Homeworlds: Andy vs. Russell
PBEM Game 1, Report #3, 12/18/3

Moves 22 - 26
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Russell: No cable? Oh, yes, we've heard of that - yet another means for your broadcast media to put even more harmful information into the minds of the innocent inhabitants of Garden? And you say you are planning on installing cable next month? What!?!? We'll need to remedy that situation with extreme urgency. We can see that your ships are prepared to leave at a moment's notice - and we've received reports that you've been using the lush and beautiful Garden as a dumping ground for your military and toxic wastes. Please don't do this! We feel like this is a very unfair way to treat such a lovely planet. And besides, we're delivering cookies!

We have received grave news of the overthrow of the military leadership of the Paradise empire. Apparently, soldiers were upset about the expenditures used to repaint their aging, decrepit warship, and the construction of a giant wooden donkey's butt on Garden. We have heard that the people of Garden are left without leadership, but that a new fledgling government has sprung up, hoping to make Peace with our peoples. Hence, we have sent our Primary Cookie Delivery vessel, "Cookies For You!", to patrol the space around Garden, and to help ensure the harmony and tranquility. If we detect any signs of wrong doing (such as the rumored toxic waste dumpings), our Ship's Trustee (we don't like terms like Commander - it denotes a structure of hierarchical power which is distasteful to our culture) has been instructed to detain the offenders until a proper intergalactic court can be arranged to investigate the charges. We've been asked to make room in our holds for the giant wooden donkey's butt - but with good planning, we're hoping it can be finished before our arrival, so that it can stand as a monument to the Peace-full relations between our two cultures. However, to make room in our holds, we'll need to deliver approximately 17.19% of our Cookie cargo - so we are sending an advance hyperwave message to the beleaguered people of Garden - here it is:

"People of Garden! A new day is dawning for your planet. Not only will you be lead by a new more enlightened leadership from your friends on Paradise, but you'll also have all of the advantages of having a close relationship with the people of Peace! We're sure that you are very excited about these possibilities, and we have an important mission for you. We've been told that you have been hard at work building a Gigantic Donkey as a gift and a testament to your love for the people of Peace. However, we just don't have the room in our cargo holds to take it home yet. We'll be sending cookie probes to your planet, loaded with delicious award winning Cookies - and we'd like you to all agree to spend the next 12 cycles of your planet helping us reduce our overstock of Cookies. We should warn you, however - for people who've never experienced one of our Cookies, you should be prepared for hours of bliss and extreme grooviness after eating these Cookies (they won the coveted "Cookie of the Universe" award! Just imagine!). You may find that you are not able to concentrate on work as a result of excess consumption. Please assist us in our challenging task by preparing to eat as many delicious cookies as you can. We hear you have a local beverage that goes remarkably well with our Cookies, and we can't wait to try it out."

Andy: Sorry again for the delay in communications. The unexpected arrival of your giant red ship at the shipyards of Garden, and the subsequent unloading of your cargo of space cookies, have thrown all our plans into disarray. The fact that we are now ruled by a committee of 3 (known as the Tribunal) who have to talk about everything before making any sort of decision has not been helped by the delivery of your delicious and distracting cookies. Also, we've been noticing how wonderful music can sound. Turn up the volume, dude, I love this song! Anyway, the Tribunal has been locked in chambers for what seems like weeks, discussing the options before us, and I think they're close to making a decision. Here, check it out, this is the list of options they've been trying to choose between all morning (I copied this from one of the viewgraphs they had up during the 11 o'clock presentation):


1.) Send one of the small yellows at Garden to a new planet
2.) Send one of the small yellows at Garden to Loverly
3.) Build a medium yellow at Paradise
4.) Build a medium yellow at Garden
5.) Finish building the giant wooden donkey

I have to say, unfortunately, that the giant wooden donkey project doesn't have a lot of support among the people. I fear it will continue to languish in its sadly incomplete state for a long time. (There's even talk of setting it on fire, you know, turning it into an "eternal flame" sort of thing. We shall see.) Meanwhile, attention is still focused (as best we can manage it these days) on ship-building; our spies smuggled us the plans for that Medium Yellow you built at Loverly (they were packed in with those cookies you sent), and many people have... oh, hey, guess what! It's just been announced that the tribunal has decided to choose option 4. Members of the media have dubbed this "the crazy plan" since it's obviously flirting with disaster to build a medium ship directly under the nose of an invading large, particularly with 2 of that same color already in the system... but crazy though it may seem, we're building a medium yellow ship at Garden.

Russell: A catastrophe has occurred in the orbital zones above Garden, and investigators are rushing to the scene to investigate. Stories vary wildly about what caused this crisis, but one thing is clear - the people of Paradise have been using Garden as their dumping grounds. When our Cookie Delivery Vessel (CDV) arrived in orbit, many of the inhabitants of Garden (and more than a few crew-members of the Paradise garbage scows awaiting departure back for another load of toxic waste) had been enjoying our fine baked goods. The bakers of Peace were recently honored with the "Cookie of The Universe" award, and the smiles and happy tummies of the consumers of our fine baked goods have clearly shown why. Sadly, as the first of the inspectors arrived from vacation on Loverly (via our Sugar Task Force), another Paradise garbage scow suddenly decloaked, and began making very erratic maneuvers. Clearly, something was wrong with the pilotage aboard that vessel. We are unable to determine if this was deliberate - the Paradise Tribunal in Transition was informed of our arrival and promised to cooperate and punish any offenders of galactic dumping treaties. But still, it was impossible to underestimate our surprise when the decloaked and erratic vessel crashed into our STF vessel, causing a chain reaction that consumed both ships, as well as the original two garbage scows still dumping their waste loads above the planet! The valiant crew of the CDV, as well as light orbital craft from the surface of Garden, saved as many lives as possible, but sadly many more were lost. In what has begun to be called "The Garden Incident", it was learned that the people of Paradise have a very low tolerance for the delicious yummy goodness found in our Cookies - and that these baked delights seem to impair the judgement of evil-tending people enjoying these tasty treats. Clearly, the people of Paradise should know better than to mix eating our fantastic award winning Cookies whilst piloting massive starships in near orbit, but apparently they weren't using their best judgement. Reparations have been sent to the families of the victims of this unfortunate incident - and we can only hope to avert similar catastrophes in the future. Early reports indicate that the irresponsible pilot that caused this catastrophe may well have been unable to compensate for the excess load - it appears that he had attempted to load the Giant Wooden Donkey's Butt into his cargo holds, but hadn't secured it properly, and it was rolling to and fro inside the ship. Further reports as events warrant.

Andy: We are shocked. Shocked! Video footage recovered from the ruins of our shipyards at Garden shows clearly what happened in the Garden "Incident", as you wish to call it [our media has been referring to as the Garden Massacre]. Almost as shocking as your yellow ship's suicide attack on our fleet is the propaganda fantasy you call your version of the facts. Your last message was so nonsensical that we ran it through several different translator systems, just to make sure we weren't getting a garbled mis-translation. Your twisted description of the events would be amusing if it weren't so disturbingly deluded! Your idea that *we* were somehow to blame for the catastrophe is laughable since the pivotal "decloaking" technology you refer to does not exist! Our scientists don't even think such a thing is possible!!! It seems obvious to us that either A) your pilot is blind and created the overload situation without seeing our ships, and then came up with the idea of a magical cloaking device as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for his screw-up, or B) you are deliberately trying to provoke us into a war. Despite the ironic name of your planet, the second theory seems more likely when one reviews the actual history of events and realizes that you were *entirely* responsible for triggering the catastrophe at Garden. Our population has been watching the footage repeatedly (there's nothing like pictures of big things blowing up to keep people glued to their TVs... the networks just keep playing the footage over and over again) and you are now hated and despised by almost every person on our planet. (And that goes double for the colonists at our remaining outpost.) The more recent news, that the still-incomplete giant wooden donkey was also destroyed in the fireball at Garden, has further upset our people, who are now livid and vengeance-minded. Unwilling now to eat the cookies you sent, we have been setting them ablaze in bonfires wherever you'd left them stockpiled. With cries of "Remember the Garden!" our people are now devoting themselves, individually and in various organized ways, to attempting to destroy you in any way possible. Our people will never forget that you started it, and that, when you did, you tried to shift the blame on us. We weren't sure up until now of how we should react to your messages, actions, and cookies -- many among us argued that you might indeed mean us no harm -- but now, we know the truth: that you wish to destroy us, and that we must redouble our efforts to defend ourselves against you. We're getting started by building a small green at Cobalt, increasing security at our airports, and putting our flag up anywhere and everywhere we go. We're also holding a lot of bake sales -- both as fund-raisers for the Home Defense Effort and because we're having these odd cravings for baked goods all of a sudden.

Russell: Intergalactic Print News Services recently carried the following story:


In what has become a sadly familiar story, the charges against the Paradise Tribunal planetary government continue to mount. As neutral intergalactic judicial and environmental inspectors continue their work, the massive dumping that occurred on this lovely Peace-full planet continue to dismay those who had hoped that the new government on Paradise might be effective in stemming the rising waves of corruption and abuse that appears to still be widespread through out the Paradise government. Only the diligent efforts of the people of Garden (the Gardners) and the hard work of the Peace-full Relief Envoys have managed to remedy some of the worst problems, but not before many sensitive species were completely wiped out. Fortunately, it does appear that the prognosis for Garden will be very positive. As one member of a clean up team said: "I'm from Paradise, and I know we got used to living with this sort of toxicity. But I can see now how wrong we were, and how strongly we were being controlled by our government and our media. I couldn't be happier to help right some of the wrongs done to the living creatures of Garden, and I'm looking forward to returning home at the very first opportunity, and joining The Resistance. I've heard that there are lots of ways to help out, and I'm looking forward to making Paradise what it should be, umm, a paradise instead of a giant over-filled landfill. I'm really happy that the Peace-full Envoys have helped us, and I can't wait to be rejoined with my family in the very near future."

Amidst denials that Paradise possess "cloaking" technology, and claims that somehow the Peace Cookies (recently awarded the highly coveted Cookie of the Universe award) were to blame for the catastrophe, even more serious concerns have come up. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, the people of Paradise are being told a series of deceptions aimed to encourage all out war with the Peace-full Cookie bakers. They have been broadcasting what they claim to be recordings of the Garden Incident. However, sophisticated viewers, even among the heavily brain-controlled population of Paradise, have noted the tiny strings holding up the model space ships, and you might think that someone might have done something about the giant hand holding the lighter used to ignite the pyrotechnics of the propaganda film. Still, a small minority of war-obsessed government and religious leaders have whipped up a frenzy of revenge for the imagined event, and where it not for the steadfast Goodness of the people of Peace, there might be even more converts to their cause. The propaganda has gone so far as to attempt a complete boycott of consumption of the wonderful Peace Cookies, which may well be the downfall of the entire governmental structure of Paradise. Already, Peace-Keeping Envoys are arriving quietly on Paradise to help quell the worst of the resistance, and to help meet the astonishingly increased demand for Peace Cookies, even as the Paradise government continues to beat the drums of war.

Despite the excellent work of the Peace-Keepers, riots have rocked the cities of Paradise, as the people demand a change of government and the return to diplomatic negotiations with Peace. The Intergalactic Trade Organization has proposed a complete embargo to contain the evil prohibitionists of Paradise, in response to the governmental policy of boycotting the Cookies. During a press conference, Unther Fiddlewax, of the ITO, noted: "Any government which would respond with such force against the goodness of the Peace Cookies must be examined closely, and it may well behoove the ITO to carry out our plan of isolating the Government of Paradise and to limit their access to weapons, such that they can do no further harm to other planets. Clearly, their claims against the Peace Cookies are based upon deception - does anybody seriously believe that the Intergalactic Council of Cookie Bakers would have granted their award to a culture who'd bake a cookie that would harm other life forms? Of course not. We applaud the Peace Bakers, and thank them for their outstanding contributions to Cookiedom everywhere!" With this, he happily bit into one of the Peace Cookies, and the look of sheer delight that crossed his face as the delicious flavors entered his consciousness undoubtedly boosted cookies sales galaxy wide.

But sales weren't boosted on Paradise, sadly. While there is a brisk black market busily giving away Cookies, neither the press conference, nor the Inspector Reports, nor even the happy news that the Giant Donkey of Garden was completed last week, were allowed to penetrate the shroud of propaganda that keeps the people of Paradise badly misinformed. Moreover, given the dire straits in which the Paradise Tribunal finds itself, the Intergalactic Betting Pools says odds are very much against the Tribunal maintaining any long term gains. Surely the people of Paradise will rise up, and re-capture their government and their planet, held in such cruel control by such a delusional minority. Monies are pouring in to the "Save Paradise From Itself" fund, and a portion of those contributions are being used to pay for massive Peace Cookie shipments, directly to the people of Paradise. Each Cookie container has printed on its biodegradable temporal stasis wrappers information on how discern what is really going on, as well as inspirational and hopeful stories about how the rest of the Galaxy is pulling for the people of Paradise. Already, positive results are being seen - one Paradise citizen, who spoke on strict terms of anonymity (prudent given the Tribunal's penchant for locking people up for speaking their minds) said: "I really feel better knowing that the rest of the Galaxy is behind us, and that they are assisting in every way that they can. We can only hope that the Peace-full Envoys get here as soon as they can, but just knowing that they are coming is enough to keep us focused on the struggle." As he spoke, he tasted a bit of the Peace Cookie in his hand, and then grinned when he saw the inside of the wrapper - he said: "I'm really happy that the Giant Donkey got finished, too! It looks great - congrats to the Gardners for surviving their brief occupation. A toast to Peace, and to their Amazing Cookies!"

Not everybody on Paradise is quite so happy, though. Grim faced convicts have been forced to go door to door, demanding Cookies, which are supposedly carted out for massive Cookie-burnings. Or at least that was the plan. The reality is, many of the convicts have taken the opportunity to escape, or even worse in the eyes of the Tribunal, joining the resistance, and handing out Cookies, rather than confiscating them. The people of Paradise are confused - their own governmental reporters have said that the powerful elite running the Tribunal are huge fans of the Peace Cookies - one housewife quipped "If they can have all of the Cookies they want, why can't we have a few, too? What's wrong with a little Peace? And what's wrong with Cookies? Come on, we're smarter than that!"

In an ironic twist, the Paradise Home Defense Effort was recently rocked with a scandal concerning their own fund-raising efforts. It has come to the attention of the Tribunal that the PHDE was actually going door to door selling Peace Cookies, apparently mis-understanding the barrage of mind control and propaganda being broadcast through the Paradise media systems. While the fund raiser undoubtedly helped to raise some money, it also led to the inadvertent beatings of some of the PHDE volunteers who were going door to door, when they encountered the heavily brainwashed people who mistook them for the evil "Cookie Pushers" being heard about so much on the media. Strangely, after the beatings, the Cookies were all taken by the assailants. The PHDE has also been accused of selling the Peace Cookies at their own bake sales - the piles of biodegradable wrappers have been a clear clue that the Tribunal is taking what is being provided to the people of Paradise for free, and selling it to the very people it was intended for, rather than simply allowing the black market to deliver the cookies (and their important messages of Truth).

Such is just another day in the social chaos that is running rampant through Paradise, but in it is the kernel of hope that soon it will all be over, and that the people of Paradise will be able to experience Peace-full lives once again, and enjoy a Peace Cookie without fear of Tribunal reprisals.

First Move of the Game
Andy:1:Homeworld (LGSB, lr)
Russell:2:Homeworld (MYSB, lg) Name (MYSB, "Peace")
Andy:3:Construct (LGSB, sr)
Russell:4:Construct (Peace, sg)
Andy:5:Trade (MYSB,sr,sg) Name (MYSB, "Paradise")
Russell:6:Trade (Peace, sg,sb)
Andy:7:Construct (Paradise, sr)
Russell:8:Construct (Peace, sg
Andy:9:Trade (MYSB,sr,sy)
Russell:10:Construct (Peace, mb)
Andy:11:Discover (Paradise, sg, MB) Name (MB, "Cobalt")
Russell:12:Discover (Peace, mb, LG) Name (LG, "Loverly")
Andy:13:Construct (Paradise, sr)
Andy:15:Trade (Paradise,lr,lb)
Russell:16:Trade (Loverly,mb,my)
Andy:17:Construct (Paradise, sy)
Russell:18:Sacrifice (Peace, lg): Construct (Loverly, mb); Construct (Loverly, lb); Construct (Peace, lb)
Andy:19:Discover (Paradise, sy, MG) Name (MG, "Garden")
Russell:20:Sacrifice (Loverly, mb): Trade (Loverly, lb,lr); Trade (Peace, lb, lg)
Andy:21:Construct (Garden, sy)
Russell:22:Move (Loverly, lr, Garden)
Andy:23:Construct (Garden, my)
Russell:24:Move (Loverly, my, Garden); Catastrophe
Andy:25:Construct (Cobalt, sg)
Russell:26:Sacrifice (Peace, lg): Construct (Loverly, mb); Construct (Loverly, lb); Construct (Peace, lb)

Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Looney.

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