Space Empires. On the outskirts of the Ancient Empire (part 1 of 2)

The Olds of the Crisis (blue): Alex Isabelle
The Lattemiele Empire (yellow): Laura Beltrami
The Communists of the Prophecy (red): Andrea Benassi
The Iron Giants (green): Carlo Alberto Magnani

The "Olds" of the "Crisis". Why olds, and what crisis are we talking about? And what made the Intrigons of the distant Lattemiele Empire go to war against them? What was the Prophecy that Communists on planet Altair were concerned about? And what are the plans of the Giants of the distant green planet Chulak?

Let's rewind the tape. Let's go back to what happened before the battle in the skies of Eden and the expulsion of the Lattemiele in the Nebula F-13, before the explosion of the Supernova I-6, before the discovery of Arrakis and the Ancient Empire.

Let's start from the beginning.

The principle is, first of all, a period of black crisis for the native race of planet Earth, the Olds, a republican people who had seen in hyperspace travel a great opportunity to enrich themselves. It certainly would have been were it not that, after building three scouts and sending them out to explore nearby systems, one of them was immediately warped into a black hole, being sucked into it instantly. This forced the Olds to continue the early phase of their cosmic exploration with one less ship than the other empires that, at the same time, dominated their respective sectors of the galaxy.

Arrakis and its defenders (the Fremen?)

Among them the space Communists of the planet Altair, in the offices of whose space cooperatives an ancient prophecy had long been talked about. Which one, for a while, we were not been given to know. The first space expansion, dominated by the construction of a dense network of star portals aimed at speeding up not the movement between planets, rather the circumvention of the huge black hole that dominated that sector of the galaxy, did not shed light on that matter. Rumors that the prophecy could be correct finally became public as the Communists approached deep space. Here they immediately found themselves in front of a planet long thought uninhabited, Arrakis, also known as... you know what I mean. Arrakis, however, was not uninhabited, but rather defended by a very aggressive alien flotilla that immediately demolished the scout sent to advance. Everyone in Altair trembled: it was true, then, that the Ancient Empire still existed in deep space.

The native empire of the planet Chulak did not behave much differently: they did all the appropriate research in their sector, and then tried to discover something more about deep space in their turn. Result: Just like the Communist Scout, their vanguard ended up on an uninhabited planet: Abydos, well defended by a fleet that demolished their exploration ship. An interesting fact is that this scout of theirs withstood two shots before crashing into the atmosphere of Abydos. This revealed to all the galaxy the real identity of the inhabitants of Chulak: they are nothing less than the Giants. They and their ships were huge: they all have larger hulls than the equivalent ships of other empires, and therefore withstand many more hits before collapsing. Problem: Their fleet could not include fighters, and it had exorbitant maintenance costs.

While all of this was happening the Lattemiele Empire of Intrigons decided to prepare immediately for war. After some miscalculations, which slowed down the expansion in the systems of near space, they set up a fleet capable of withstanding an initial impact, and begun to question which direction to take. The races that populated the galaxy were now known, and sooner or later one would rise above the others. With whom to open the war? The Communists on the other side of the sector were not an option for purely geographical reasons. The question therefore was whether to proceed towards the domains of the Iron Giants or towards those of the Olds.

The decision soon turned out to be simple: the latter, unable to recover from that scout crashed like an asshole on the black hole next to their home, had worked for several years at a decidedly less marked economic pace than their competitors, living in fact a real economic crisis; the knowledge that they were the galactic equivalent of a third world country had forced them to invest more in weapons than they would have liked, in order to safeguard borders that they feared would remain untouched for a short time. Paradoxically, they were the first to violate them, sending their own scout to explore the unknown space that separated their sector from that of the Intrigons of the Lattemiele Empire. The scouts exploded after revealing another alien planet, Gath; this not before having discovered the existence of a safe route that allowed to pass without problems from the Lattemiele systems to those of the Olds, by means of a nebula.

At this point, while the Communists and the Giants continued their peaceful expansion, the Intrigons decided to exploit the weakness of the Olds, sending a military vanguard through the aforementioned interspatial passage, dominated by the F-13 nebula. Objective: the planet Eden, a distant colony of the Olds, essentially unprepared for an attack. To face this threat, the Olds sent all the troops at their disposal to Eden, including some cruisers who were at that time dedicating themselves to a prudent exploration of deep space, hoping to find there what bad luck had taken away from them at home. The Intrigons bombed Eden mercilessly, almost destroying the fully developed colony at that time. The colonists of Eden, in the second year of bombing, however managed to resist, transferring the infrastructures underground and maximizing their planetary shields. At this point the fleet of the Lattemiele Empire had to face the variegated fleet of the Olds, who presented themselves to the battle fierce enough to force them to make a first retreat in the direction of the nebula from which they had arrived. But not only. In the course of the battle, the cruisers of the Olds proved to have a much more advanced shield system than expected. Finally it was understood why they called themselves "Olds". Theirs was a race of immortals plagued with reduced fertility. To safeguard their infinite life and the limited numbers of their members, they had developed technologies that could also be used for war purposes, such as these advanced shields that gave their ships a tactical advantage.

The fleet of the Lattemiele, backed away
up to Prometheus, and destined to retreat further
inside the F-13 Nebula

This first encounter was followed by a series of further skirmishes against the Intrigons, during which they lost a few ships, caused some losses, and made a series of controlled retreats to the F-13 nebula. Along the way they destroyed a very expensive Olds' colony ship - given the reduced fertility of the latter, their colonizing ships cost 20% more, which certainly did not help resolving the current economic crisis.

In the course of these skirmishes the two empires of the Olds and the Intrigons substantially weakened each other. They wasted time and resources that drained their peripheral systems, attracted the attention of the Communists and Giants, engaged in a slow exploration of deep space, still dominated by the fringes of the Ancient Empire, and started a cold war that could become hot at any moment. If the front between them ended up suddenly exploding, or if instead these two empires turned their gaze towards the Olds and the Lattemiele Empire, now weaker, we will find out in the next report.

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