USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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The Bigger Picture

Posted on Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 @ 1:40pm by Commodore Yoshi Minawara & Captain Amelia St Lacroix

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Holodeck 2
1405 words - 2.8 OF Standard Post Measure

Yoshi's eyes tracks as the last of his wall of defenses was put into place. The last of his keeps was placed and he looked out over the horizon. It had been years since the last probing attack, but still. He wondered if it was out there. With a push of a button he was standing in his capital, looking over the city as it sprawled out around him. He checked a panel and regarded the information as it scrolled through his research, showing his iron, wood and food production was up 30% across the board, and he smiled. His stockpiles were good, and he turned his attention to his military, his three sections of troops stations comfortable. Another regard and he saw that he was on the edge of a new age. His eyes were drawn to a notification, there was conflict along his border, and his keeps had engaged an enemy force. He dispatched a small collection of musketeers and cavalry men moved towards the fighting and he watched with intent. A push of a button and he stood amongst the soliders as they rushed forward to fight the intruders. The troops on his border were far more numerous, but far less advanced, relying on their overwhelming numbers to push forward. The Commodore smiled as his keeps were cutting down the men, soon joined by the sounds of musket fire. The troops ignored him, a phantom on the battlefield to observe. Lines of shots rang out, and enemy troops dropped, their health depleted. He turned his attention to another assault on his far eastern border. A much larger force was gathered here, and he watched as the troops transformed into more advanced versions of their former, now an easy match for the troops they fought against. Two divisions met the forces on the east, and the rest of the third met this force on it's head.

He didn't have enough troops on this continent to fight off the invasion.

Somewhere he knew Amelia was smiling, once again her dedication to a vast military force was leading her towards a speedy victory. She never noticed the trade caravans headed west, or the seeming lack of cities. She made her move, to begin selling her excess goods and buying the ones she needed. The Marine was ready, but paused as she regarded the market. He food, her most abundant supply was effectively worthless, and iron and wood were exorbitantly priced. Her hand hovered and watched as she received notifications of attacks against her western most settlement. Turning her attention to it, she found four dreadnoughts, a small gathering of destroyers and submarines pelting her island, matched with musketmen... no... infantry men. Infantrymen, machine gunners and a small force of flamethrower soliders marched on the city, escorted by landships and armoured cars. How had he...

As the towering form of the Statue of Liberty stood over his Capital, Yoshi looked to the western archipelago. He'd gambled that the Marine would attack from the east and dedicated three of his settlements to settling these islands and their resources, and advancing his forces instead of trying to keep up with the military forces of the Marine, who always changed her positioning and output. He smiled as he massively advanced, the effect of the only momument he had dedicated resources to building. All his troops instantly to the level of technology he had, so when he rolled over to the next era he'd leapt ahead. His troops swept aside the poorly defended settlement's guards, and took control of it. It was a minute to take control, but that would be enough for the Marine to pull back troops to defend her territory. Or it would have been if the unarmed transport ships hadn't departed the Commodore's main continent into a small fleet of ships, which hammered the troops. And with the markets under the control of the Commodore...

It took nearly a half hour for the Commodore to overwhelm her, but eventually with her resource pool unreachable, and unable to advance as the Commodore's military forced her to build troops instead of dedicating units to the advancement of her tech, she only fell further behind until she was unable to beat him back. The program ended, and the two were left standing across from one another, a smile on the man's face, and a frown on her's. "You finally won Commodore," she said sourly.

"I learned from the best," he replied and this caused her frown to shrink. They'd been playing "Empires and Nations" for the last month every Thursday afternoon. A holoprogram based around a real-time strategy game where you slowly aged up and fought. For the last month, Yoshi had lost ever battle, his technical skill no match for the Marine's tactical. But he'd gotten closer each time. Amelia had thought she'd get another month before a defeat.

"The islands to the west was a nice trick," she said, gesturing to where they must have been for her. "I hadn't expected that, but how'd you know I was going to go east?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow. The Commodore shrugged.

"I didn't," he admitted. "You very well could have gone west and I would have had the ruse foiled. Though I think the resources would have been your downfall regardless," he added, as he pulled up the leaderboard. Her eyes went wide. He hadn't had a small advantage, he had had a massive lead in that field. "In my core there was enough wood, iron and food production to have completely surrounded each town with it's own line of defenses," he said with a laugh. "Once you were in the final stages of your assault, you always swamp the market. It was a simple matter of waiting for that invasion and using my pool to keep you our of the market," he said pointing. She nodded. It made sense of course, if you controlled the resources and economy, there was no way you could be overwhelmed.

Pointing to the spike she inquired, "So this is where I really lost," the Captain said, her tone serious. He shook his head, which caused her to stop. Pulling up another graph, this one for population she then nodded. "Had I pushed in after by first push you would have had nothing but civilians..." she noted. It was true, the Commodore had built enough troops to hold off an attack initially, but when the attack had passed he didn't build any more, had left his entire nation in the hands of his civilian population to carve every bit if resource from the land ahead of it. That and merchants.

She'd gotten cocky.

These weekly games had started as a way to get to know one another better, but she'd gotten complacent, and thought he was like every other Engineer, too in their heads about the most obvious solution. She'd thought he was going to just send his troops into battle in a large wave, that she could divide the forces and conquer quickly, to drive him to waste time and energy on troops. Sure he was advancing quicker, but it couldn't be that much quicker, and besides, it was like an Engineer to focus on technology. She'd been wrong, and looked over at the man. She forgot he was a dedicated Starfleet Officer, but also former intelligence. He thought differently than most engineers, or even most fleet personnel. Letting out a defeated sigh, the Captain reached over to shake his hand. "Well, thank you Commodore, for handing me my own ass," she said with a laugh. When he took it, she eyed him, and added "Now don't go thinking I'll fall for that again."

"Of course not Captain, don't go thinking I'll make the same play again," he said, with a smile as he turned to leave. At the door to the suite he called back over his shoulder, "I don't want to have to let you win again until you make mistakes," he said as he left, leaving the Marine standing staring at the door. Had he been playing her? No, that must be a joke, she thought as she stopped and considered her reports to the General she'd been sending. Each one that passed there had been a little more respect for the man, which seemed to go both ways. But surely that wasn't his plan, was it?

Was it?


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