Part 8: I'm running out of pithy titles
As 2232 dawned, most of the galaxy remained focused on finding a cure to the ongoing Galactic Plague. The key word here, of course, being most.
Way to keep your priorities straight there, Eidden.
The Altarians, meanwhile, already had the cure.
I considered the possibility of a trade, but I knew that if I managed to research it on my own, I'd be able to trade it to various races in exchange for some decent rewards. With tech brokering off, that wouldn't be a possibility if I got it from someone else.
As the race for the cure continued, other events took place:
The Federalist Party, riding high on low taxes and more-or-less victory in the Iconian War, swept the Terran elections.
The Carinoids also underwent an election, with good news for them...
...but were subsequently attacked by the Korx.
With the development of medium-scale capital ships (even poorly-armed ones), the Korx continued to become more powerful, and they were starting to flex their muscles. They'd come a long way since their early days as defenseless traders. The nature of the alliance was shifting...
The end of the plague
Research on the cure was completed on February 1st, two weeks ahead of schedule.
I now faced the decision of whether or not to give it to other races. I decided to give it to the Krynn outright: as one of the galaxy's leading non-Torian powers, I knew that they would be a good race to have on my side, and this could boost relations.
I sold the cure to the nearby minor races, though I didn't get much for it.
Both the Korx and Torians had beaten me to the cure, which made this subsequent message from the latter extremely strange. I had no compunctions about accepting his offer, of course - entirely apart from their superior position in the current game, the Torians had tried to cheat me this way before, so it seemed a fitting comeuppance.
My last trade was the one I thought the most about. On the one hand, I didn't want to help out the Iconians. On the other, I really wanted their Diplomatic Translators. Ultimately, it came down to roleplaying my alignment - as a Good Guy, I wasn't going to deliberately let even my enemies fall victim to a plague, at least not while there was something to get in return.
As the plague came to an end, life in the galaxy returned to normal - in other words, an increasingly nasty set of wars. The Drengin, hard-pressed by the Torian-Krynn coalition, came to me for aid once again. This time, I accepted - I still wasn't feeling friendly towards them, but they were no longer a serious threat, and somebody had to stop the Torian menace.
The Korx continued their minor wars with a brief attack on the Scottlingas. The Scottlingas were important enough to me that I negotiated an ending towards this one quickly, though.
March also saw a major diplomatic victory as I succeeded in reestablishing my alliance with the Altarians, and got a new technology in the bargain.
The tech thieves of the Scottlingas struck again before the month was out. This made an important difference to their ongoing war with the Iconians - in addition to everything else they gained, the Scottlingas now had Planetary Invasion technology for the first time.
Though I was feeling pretty satisfied with my position right now, the media didn't share that rosy view. This wasn't a serious problem - it was hard to do as much research when most of the previous year had been occupied with a major war.
These are the voyages...
At the end of 2231, I had assigned my survey ship, the TAS Enterprise, to explore into Torian space, building a series of starbases to give it enough support. I still knew very little of the galaxy beyond my local corner, and it was time to make contact with some of the other races out there.
The Enterprise reached the Torian border around February, but it wasn't until two months later that it made first contact with a new civilization.
The Drath, overall, were not an impressive civilization, though they were at least superior to the pathetic Korath (by now, I had achieved a high level of intelligence on the Krynn, which let me learn that there had only ever been three Korath planets). They were small and technologically backwards, though they had at least managed to get Plague Cure on their own.
But they did have one significant advantage - battleships. Although I couldn't get them to part with Large Scale Building for love or money, I did manage to get the lead-up tech.
Trading diplomatic techs like this hurt, but I didn't want to give them weapons or colonization tech, and there wasn't much else to trade.
Back in known space, the Korx, after several months of idleness, had begun their attack on the Carinoids, destroying the various unarmed ships and starbases in the system. I wasn't happy, but there wasn't much to do about it either.
Note the Drengin-colored Korx ship in the upper right. The Korx had begun supporting their fellow evil race against the coalition forces.
The Korx fleet still wasn't incredibly impressive - compare their latest frigate to this older Torian design - but it was more then enough for the Carinoids.
Back in Torian space, the Enterprise continued to explore, and ran straight into a battle between the Torians and Yor - I had met my first "major-minor".
To call the Yor unimpressive would be a severe understatement, but in their defense, they'd been at war with the Torians for over two years. I had a feeling they wouldn't last much longer, so I quickly soaked them for cash.
And in final news for this period, the Altarians and I built several wonders.
Final outlook in summer 2232, including diplomatic relations...
As you can see, the Altarians and Drengin have once again made peace.
...and galactic boundaries...
...And some overall stats.
Next: the end of the Drengin?