All throughout the worldwide conflicts, our bases thrived, building tachyon fields, supply units, and pollution-preventing facilities. Clanwolfer, having little better to do, began building the Bulk Matter Transmitter secret project. Arnir Island launched a satellite every turn. Since Planet didn't seem to be protesting the Voice project, our formers continued planting fungus for maximum resource yield. This made one of our bases a happy Meal indeed:
The lab monkeys made our first Transcendent Thought.
In 2335, setaside bounded excitedly into the Queen's command boudoir. "Your Thighness," he announced, "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Hrdina has built our first fletchette defense system for protection against missiles..."
"ScubaV has laid down our first subsea trunkline for increased offshore mineral yield..."
"Yawn," said Elisha.
"...and Grievous Angel has completed the Voice of Planet!"
"That's great news, setaside," said Elisha. "But what's the bad news?"
"The bad news," said setaside, "is that the Voice of Planet sounds like Joan Rivers."
"Furthermore," setaside continued, "there have been reports of a new fungal bloom surrounding the base, seemingly as a result of the Voice."
"They can deal with it," said Elisha.
"All that remains now," said setaside, "is to build the Ascent to Transcendence to win the game--I mean, to prevail over our enemies once and for all."
"Which of our bases are our most productive?"
"Those would be Varity Memorial Hydrant, Grievous Angel, Hrdina and ScubaV. They all produce over 70 minerals per year."
"Then begin the Ascent at Hrdina. That base offers the best combination of security and production for humanity's ultimate experiment."
"Yes, O sensual sovereign."
And so the Ascent began, with 25 turns till completion. Bases everywhere were building supplies to contribute to this final project. A new social movement was underway. Citizens across the globe were giving up their worldly attachments to take up lives of meditation and self-denial. They shut down their nutrient replicators and plucked fresh xenofruits off the vine. They put their personal teleporters in the closet and slapped on Birkenstocks for walking. They traded in their Martina McBride albums for Toby Keith CDs. It was an ascetic coup.
Planet seemed to be favoring us by going after our rivals.
Elisha did her part to lead the subjects into the new era, but something nagged at her consciousness. With her increasing self-awareness, she felt a decreasing sense of self. Something was not right within her. Never before had she any doubt about who she was and what she wanted, but now, she could not even believe the reflection in the mirror. There was something more to her, but what?
Rubbing her temples, she tried to concentrate on everything around her. She read the infiltrator reports for updates on how her rivals were reacting to the Ascent. The other factions had immediately begun their own Ascent projects once the Voice was completed, but they had no hope of beating Elisha.
Zakharov was now down to one pathetic base. He pleaded for a Blood Truce. Transcendent people don't bother with truces and other such paperwork, so we just conquered the base and brought Nerd War One to an end. The University of Planet was eradicated! Destroyed! Obliterated! Eradestroblerated!
The Spartan Federation was the only hostile faction left. Santiago, the desperate femme tamale
, begged a legendary warrior-physicist from Earth for help.
The Spartans continued to lose ground to the Octopus Overlords, although there was a brief lull in the action when both sides were distracted by a strange object.
Two of the bases we'd taken from the Spartans were given to the war heroes razgon
In 2236, we earned our second Transcendent Thought, the highest form of technology, which turned out to be...
Our supply units began arriving in Hrdina to contribute to the Ascent. Knowing that victory was near, they shared congratulations.
But alarm klaxons suddenly rang out as our satellite blips blinked urgently on the orbital map. Elisha ran into the war room, where a coms engineer told her:
The situation returned to normal, but not Elisha's sense of urgency. She checked the base operations readouts. With the supplies that had arrived at Hrdina and Clanwolfer, the empire could use its 15,000 in energy reserves to rush both bases' secret projects to completion. Elisha signed the order to do just that. Then she yanked the Turn Complete lever, crossed her fingers and said, "Man, I hope this works!"
Units both friendly and hostile made their manuevers. The vendetta with Santiago continued, and she even managed to retake a couple of her bases. But no threats approached our core bases. Planet busters did not fill the sky.
In Mission Year 2337, 237 years after Planetfall, the Bulk Matter Transmitter and Ascent to Transcendence were completed. THE HUMAN ERA IS OVER. THE OCTOPUS OVERLORDS HAVE WON!
And so, the Octopus Overlords looked forward to a brightly tentacled future on Planet, their undisputed domain, their gleaming Octopia, and their focal point for control of the universe.Or did they??
What, you thought the story was over? Well, it's not yet over, so think again
! Tomorrow, Transcendence reveals a terrible secret!"CUBE!" joke taken from Bob the Angry Flower.