Homeworlds: Andy vs. Russell
PBEM Game 1, Report #6, 1/29/4

Moves 36 - 39
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Russell: Our Cookie Delivery Fleet Analysts are still trying to understand what happened at Cobalt. Apparently, from the evidence we've been able to piece together, the Tribunal's two small scouts began covertly skimming the orbital Cookie delivery packages and filling their holds with Cookies. To make matters more confusing, the fully-loaded scouts then attacked their own side's light cruiser in orbit around the system, and in the ensuing chaos and destruction, fled the system together, bound for a completely new market for our fantastic Cookies. Rescue efforts for the Tribunal ships began immediately as the wreckage continued to break apart. Fortunately there were fewer casualties than might be expected, due to the quick work of the Peace and Tribunal ships. Negotiations have begun with the last remaining vessel of the Tribunal Fleet in orbit around Cobalt, and given the close cooperation in the rescue efforts, it is likely that yet another Tribunal vessel will be joining sides with the Peace Envoys. Welcome aboard, one and all!

Given the continued evacuation efforts of the Tribunal loyalists around Paradise, the Peace Advisory Council on Intergalactic Affairs has dispatched our home system's only significant defense unit to the Jolly system, to question the mutineers aboard the Tribunal's scouts. If they were just over-zealous in their desire to help deliver the fantastic award-winning Cookies, their actions might at least be understandable, if not forgivable. But perhaps there is some more sinister reason that the Tribunal's fleets are attacking each other. Our analysts can only speculate.

Andy: The arrival of a large Cookiemonger warship at our new colony on Jolly was indeed a shock to the crews of our two small yellow ships. As reports continued to come in from the crew of the small green ship they left behind at Cobalt, also under threat of attack by the Cookiemongers, they decided to embark upon a bold but dangerous plan!

Leaving a small but brave defense crew on board one of the small yellows at Jolly, everyone else piled into the other ship to help out with the Cobalt rescue mission. Flying at an engine-risking top speed, they returned to Cobalt and docked with the small green stranded there. Even as the Cookiemongers sought to attack with their vile, poisonous cookies, the engine from the small yellow was removed from the small yellow ship the rescuers had arrived in. As this engine was mounted on the hull of the stranded ship, and everyone was crammed into its tiny green compartments, the remaining pieces of the small yellow were blasted into pieces (to keep them from being salvaged by the Cookiemongers).

Everyone held their breath then, for the most dangerous moment of the mission was at hand: Could they escape? Would the already-overtaxed stardrive even work, when so flimsily attached to a green ship? Would the ship itself withstand the jump to hyperspace, with its crew compartments overloaded at triple capacity? Would the Cookie-mongers attempt some sort of final attack even as the ship embarked? And if all that does work out OK, what strange new dangers would they find in the uncharted world at which they were aiming?

Fortunately, the gamble paid off. The Cookiemongers waited too long to attack, the engine worked fine, and the new planet they've discovered seems to be fresh and unspoiled by the evil Cookiemongers and their ways. Unfortunately, the crews are all stranded there now, since the engine that got them to this new planet burned out -- beyond all hope of repair -- just as they arrived. But they say the taste of freedom they now enjoy has made it all worthwhile...

With this in mind, the brave colonists have named their new planet Freedom, and all of our people are today celebrating the brave heroism of Freedom's new inhabitants. (But our people are also deeply worried about the fate of the brave crew that stayed behind at Jolly...)

To say all that another way: I'm sacrificing a small yellow at Jolly to move the small green at Cobalt to a new large blue star system named Freedom.

Russell: Peace Envoy Space Operations 1st Class Jaxon evaluated the situation for a moment. Clearly, the small Tribunal scout was abandoned, but why? None of his coaches could explain why the Tribunal's forces so regularly blew up or crashed their own ships. And the people he had met who had lived under Tribunal rule all seemed sane to him. But he wasn't paid to think - he did volunteer for this mission, after all.

As he drifted across the distance between his own Cookie Delivery Vessel and the Tribunal Scout, he made a small adjustment to his suit's trajectory, letting off a quick blast of compressed gas that compensated for a slight spin. All sensor scans showed no life forms in the scout, and his own sensitive hand held instruments confirmed this. He had volunteered to reconnoiter with the abandoned scout, to check for traps or other harmful devices left to hurt any people who stumbled across the craft.

He chinned a button in his helmet that engaged the electromagnets in his boots, at the same time that he let out a braking blast of compressed gas. He quickly adjusted his perspective - he had been heading up towards the scout, but now he was standing on it, so his perspective had to reverse. His toes lifted in each boot, triggering the magnetic releases, and he stepped across the hull towards the nearest airlock. Using his digital encryption key, he triggered the airlock door, and it slid open for him. A small amount of air poofed out from the airlock, blowing out a couple of rapidly self-decomposing Cookie packages - obviously someone had been enjoying a lot of Cookies on board this ship. As the air lock cycled, he chinned on his suit's exterior lamps, so that he wouldn't be in complete darkness if the ship's lights were out.

The small galley he stepped into was a mess (he snickered inwardly at his own bad joke). Cookie wrappers were everywhere, and various articles of clothing and shredded paper and dishes and utensils were strewn all over. Some sort of party had gone on here. He couldn't imagine why they'd have thrown a party, then all abandoned ship,boarded their sister ship, and then destroyed the other ship with both crews on board. Especially if they were so clearly fans of the Cookies. Why kill themselves? Lots of other Tribunal military forces had gladly joined with the Peace Envoys, and been heartily accepted. Was it true? Did the people of Paradise really have such a low tolerance for the Award-winning Cookies? Did it perhaps drive them mad? Again, he cleared his mind and concentrated on the task at hand.

He quickly oriented himself, and made his way up to the control room. He looked around, until he spotted the keys left on the dash. He slid the seat way back to make room for his bulky suit, and clumsily inserted the key into the ignition switch. He paused for a moment, chinned a switch that dropped a bite-size Cookie into his mouth, gave a silent prayer that the Tribunal's members weren't all crazy and malicious, and turned the key.

Nothing happened for a moment, and then he felt a sudden WOMP as the Scout's engines turned over, backfired, WOMPED again, and suddenly the power was on and the dash board came to life. He glanced over the controls and recognized most of the symbols from his training. For a moment he entertained a fantasy - he, Linry Jaxon, Envoy 1st Class, could have his own starship if he wanted - and nobody could do anything about it. He could enter in some coordinates, press the Jump button, and suddenly be gone, with nary a second thought. He could become one of the dashing and daring Cookie Blockade runners, delivering Cookies to the poor people governed by the Tribunal, charming the women and making the men jealous. He imagined a scarf blowing in the wind as he tossed out Cookie packages to adoring fans, his hair tousled and his face bright with accomplishment - blockade avoided, Cookies delivered, standing tall - a hero of comic fantasy.

Jaxon laughed at his own brief fantasy. He found the button for the scout's forward headlights, grabbed the helm and sharply brought the little scout around, next to the large Cookie Delivery Vessel. He twice thumbed the Space Horn, which emitted two short Space Horn blasts (carried over a radio frequency, since sound can't be heard in space), and waved through the windows at his friends aboard the CDV. "Mission Accomplished, Coach - the Scout is Secure and ready for your team!" He then sat back in the controls, chinned another delicious bite-sized Cookie morsel into his mouth, and happily went back to his fantasy of Captain Jaxon, Cookie Delivery Blockade Buster!

Andy: We are launching our large yellow from Paradise to a new medium green planet. We are naming this planet Shade, in honor of the lush groves of forests that abound here.

Russell: Ahhh - they have trees - please be nice to them! Our forces may want to visit Shade shortly.

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) Andy:27:Trade (Paradise, lb, lg)
Russell:28:Sacrifice (Loverly, lb): Trade (Loverly, mb, mg); Trade (Loverly, mb, my); Trade (Peace, lb, lr) Andy:29: Trade (Cobalt, sg,sy)
Russell:30: Construct (Peace, mb)
Andy:31:Construct (Cobalt, sy)
Russell:32:Move (Loverly, mg, Cobalt)
Andy:33:Sacrifice (Paradise, lg): Construct (Cobalt, my); Construct (Paradise, ly); Construct (Paradise, ly) Russell:34:Move (Peace, mb, Loverly)
Andy:35:Sacrifice (Cobalt, my): Discover (Cobalt, sy, LG) Name (LG, "Jolly"); Move (Cobalt, sy, Jolly) Russell:36:Move (Peace, lr, Jolly)
Andy:37:Sacrifice (Jolly, sy): Discover (Cobalt, sg, LB) Name (LB, "Freedom")
Russell:38:Attack (Jolly, lr, sy)
Andy:39:Discover (Paradise, ly, MG) Name (MG, "Shade")

Copyright © 2004 by Andrew Looney.