The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 5 Cocooning
Within days of establishing the Saak IV colony and our four-ship LR Cruiser squadron arriving in the system, the Ithkul made, in our minds, a tentative probe. A solitary SR attack vessel entered the system and immediately engaged our warships. We were confident, yet cautious, as is our nature. We scanned them thoroughly for as much information as possible, but all we were able to determine was that their weapons signature did not match those that had destroyed our scout. This was both an interesting but also disturbing revelation. If not the Ithkul, who was responsible for our scout's destruction? Regardless, upon engagement, the Ithkul parasite was obliterated in short order. Although a minor victory in reality, we considered it an immense boost for our empire's morale as well as showing the Ithkul that we were more than capable of defending ourselves. The point had been driven home even more convincingly... build our defenses here, in Saak, and prepare.
At our southern tip, the chokepoint system of Selia was experiencing different difficulties. Our trade agreements with the Eolodi had expanded to include research and intelligence, but now they wanted to expand this even further to include open border trade. We felt this was too much, too fast. We were concerned that, should open border access be granted, the Eolodi would attempt to colonize worlds in our interior and should relations ever deteriorate, we would be at their mercy. We had discovered that they were one of the foremost species in the galaxy, with membership in something called the Orion Senate and through the Eolodi we had learned that there were at least ten other intelligent advanced races throughout the known galaxy. To be blunt, this scared us even more, kicking off a xenophobic pulse throughout the High Council. So many species! So much danger! Better to close the borders and protect what we have.
With that, and without angering our more powerful trade partners, we quietly began building more warp capable colony ships from our magnate friends, along with our own, and deploying them to all worlds in our little area of space. Once in place and colonized, we could then satisfy our Eolodi friends with consent to their wishes without allowing them worlds in our space.
In the end, with the exception of a few planets, which remain uncolonized, we were highly successful in our endeavours. Our Open Border Trade agreement evolved into a Full Alliance, we believe mainly due to our existing state of war imposed by the Ithkul. As the saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Our defensive fleets were growing rapidly, as our push to maximize our technology expanded. We have reached a new level in shipbuilding, now capable of building Battle Cruisers at multiple planets' shipyards, so much so that both the Selia and Saak system have five full TF's of LR ships comprised of sixteen Battle Cruiser LR ships and two Destroyer Recon ships.
We have been "attacked" once in the Selia system by an unidentified species, which we believe is some type of fish race, but we are uncertain. We have not formally met, nor will we likely do so in the near future. Our southern border is completely filled with Eolodi systems as far as the eye and sensors can see. Regardless, their single TF was no match for our ninety ships and they were vapourized almost instantaneously.
Most interesting, is we have finally determined the race of murderers of our scout ship. It was a species that is made up of rock. We determined this when another single SR attack vessel entered the Saak system shortly after the original Ithkul incursion. When the system sensors sounded the alert, we assumed another Ithkul transgressor, but it turned out to be this completely otherworldly species. Their weapons signature was a direct match and our fleet commanders took great joy in blowing their solitary cruiser into cosmic dust.
They, however, do not appear to be the problem on the Saak frontier; sensors indicate a large number of Ithkul vessels massing in Moya and now the single system between Moya and Saak has been colonized completely by the Ithkul. War is imminent. Pushing out may be our only option. Very soon we will need to expand to satisfy our empires phenomenal growth rate and war with our Eolodi neighbours to the south is out of the question. The time is almost at hand.