Korabbian Spice saved the Sluken empire! It is rarely stated aloud but without the flow of spice back through the chain of ports and colonies the development of the empire would have waned. Without the profits from spice the empire would not have been able to afford the new fleets preparing to leave for the Mortalen core worlds. Not that any credit was given to the department responsible, the Sluken Ministry of Trade and Resources. But the ministers in this secretive and sly enclave are comfortable to remain in the shadows, pulling strings where they need to be pulled.
With the upgrade of the Korabbian Spaceport, the ministry moved their headquarters there. The reason given was to be close to the important trade routes. But the reality was to operate outside the gaze of the Sluken High Command. First they controlled just the trade. Then they regulated the frontier worlds. After that they successfully argued that the fleet of exploration ships should fall under their jurisdiction - after all, they are exploring the frontier. This allowed them to become an autonomous force working behind the scenes of the western reaches of the galaxy.
So while the small rodent Teekan slave miners worked the hot surface of the desert moon, the ministers plotted in their comfortable halls, safely in orbit in the latest model spaceport of the Sluken empire.
They secretly commissioned two of the new cruiser designs and when the other fleets were called for service, these two ships did not join the others. Protecting the spice flow is too important.
But spice isn't the only unique commodity with the ability to shape empires. In the northern rim of the galaxy the Mortalen reptiles have colonised a world where Loros Fruit grows.
The distance between the rim and the core has kept this farming operation low-key but with other Mortalen colonies growing in the portion of the rim it won't be long before their empire receives an important boost in development. Unfortunately this is too far away to control so at some point in the near future the Mortalens will receive a massive boost to their planetary value.
Closer to the frontier on the volcanic planet Paakri 1, located in the western void of the galaxy mid way between the core and the rim, rare Zentabia Fluid was found to collect in magma pools. Luckily Paakri 2 was colonisable so the ministry designated this planet for priority colonisation. The plan was that once a colony was established the fluid could be collected at its sister planet.
However, as the Slukens colonised Paakri 2, the Mortalens had just finished constructing their own mining operation on Paakri 1. They had control of the Zentabia Fluid!
If the Mortalens controlled two of these rare resources (Loros Fruit and Zentabia Fluid) they would regain their previous galactic domination.
With one of the secretly constructed cruisers kept back at Korabbia to protect the spice trade, the other cruiser is dispatched to the Paakri System to destroy the reptilian mining operation.
Some weeks pass and then a monumental discovery is made. Deep in the northern rim, just to the west of the Mortalen planets and their Loros Fruit plant in the Udus System, a lone exploration ships stumbles across a debris field in the Urd Wylan System.
And that is not the only news. A number of the ships are fully operational.
The minsters above Korabbia quickly confer. The ships, by right, should be handed over to the Sluken High Command for use in the war. Collectively they are the most powerful fleet yet seen in the galaxy. And the remaining debris should be catalogued and reserved to resurrect as many of these ancient ships as possible. That would be the honest and open decision.
But on the other hand, the fleet could be used to stop the trade of Loros Fruit at the nearby world of Udus 5.
The order is given, "Destroy the remaining derelicts so no-one knows of this discovery ..."
"... then proceed to Udus 5 and blockade the trade of Loros Fruit.
Meanwhile, back in the Paakri System. Mortalen freighters flock to the volcanic planet to transport Zentabia Fluid to their empire.
But their plans are short-lived. The mighty cruiser, Red Mayhem, leaves hyperspace close to the mining operation ...
... and starts obliterating the freighters with their precious cargo of Zentabia Fluid.
The reptiles send what reinforcements they can. But it is not enough.
Before long, the reptilian mining site is under attack while a Sluken Constructor waits to establish their own presence in the system.
And so, one way or another, the three most important resources in the known galaxy are under Sluken control.
< Message edited by Das123 -- 6/17/2010 9:47:35 AM >