Space Empires. The perils of deep space (part 1 of 2)

Droids Confederation (yellow): Alex Isabelle
Shogunate of the Stars (green): Andrea Benassi
Earth’s Military Junta (blue): AI
Space Troglodytes (red): AI

The Sector, dominated by the two allied peoples of the Shoguns and the Droids, is experiencing a prolonged period of peace and prosperity. This is fueled by riches from the Galactic Capital, a deep space planet that is actually easy to reach via a wormhole. The Capital is the center of control over this Sector, and is governed by the two peoples mentioned above. The presence of aliens in deep space is known, but it is not the subject of real considerations. Shoguns and Droids have no interest in expanding their empires.

Suddenly, however, an alarm spreads: two external peoples are initiating large-scale military operations. The first comes from planet Earth and is dominated by an extremely disciplined Military Junta; the other is an inferior power that does not appear in the encyclopedias of the Galactic Capital; it is only known that it comes from the planet Altair, and it is matter of suspiction that it’s not an advanced civilization. Their goal is to quickly occupy as many planets as possible, so as to acquire enormous economic power and become the new rulers of the Sector, constituting an alternative, and much more solid, center of power than the Galactic Capital.

They don't intend to do it peacefully. They know very well that the Shoguns and the Droids will not allow them to grow undisturbed. The Sector, so, immediately plunges into open warfare.

As the attackers begin the preparation of their army and search for war technologies suitable for the adventure they are about to undertake, the Shoguns and the Droids decide that their neighboring systems must be explored for resources to be used in the war. The Shogun flagship is activated: before even exploring the near space, the one free from threats, it proceeds to explore a system located in deep space, just at the side of the home planet, finding... a space amoeba.

The space amoeba in sector K6

The news hits the authorities of the Galactic Capital like a bucket of frozen water, and throws the alliance of Shoguns and Droids into chaos. Amoebas are not a danger to be taken lightly, and this effectively brings the number of factions involved in this war to three.

This is a huge alien inhabitant of deep space, impossible to damage until appropriate research is conducted, and which will begin to reproduce within a few years. A reproducing amoeba does so by budding. The number of space amoebas grows at an exponential rate: from one two are born, four are born from two, eight are born from four; in doing so they spread into the surrounding space. What's more, they devour anything they find, which is an immediate problem, as this first amoeba was found right next to the Shogun homeworld. It is a very serious business, which requires the utmost, immediate attention. The matter of the war against other empires is therefore set aside: the Shoguns immediately develop research ships, while the Droids prepare mines, to be used to control the expansion of the amoebas should the researches be too slow. Meanwhile, they begin arming a fleet that can destroy the amoeba immediately once the search for the Shoguns is over.

Meanwhile, the Military Junta of the Earth launches a first exploratory fleet. The destination is a planet in the Draconis system, one of the systems closest to the currently uninhabited homeworld of the Droids. The journey promises to be long, but unexpectedly they find along the way another planet, a stone's throw from home, Cygni, inhabited by an inferior alien race. They decide that for now this is a sufficient destination: they destroy its fleet, descend on the planet, and annex it as their own province.

A small fleet of the other aliens, the mysterious Troglodytes who support the military initiative of the Junta of the Earth, meanwhile leaves the planet Altair for the Galactic Capital. The latter must be defended at all costs. Having prepared an emergency fleet, the Shoguns, who have not yet finished analyzing the amoeba, are preparing for a clash that is expected to be difficult, launching at full power into the high orbit of the Galactic Capital. However, this time it is up to the enemy empire to make an unwelcome surprise. Entering a system adjacent to the nebule ring surrounding the capital, Altair's fleet identifies a huge, mysterious machine, which shows signs of activity as the ships approach. This is a Doomsday Machine, a huge mechanical device capable of demolishing entire planets, left here by some ancient alien people, perhaps by the ancient inhabitants of the Galactic Capital themselves. A battle, that leads to the destruction of Altair's fleet, ensues, between the shouts of joy of the Shoguns.

The Doomsday Machine meets
the troglodyte fleet

In the meantime, after two years of research, it is discovered on which frequency to tune the lasers of the warships in order to break down the amoeba. Immediately a varied group of Droid ships is sent to meet her. The group includes a cruiser, some destroyers, the three scouts with whom the exploration of space had begun, and the Droid flagship. The battle is bloody. The Droids hardly manage to hit the amoeba, which at one point manages to engulf half of this attack group in a single bite. The flagship is also counted among the losses. The remaining scouts manage to finish the job.

The defeat of the amoeba is certainly good news; the economy of the Shoguns and Droids, though, in these first years of war, was devastated by this first, unwelcome encounter in deep space. Much of their neighboring systems are yet to be conquered, and the enemies are already thinking of offensive campaigns. In fact, a second exploratory fleet is detached from planet Earth. The destination would once again be Draconis... but once again the fleet finds an unknown planet in deep space, this time in the Aries system, and decides to colonize that one. At this point, the alliance of the Military Junta and their sub-allies is halfway to victory.

The Doomsday Machine, risen to be the fourth power in play, at that point could have headed towards the Galactic Capital, attacking the Shogunate fleet and then proceeding to the complete, immediate demolition of the planet. The Shogun officers are already shitting themselves at the idea of having to resist that destructive power, and try to figure out how to deal with it. Meanwhile, however, a second fleet from Altair, this time very well armed, approaches the Machine, entering its radar. At this point it is only chance that determines the movement of the Doomsday Machine, and it happens that it decides to face the fleet of Troglodytes. In the new battle that follows, the Machine is destroyed, but the troglodyte fleet, directed not to the Galactic Capital but to the shogun colony on the planet Kronos, is decidedly battered.

Due to the conquests of the Military Junta and some minerals collected on the way by their fleets and their primitive companions, at this point, the defeat for the alliance of Droids and Shogun is near: should an other enemy colony be founded, in fact, these will have to accept the authority of the new rulers of the Sector. The imminent battle for Kronos is therefore a battle to the death, fundamental for the development of the war. The Shogun fleet, the one initially sent to defend the Galactic Capital, is redirected to this planet as quickly as possible. Here, therefore, takes place the battle, very bloody, at the end of which only a ship of the Shoguns survives. The Troglodyte fleet was destroyed.

Among other cries of joy, therefore, a communiqué rises to all peoples faithful to the Galactic Capital: the war is not yet lost.

(continues next week)

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