonbelievers! FIRE!

That was maybe the most pointless conversation I’ve ever witnessed.

Here they come.

They’re in weapons range of the Vanguard. Orders, Tananni?

Shields up!

And fire!

Direct hit! Wait — what are they doing?

They’re… not attacking? Are they… okay?

Not our problem. Finish them.

[LPer’s Note: I have no idea what the AI was doing here.]

Well, they are certainly not okay now, Don.

Forward Station, Aglarond IV
Day 1248 SSSA

Our last encounter with the Frutmaka may have been a distractionary tactic. Another arrived a few days later, and though it may not have been a match for the Vanguard, all this has delayed our siege of the Mebe’s planet here, Aglarond III.

The Frutmaka ship may… have also established a colony on Aglarond I before we could deal with them.

Aaand then fled through the star lane to Hope.

Don, please. Our audience does not need to know all this. We shall only alarm them unnecessarily.

How about, um… the ship we detected–

Don’t.

But Tananni! They’re coming! The biggest ship we–

Everything will be fine. Tanandanam’s Will, remember?

AGH! Every time you say that, something EXPLODES. I mean, look at this ship! Can’t we just go home and call this whole thing–

Please do not worry, viewers. Don is merely having a bad day. The Frutmaka, the Mebes, the Kambuchka, the Chronomysts — they are all but a… passing… … threat… … …

…that really is a big ship…

WAIT ARE THERE TWO OF THEM?

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