The Evon Experience
by Alex Poff
Chapter 21 The Decision
The High Council was greatly disturbed by this turn of events. What exactly were the Eolodi doing? They had declared war on the Tralaifa and had persuaded us to do the same, to our detriment. To make matters worse, they had signed a new alliance with the Tralaifa, without informing us. Had we not sought the Tralaifas’ forgiveness, all in Ursa would have been lost. Now, they had declared war on the Olaptra. There was never any doubt in the High Council’s minds’ that we would not listen to the Eolodi again; it was now a question of aligning with the Olaptra only, or declining them both.
In the end, we could not declare war on either. The Eolodi were too powerful to formally declare war on them, with our Southern front so exposed. The Olaptra would have to work out their differences with the Eolodi on their own. No, we would decline both demands and attempt to maintain our good relations with both civilizations. It would be a diplomatic challenge, but one we saw as our only option. Labon would continue to fortify our Southern front in Selia so as to deter “incursions”, while continuing the war on the Laaran to the north.
It appeared, later, that this had been the proper decision. Apparently, our military might was highly regarded in the galaxy. The Olaptra and the Eolodi carried on their bickering and fighting amongst themselves, but neither attempted any form of retaliation towards us. We were quickly becoming an empire to reckon with.
In the north, things were going extremely well. The Lepus system fell to Coilis’ forces with nary an additional casualty after implementing a new strike plan. Due to the exorbitant number of Orbital platforms protecting each individual planet, LR TF’s were no longer employed in the assaults. Only IF and CF TF’s took part in the assault, smashing the orbitals from long range, leaving the planets open to invasion or bombardment. With the collapse of Lepus, the third and final system in the “ring”, Yifini was now the final target. Laaran TF’s continued to attempt a breach in the Lann system from further north, but Semak and Hektar smashed any efforts put forward by the few silicoid TF’s that were foolish enough to enter their space. We continued our policy of conquering worlds that would not accommodate Evon life, enslaving the rocks to build our ships (they were quite good at it, actually) while annihilating completely planets that had conditions suitable for our peo
ple, to satisfy our growing demand for space in the galaxy.
The Yifini systems’ destruction and subjugation was well underway, when our scientific advisors passed on their latest round of discoveries. A new ship hull size had been developed, building on the Dreadnought model, and simply called Superdreadnought. Our fighter ships for our carriers were now also able to utilize our Phaser technology, along with the ability to activate shielding (we had stolen this technology with the help of some well-planted spies in the Laaran empire), making them far more powerful and better defended. A more powerful missile had also been developed, making our “rock crushers” even more potent. And finally, the development of the Lightning Generator Point Defense weaponry, which had been so expertly deployed by the Laaran years earlier, came on-line. Astounding breakthroughs, all.
Labon now had something he had not experienced before, an overabundance of production facilities. He issued the following orders for a change in production scheduling:
Mission ships: IF, CF and LR all to be Superdreadnought class, most advanced weaponry. Reduced numbers of LR ships to be built, due to current attack strategy.
PD ships: Dreadnought class, filled with Lightning Generator weaponry and best possible detection grid.
Recon ships: Battleship class, filled with Lightning Generator weaponry and best possible ECCM technology.
Yifini fell, much as the Lepus system had. Production of Superdreadnought class ships was well underway, but none had yet been even deployed to any system. Selia, to the south, had been fortified with five 2nd generation Dreadnought TF’s, to complement the existing five ancient LR Battle Cruiser TF’s currently in the system, Tovam’s solitary 2nd generation Battleship IF TF was disbanded and put into reserves as well. Tovam’s flag had been transferred to one of the newer IF TF’s, as he maintained a constant vigil on the Eolodi and their undertakings.
Once Yifini, the last system in the “ring”, fell, long range sensors were able to determine that the Laaran only held two additional systems to the north of the “ring” and that these systems led nowhere. This was excellent news to Labon. Potentially, with a successful mission to exterminate the rocks to the north, a third additional front would not need to be established and defended. All ships could then be reassigned to either Moya, which seemed to be the “door” to the rest of the interior of the known galaxy, or to Selia in the south, as required. Labon was feeling extremely confident. He gave orders to re-deploy our five old LR Battle Cruiser TF’s from Selia, assigning them to individual system patrols in Ognath, Laan, Lepus and Yifini to the north and Ursa in the south. This left Selia with only five TF’s for defense, but all were updated 2nd generation Dreadnought class. We also now had an abundance of non-deployed Superdreadnought ships, available at a
moments notice, should they be required.
With patrol of our new systems taken care of, Coilis was to move to Moya and take command of the defensive fleet stationed there and await further instruction. Semak, chomping at the bit for more action, was to take our forces north to Tokan, the first of the two remaining rock systems to the north of the ring and the infamous site of the destruction of our first warp capable scout ship, so many years ago. There, along with Sasktewels ground troops, he was to continue our policy of conquer and exterminate. Semak would have approximately twenty Dreadnought TF’s at his disposal.
Labon presented his plans and goals to the High Council, who greeted him and his ideas with exuberance. Xetaph congratulated him and then formally announced his retirement, passing on his confidence to a young Lebak, who had been his protégé now for a number of years.
The first orders of business for Lebak and the High Council came once again in the form of entreaties by the Eolodi. After the loss of Ursa IV, the Eolodi had quickly moved and colonized the now barren world, leaving us with only Ursa VI in the system. Simply put, the Eolodi wanted that planet as their own. “It makes sense,” they said. “We are allies, there are currently many Eolodi living on worlds controlled by you. You will not need to maintain any defense force in the system.” Their arguments went on and on. In the end, their offers and our counter-offers of the planet-for-technology swap could not be discounted. Additionally, they were still a significantly more powerful empire than we, and we could not risk war with them, not now. In exchange for the planets’ control, our scientific advisors were immediately given access to an extremely powerful weapon, the Plasma Cannon, as well as both miniaturization technologies, Armor, a distinct upgrade from our Mobile technology c
urrently available to Sasktewel and his forces, level VI shielding (a two-step increase from our current level IV) and Manufacturing Robots, guaranteed to greatly increase our ship production facilities output rate. And so, it was done. Our people on Ursa VI were not overly disturbed by this change in government, as we were, indeed, full allies. Their daily lives were only modestly impacted, if at all.
Labon immediately instructed all production to be altered to incorporate the new shielding for all ships. In addition, a new Superdreadnought LR mission ship was designed, removing Phasers as the primary weapon and replacing them with the new Plasma Cannon. Armour began rolling out of the Rhean production facilities and the Manufacturing Robots were already showing their worth. Yes, we considered it a satisfactory trade.
The Tralaifa never spoke again of our “misstep” in our relations with them. In fact, we have just recently signed a Full Alliance with their race and have implemented all possible trade agreements. They seem to be “good people” and we are thankful that they have been able to look past our transgression. Additionally, we have made contact with another new species. We believe it is the “fish” species of the past, yet that has not yet been fully determined. They are Trilarians and they now occupy planets in the system that is two beyond Moya, sharing it with our allies, the Olaptra. The dreaded Ithkul had once held this system, but no sign of them has been seen in years. The Eolodi say that the Ithkul still exist, but are of little consequence any more. The Trilarians have also signed trade agreements with us, as well as a just-recently implemented Non-Aggression pact.
Labon was very satisfied. Semak was marching through the Tokan system as ordered, and had even sent a fleet on to the final Laaran system, Caladar, to begin the clean up there. Unless things radically changed, Semak and Sasktewel would be able to complete their mission in a matter of weeks, allowing for the fleets re-deployment to Moya and Selia with only minor depletion in numbers. This would mean a fully capable defensive and/or strike force in both Selia and Moya without evening mobilizing our now ten TF strong fleet of Superdreadnoughts, which sat idly in reserve, awaiting instruction. But Labon knew something had to happen, it always does. He just couldn’t see what it might be yet.