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A War for the Stars

Page: 1/7

Written by Erax

Originally posted in A War for the Stars thread on Shrapnel Games Intel Forums.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.0:

I have been on this planet for ten weeks now. All attempts to contact Imperial Fleet have failed. Until now, I had been waiting for the ion storms to cease, for communications to be restored, for the arrival of the task force that should be supporting our operations here. Now I must change my premises. I can no longer make plans for when they arrive, I must plan my actions if they arrive. And, what is more important, if they do not arrive. We are in the Unknown Regions here; there was only one known hyperspace route to this system and it seems to be closed. I do not know what event could have caused this, but it is likely to be the same event that is causing the massive storms.

I was sent to Virgillia V with a simple mission: expand the spaceyard and spaceport facilities here to allow an Imperial task force to operate in the region, conquering any independent races and adding them to the Empire. In time, Virgillia would become the capital of a new Imperial sector.

I am still operating under those orders; local shipbuilding technology is primitive, not much more than non-regenerating atomic engines and crude laser cannons. Using the designs I brought with me, we are upgrading local plants to an acceptable level, but it will be more than a year before we can turn out our first ion drives. The planet has a large, well-trained, contented workforce, but the local shipyard is too small. We need more resouces. We need orbital facilities. We need better tools. And we will have to provide them all ourselves.

And I will be in charge of it all. As pro tem military governor, I am the highest Imperial military and civilian authority in the region. Whatever the results here, I will have to answer for them. Failure will bring contempt, success might bring suspicion. I could easily be accused of overstepping my bounds. Having no one to report to could, in time, make me become a warlord.

And so this log. If I do become a warlord, I will do it with full knowledge of when, why and how it happened.

And I will erase this log the minute that task force appears on our scanners.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.1:

I made it our first priority to secure all insystem resources. Our future sector capital was chosen with care; Virgillia V boasts excellent conditions, but there are three partially and one fully colonizable planets as well. I have authorized construction of a series of insystem colony ships using native technology, which we have named the Nova class. Nova I will be ready early next tenth*, but she is already obsolete. By the time she launches we will have begun work on a second colonizer with improved atomic engines.

But there are other challenges. Power generation technology is still far behind Imperial standards. Our first shipboard atomic reactor prototype will be coming online in five tenths and not a day sooner, unless we can get some additional workshops built at our colonies.

And it's not just the reactors. There are a hundred other things that need to be developed before we can begin to fulfill our orders to explore and expand. It's enough to make me forget how isolated we are out here, with no ships, no HoloNet, no travellers bringing news from home.

I suppose I should be glad.

* - 0.1 year.
Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.2:

Fate sometimes plays us strange cards. I was never meant to be fully in charge here. To the Imperial Fleet, I was always a necessity, someone whose job needed to be done before they could take off in their shiny ships to do the real work.

They call officers like me planet builders. But they have other names they use when we're not around. Dirtsiders. Rockhuggers. Dock jocks. They might promote me, but they would never let me work unsupervised.

But it happened. Yesterday we launched the Nova I, with 14 million colonists aboard her. They should reach Virgillia I within the tenth. She was the crudest, ugliest ship I ever launched.

When she took off, she was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

Nova I will do her job. In my heart, I know it.

But will I ?

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.3:

The colony on Virgillia I is well established. We will set up several industrial and tech facilities there to speed up our technological upgrade program. The planet has dense vegetable cover and we wil establish some organic farms there eventually, but these are not a priority right now.

Our reactor program has been put on hold. The population here is starting to lose its motivation. They are not restless yet, but my Intel officer tells me it is only a matter of time.

Imperial citizens need the Empire. They are used to seeing fleets, troops, Imperial pronouncements. Without these things they become disoriented. We can only give them the troops.

We will need recruitment stations, training camps, HQs, bases. We will need a year or more to build all this; we must devote every resource to this program, except for what is being spent on colonization. Shipbuilding will continue, but colonizing other planets will be useless if we cannot hold onto them.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.7:

Things have been too busy for me to write here lately. Nova II and III have been built and launched. We have a mining colony on Virgillia IV and a farming/mining colony on Virgillia II. Nova IV launches in a few days for Virgillia VI, the last colonizable planet in this system under current technology; we must now set out for the nearest stars.

It will be years before we have our first native-built hyperdrive, but there may be a way around this. There are four stellar anomalies at the edges of the system; according to native scientists, these could be wormholes. If they are wormholes, and navigable, we might be able to colonize another system or two and perhaps re-establish communications with the Empire.

Wormholes are extremely rare in the known Galaxy and most of them occur deep in interstellar space. It is highly unlikely that this system should have not one, but four of them.

But the potential for gain is too great to be ignored. I have ordered a new class of ship built to explore these objects. The Seeker I will have a corvette-sized hull, four atomic engines and enough cryogenic cells to get her there and back.

On another note, the people seem to be happy again. Perhaps we can go back to reactor production.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.8:

I have decided to go ahead with our energy program; we need shipboard reactors in order to patrol this system effectively. Now that we have colonies on several planets, this has become a concern. I have also halted Seeker I's construction until we can fit her with a reactor.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2400.9:

Shipboard atomic reactors are now possible. As a side benefit, we can now freeze greater amounts of tibanna gas into cryogenic cells, all of which should greatly increase our ships' range. The Nova and Seeker designs have been upgraded to include reactors and the new generation cryogenic cells.

The Seeker class also sports seven Mk II laser cannons. There may or may not be spacefaring aliens in this region of the Galaxy, but if there are we cannot be defenceless.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2401.0:

We have established a farming colony on Virgillia VI and Seeker I will be ready next tenth. Everything else proceeds far too slowly.

Our training camps are a prime example. We will need to staff them with Imperial Army officers and instructors, of which we have only a handful here. By rights we should have a general in charge of our future system army forces, but the highest-ranked Army officer on planet is Colonel Sheer.

We will also need stormtrooper and starfighter forces, and with these we face a greater problem. Stormtroopers and starfighter pilots are raised and trained on secret, specialized worlds; the distribution of their units among Imperial Fleet and local governors is handled by their own branches.

We, on the other hand, will have to raise these forces from the local citizenry. And to do that it seems I will have to grant myself extraordinary powers.

I have to make plans. I have to find out which of my staff will support me in this.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2401.1:

Fate has been dealing its cards again. Seeker I was built and launched on schedule, and set out for the nearest of the four stellar anomalies placed around this system. It turned out to be a wormhole after all, a large, stable and apparently navigable wormhole. I was about to order Captain Veren to approach it when he asked permission to enter it.

What he found on the other side was incredible. He emerged into another star system, with one fully and four partially colonizable planets, and two other wormholes at its edges. The scientists here are still spinning theories to explain all this, but I must conclude that these wormholes - or hyperconduits, as some of the scientists are calling them - are artificial. And whoever made them may still be around.

All of this actually worked to my advantage. I gathered all top Imperial personnel - Army, Navy, ISB, civilian - and told them a scary story about a possible race of super-aliens with vastly superior technology. They all agreed that we should use every means possible to re-establish contact with the Empire to warn them of this, and that the most logical way to do it would be to use these hyperconduits to colonize as many systems as possible until we reach one that is in a known region of the Galaxy.

They agreed that every new system that we colonize should be subordinate to Virgillia. In effect, we are now a sector and I am its Moff.

With that question settled, I ordered the construction of five new colonizers meant for the new system, which we called Gesaril. The best way to be acknowledged as Moff is to act like one.

Seeker I, Captain's log, SGY 2401.2:

We've returned safely from the Gesaril system and are on our way to the next wormhole leading out from Virgillia. The ship and her crew are performing well. None of us had ever jumped into a completely unknown system before and now we are about to do it a second time.

Admiral Wiers' private log, SGY 2401.2:

I have decided to retain the title of Admiral while acting as sector Moff. This way it will be easier if - or rather when - I am called upon to explain my actions to my superiors.

Next: First contact.

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Written by Erax

Copyright © by the author, posted with permission.

Published on: 2003-08-08 (19921 reads)

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