Battle Report: The Valkeeri Skirmishes

Captain Shulme ran his fingers through his beard as he scanned the rocky landscape and the ruined ancient buildings of the world Iratus Est Draco below, looking for any sign of the missing Princess Taegan. Even if they find her there was evidence from the Valkeeri that there was a chance a pod-person clone had replaced the real Princess, but Emperor Marduk is all-seeing and a counterfeit would not fool the Princesses’ father. The orders were to scour every mile of the surface of the worlds in this system, find the Princess and take her to her father. The Valkeeri had struck the watchstation orbiting Iratus Est draco in force and so it wasn’t surprising when Kurush called from the radarscope of clear readings of Valkeeri rocket-pulses. They were headed towards one of the ruined cities, like all those in this system it was smashed with what seemed to be atomic warfare and abandoned so many millenia ago that not a trace of radioactivity remained, there must be something there of value.

“Hassimir, send a message to Fleet central: Have sighted Valkeeri task force. Destroying and Investigating.”  Standard Imperial policy, shoot first, ask questions of the survivors after.

What were the Alien women up to? And did it have anything to do with the Zenithian towers, the weakening sun or the missing Princess? He would wring the information from the survivors!

“All rockets: Intercept and attack!”

I got a call from Taphyl during the week asking if I was up for another game of War Rocket and for showing our friend Mirium how to play. So I quickly gathered my  things together, remembering my camera this time, and went round for an afternoon/evening of gaming socialising and a very nice dinner. Mirium had some job applications to do first so we started with a small game between Taphyl and I.

The two small fleets, perfect for a quick game

The two small fleets, perfect for a quick game, or two!

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The Missing Princess Part 11: The Orbiting Tomb

In the last chapter we learned of what had become of Captain Atrius and met the fiendish man-machine Dr Axon as the Magi of the Empire determined to search for the heart of the MacGuffinite engine complex threatening the galaxy. Now we return to Princess Taegan, Commander Lightyear and Captain Woz as they approach the Imperial Watch-Station orbiting Iratus Est Draco in a battered Zenithian Beta-Z saucer…

In the round room under the scuffed and scratched alumini-glass dome that kept out the cold deadly vacuum of space our three unlikely companions anxiously watch for their eyes to see what their poorly-functioning instruments appeared to have detected. Their goal, the Imperial Watch Station and a chance to warn the galaxy about the Zenithian pod-people plot! As once before in the past when faced with having to cooperate in order to survive in the Caverns of Yo-go the Princess and Commander Lightyear have been dealing with stress with.. political discussion.

“Surely Princess you must recognise that without Democracy people aren’t truly free.”

Both Lightyear and Taegan seemed oblivious to Woz’s groan and facepalm as they went at it again.

“On the contrary Commander. We have examined your democracy and found it as deeply flawed as our own past attempts. Corruption is rife, inequality becomes entrenched, there’s constant social turmoil as the majority tries to find minorities to rob and oppress for their own gain and those minorities then must strive to get their fair share they were supposed to be guaranteed from the start. In your democracies people with the most merit don’t end up in the position of best suitability instead the most important positions are filled determined by those most suited to politics and the hedonistic enjoyment or lack thereof of the position.”

“Your vassals are slaves by another name, the Empire is a strictly tiered system, besides, are you saying that I am not suited to my position Princess?”

“No, the case of the military proves the point, your military isn’t a democracy it just serves one.”

“And the empire doesn’t have problems with Nepotism when it’s high ranks are filled with princes and princesses? I don’t see any Dragon-men Generals.”

As tones became heated the Galacteer commander and Imperial Princess turned away from the cold stars to face one another, cheeks growing flushed and eyes sparkling as they fought.

“Simply because my father’s blood is full of strength and he chooses his concubines well. We each still have to fight to prove our loyalty and skill and worthiness for the positions we hold. The children of his Dragon-women consorts have as much chance to advance as I did. You see, a Benevolent Tyranny is the most stable form of government and ensures the freedom of people in unity, they rise or fall in place based on their merits and each contributes to the strength of all from the greatest general to the merest street-sweeper all through the unity under one continuous strong and wise ruler.”

“Even were I to accept that assessment, that’s all well and good for now, but…”

“Hey!” Interjected Woz.

“.. even with whatever the Emperor uses to keep himself so long-lived there’s no certainty that he won’t eventually die through accident, some unknown disease or even one of your siblings proving to be his match and overthrowing him and what then for the stable state? A Democracy is adaptable, tyranny benevolent or otherwise often collapse destructively or tear themselves apart once the tyrant is dead.”
“Hey!” Woz said louder this time.

“But that is beyond unlikely. Why even if i acknowledge the possibility purely hypothetically well..”

“HEY!” Cried Woz putting his hand on the tops of both their heads and turning them towards him ignoring the dangerous flash in the Princesses eyes at his daring to put his hands on her. He pointed outside. “Look!”
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