Exploring Elisha's Big "C"Setaside
stepped off the bladder-lift and marched down Tentacle 1-A, which led to the Queen's command boudoir. The rows of sentry crabs lining the corridor recognized him and let him pass, their eyestalks following his every move. Pushing aside the beaded airlocks leading to the boudoir, he found Elisha in the arms of a concupus. Before he could discreetly back away, Elisha commanded him, "Stay." She gave her plaything a lash of the psy-whip and the concupus disengaged its tentacles from her, melting into the folds of the breathing walls. She straightened herself out, tied her hair back in a prudent bun and beckoned the messenger forward.
Setaside sighed at his misfortune. All of Elisha's personal assistants had to become eunuchs. He didn't know what that word meant when he eagerly volunteered. He did now. A lot.
"Queen Elisha," he began, "there are problems in the dbt1949 base."
"What problems?" she asked. "Is dbt skimming smilies off the top?"
"Worse than that. As you know, he can be quite protective of his land. Apparently, he won't let anyone, not even his own Former, enter the base."
"Hmm," thought Elisha. "The old codger must be having a hard time adjusting to Planet life."
"Actually, he loves it here. The fungus is good for his goats' digestion, and there are fewer of those 'damn kids' to keep off his yard. But if he's not even letting military units police the base, we'll have riots on our hands."
"Make sure he builds colony pods to keep his population low."
"Yes, my Queen."
"And bring me poutine."
"Uugh--I mean, yes, my Queen."
In 2121, with an assisting spit of xeno-loogie from Qantaga, Varity mulched a mind worm and grew to a Pre-Boil. Later, Qantaga and the grotesque JonathanStrange went north and discovered the Monsoon Jungle. This was cause for celebration because the Monsoon Jungle's bonus nutrients were just what the struggling Overlords needed. The discoverers did a happy jungle dance.
Meanwhile, Incendiary Lemon finished using the healing service that was Smoove's specialty. After leaving a tip, he headed west.
In 2124, the frightening JonathanStrange cracked open a Unity pod. Out sped a Unity Rover with Daehawk
at the wheel. "Yahoo!" he cried. "Thought I'd never get outta there! Gangway!" Rescuing this crazy dune buggy driver seemed to make Elisha the leader in Military (an edge we would soon lose to the technological genius of Provost Zakharov).
Daehawk explored the Monsoon Jungle at high speeds, becoming the first human to ruin the rich virgin soil with his wheel ruts. The phantasmagorical JonathanStrange opened another pod and discovered our first Alien Artifact. He instructed it to go to Smoove Boutique.
In 2125, we discovered Doctrine: Mobility. Not an exciting tech to have at this stage, but it could lead to better things.
In 2128, Varity, who had ventured alone south of the Monsoon Jungle, flipped over a Unity pod to reveal a second monolith not far from the first. Elisha ordered Smoove Boutique to build a colony pod and send it west to take advantage of both monoliths. After marking the new monolith with his scent, Varity trotted south to tag along at the heels of Incendiary Lemon, who was of a mind to go hunting in the Jeansberg Oozeway.
In 2130, Daehawk explored the last remaining square of the island on which the Octopus Overlords had landed. The island turned out to be shaped like a big old letter "C." What to call it? Elisha decided that "Orgull Island"
had a nice ring.
Having nothing left to explore until the discovery of Doctrine: Flexibility (which would allow us to take to the seas), Daehawk and the monstrous JonathanStrange played chicken in the xenofungus patches of the Monsoon Jungle while Incendiary Lemon and Varity played fetch in the Oozeway. Incendiary Lemon became Hardened. Qantaga went south, watching over the Alien Artifact as it made its way to Smoove Boutique.
The colony pod that Elisha had ordered from the Boutique had to cross through a small part of the Oozeway in order to reach the monoliths to the west. In doing so, it ran into a wild mind worm:
The colony pod fled for the shelter of the Boutique as the mind worm gave chase. Varity saw what was going on and pounced on the mind worm, killing it and growing to Boil size.
In 2135, we discovered Doctrine: Flexibility.
In 2137, Smoove Boutique, having rush-built its Recycling Tanks, began work on our first Secret Project: the Weather Paradigm. Now that it was safe to leave the base again, the Boutique's colony pod, followed by another from Koz Frontier Colony, headed west. This time, Varity shepherded them through the tricky part of the Oozeway so that the wildlife wouldn't bother them again.
In 2138, drone riots broke out at dbt1949 as setaside had feared.
One of dbt1949's workers became a doctor to treat the drones' Elvismania. This wasn't a big deal because, thanks to Elisha's clever plan, a colony pod would be made at this base next year to take the drones away.
The colony cows continued west, passing the eastbound Alien Artifact. Varity maintained traffic through the Oozeway. In the Monsoon Jungle, Daehawk found an abandoned baby mind worm:
"I love him!" said Daehawk as he cradled the alien infant. "I will hug him and squeeze him and name him ChrisGwinn
In 2140, Qantaga and Varity did their spit-and-tackle tag team act on a wild mind worm. Varity became a Mature Boil. He was now just two stages away from maximum size!
One year later, the Alien Artifact arrived at Smoove Boutique and merged with the Weather Paradigm project. Finally taking advantage of Doctrine: Flexibility, Koz rush-built our first naval vessel: a transport foil. Dbt1949's colony pod hitched a ride on it, as did the adventure-loving Daehawk. The pustulous JonathanStrange stayed behind to kill a mind worm, becoming a Boil though the fight damaged him by 60%.
In 2143, Incendiary Lemon got killed by a mind worm hatchling that had been uncovered during the previous turn. It's always a disappointment when an independent unit (which has no support cost and never causes drone riots) is lost, especially when it could have been sitting safely in a base doing police work. Incendiary Lemon should have been more careful in the Oozeway, but somehow he got caught without native units to protect him. A mind worm attacker gets both the 3-to-2 attack advantage plus the xenofungus advantage against a non-native while in xenofungus. Without native backup, Incendiary Lemon was doomed. Varity howled pitifully for the fallen human friend that he had failed to protect, then avenged him by killing the hatchling.
It was also a year of birth, however, as Hrdina
base was established between the two monoliths at the western end of Jeansberg Oozeway.
In 2144, we received intelligence that Sister Miriam had initiated work on the Weather Paradigm. With only 24 turns left to go on our version of the project, I think we'll beat her to it.
The transport foil carrying Daehawk and a colony pod navigated carefully through the fungus-infested Asharak Lagoon
, the body of water in the hollow of Orgull Island. Once it cleared the fungus safely, it sailed east. There were many Unity pods in the sea, but the vessel avoided them. One reason for that is because aquatic Unity pods often hold Isles of the Deep, which can easily kill a slower and weaker transport foil. Another reason is that the foil's cargo hold was already filled to capacity; there would be no chance of finding an Alien Artifact that could be hauled back to base.
In 2148, we discovered Information Networks.
To make westward passage easier, Smoove Boutique's Former began removing the small part of Jeansberg Oozeway that had earlier interfered with colony pod traffic.
In 2149, we received word that Zakharov had started building the Virtual World. This Secret Project would remedy one of University's main weaknesses (extra drones), so it would be nice to deny him this project. However, we lacked the technology to build it for ourselves.
That same year, the transport foil found land very close to Orgull Island. Daehawk revved his engines and flew off the deck to explore this new terrain.
What did Daehawk find? That will be revealed in the next update, which will unfortunately not be for several weeks (no, not because of that "Olivia" game). I shall part with a tribute to our first casualty on Planet. Goodbye, Incendiary Lemon. You might have made our mouths pucker at times, but we'll miss you. Your remains have been jettisoned to the cosmos, as you would have wanted.