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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Eid3r

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Hi everyone, this is my first AAR. Feel free to comment and suggest improvements ;)

Poland can into space: A Stellaris AAR


Preface : Dawn of a new era

The sun was slowly rising over Krakow, revealing yet another foggy day, as the venerable city of was covered in thick mist. Draped in ancient charm, the town was but a shadow of her former glory, the tall cathedral of Wawel showing worrying signs of disrepair, her bell tower silent for the past century, ever since the Feud.

The town square was hollow at the time when Assistant Undersecretary Jan Marsalek made his way toward the Directorate, a tall glass spire overlooking the neighbourhood, and whose very existence was a topic of endless debate in many establishments.

For some, the Directorate was the sum of human hypocrisy, a heresy trying to reach heaven and dispossess the Almighty of his powers. But those were not many, anymore, since ludicrous belief in afterlife had been severely extracted from the population.

For many, the Directorate was the apotheosis of Polish science and know-how. A tall reminder that progress must be the driving force of existence. And this was the official view, beheld by any well-bred citizen in the Dominion.

As he walked past the decrepit cathedral, Marsalek turned north to cross Heroe's Square, a large plaza built upon the ruins of the John Paul II University, which was razed to the ground following the Feud. In its place, gardens and statues were forming one of the most admirable historical park on the continent of Europe.

He lingered in front of the statue of King Tomasck Jagiellon XII, a tall figure garbed in 18th century clothing and holding some chemistry apparel. A little plaque at the bottom of the statue read as follows: "In the year 1799, His enlightened majesty brought the commonwealth forward by spearheading an era of uncommon prosperity. He brought the whole nation to a technological golden age unbeknown to any nation on earth, dubbed "level 32"."

Marsalek smiled for a moment at the thought of such achievement for a small nation such a Poland, prior to the Dominion. Dark days followed these golden years for the country, torn apart by neighbouring warlords and occupied by the unruly and savage Germans, whose constant threat was eliminated following the defeat of the European Union in 2075 at the hand of the East-European Dominion, which quickly became the Polish Dominion in 2080 when its other constituents, awed by Polish science and glory, subsumed themselves in the nation.

Now reaching the hall of the Directorate, Marsalek winked at the security guard, a blonde lass whose nametag read "Falkhenhayn" and who'se air was reminiscent of the Austrian valleys.

Marsalek: Good morning Freda.
Falkenhayn: Morning Mr. Marsalek. You are late, Secretary Saczwsyzyn has already arrived at 05:00. He asked for the presence log, I believe he was looking for you.
Marsalek: Oh well, not entirely surprising so close to launch. I assume that the top brass in Warsaw are on his back.
Falkenhayn: Is that so? By the way, Jan, you owe me three pints of beer and a dinner. I told you that Dusseldorf would get crushed by Danzig. Hopefuly, you are better at science than at picking winning football teams.
Marsalek: Oh well, hold onto your victory, I will figure something nice.


He glanced at her and gave her a charming smile before swiping his security card and submit himself to a retinal and biometric check. The system hissed and allowed access. Two secure elevators and 72 levels later, he was standing in the Krakow Control Room, as vast floor covered by monitors and the latest technological paraphernalia. He headed straight for his superior, and gave the customary salute.

Marsalek: Secretary Saczwsyzyn, we did not expect you so early. Weren't you due back from Warsaw only this afternoon?
Saczwsyzyn: I assumed that if I was, you would have been at your post instead of in full dereliction of duty?
Marsalek: I only stretched my legs before the big day sir.
Saczwsyzyn: September 1st 1939, they were just stretching their legs too. Eternal vigilance, Jan, is the price of success. The North-American Union is restless these days and we must be wary should they try to undermine our success.
Marsalek: It is true that the Canadian launch was a spectacular failure. Their space-faring prowess surely took a tremendous hit I would guess.
Saczwsyzyn: Back 3.7 years exactly Marsalek, and never guess when you can have the exact figure. Guessing implies a lack of knowledge. Mastery of the facts brings clarity.


The giant screen, which covered half of the façade, showed a launching pad situated in Lublin. The P.D.S.S Jagiellon was standing, awaiting launch, his features glowing in the sun. The pride of the Polish Dominion, the ship carried within its breast new and secret technology that would change history forever, an experimental warp drive, said to enable the ship to reach faster than light speed. History was in the making.
 
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Deaghaidh

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I'm kinda rooting for Space Poland to be partitioned multiple times. Is that mean?
 

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Chapter 1 : 2200 A.D


Earth, January 1, 2200
By the beginning of the 23rd century, Earth was very much a divided planet. While the Polish Dominion rose to prominence through it's scientific progress, mankind was still enthralled by nationalities, frontiers and boundaries which from space, were artificial, unnecessary and foolish.



***
Personal journal of Jerzy Grudnek
Head – Directorate of Science and Truth
Polish Dominion




January 1, 2200
For years we have toiled with this new technology which represents a giant leap forward for all mankind. The infinite stars, which for countless generations were draped in mysticism and fantasies, are no longer outside of our reach.

657 years ago, Poland brought an end to the ridiculous theory that we, mere humans, were the center of the universe, and ignited the spark of science which in time, would enable us to take the necessary step back to understand that we are merely an accident of science, neither unique nor divine. A cog, in this gigantic universe, free from the ignorance of God and at liberty to conquer these vast expanses.

I have authorized today the launch of the P.D.S.S. Copernicus, the finest research-vessel ever built. I briefed her commanding officer, Hildegarde Freijik, on our scientific objective. As we advance in this new era for mankind, I am not blinded by the emotions of the moment. Which is why the Directorate commissioned three Poniatowski-Class Corvettes, to further the reach of our knowledge.

Ad astra per aspera.
***
Field Survey Report
P.D.S.S Copernicus
Dr. Hildegarde Freijik – Chief Scientist



To: Director Jerzy Grudnek
Head – Directorate of Science and Truth
Subject: Exploration of Sol Star System – In progress

Director,

As per mandate EX-0391, we are conducting a meticulous survey of our home star system from January 1st 2200 to December 31st 2200. We expect the survey to be completed in the upcoming year.

Further studies of our star revealed no readings outside usual parameters obtained by our instruments on Earth.

However, we can confirm the presence of large deposits of ferrite metals, most prominently iron, on Mercury. Basic analysis is included in this report and samples are being transferred to the Sub-Directorate on Stellar Occupation per field order HF-031.

Data collected orbiting Venus reveal the presence in high concentration of various minerals mostly rutile and ilmenite, which harbor important deposits of titanium.

Closer exploration of the asteroid belt revealed significant amount of bauxite on Asteroid Ceres-1.

The Department of Energy will be interested in our findings about substantial pockets of Helium-III on Uranus.

Basic analysis is included in this report and samples are being transferred to the Sub-Directorate on Stellar Occupation per field order HF-031.

Personal Comment : “I would say we have a good start, Director”.
 

Eid3r

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Chapter 2 : 2201 A.D.

The sound of boots thumping on the marble flooring of the Directorate Building caught the attention of Director Jerzy Grudnek, putting a prompt end to his study of the most recent geological surveys realized on Mercury. He quickly tidied up his desk, putting the various datapads in order while trying to discern the number of brass-button-red-pantaloons which were heading toward his office in this distinctive military pace, inherited centuries earlier from the Soviet Union. As the door to the Director’s office opened, he slowly raised from his chair to welcome his guest, not going as far as moving toward them, to remind them who was the real boss around here. He spoke softly, yet firmly.

Grudnek: Admiral Zytinsky, to what do we owe the pleasure of such delegation? I have no recollection of any meeting planned with the Under-Ministry for Defense.
Zytinsky: Director Grudnek, we have a situation.

The last comment from the general generated a glimpse of interest in the eyes of the scientist. He moved aside from his desk, motioning the military party toward a mahogany table. He sat at the head of it, while the four soldiers took seats across, in perfect discipline.

Zytinsky: At 08:00 yesterday, our forces under Admiral Waldow were patrolling the Mauthula system, in advance of our scientific efforts, when they encountered ... something.



Now, the Director was interested. He slowly gestured toward the admiral to continue his expose.

Grudnek: Something, admiral? Care to be more precise?
Zytinsky: We don’t know what it is, but it appears to be sentient.
Grudnek: So we are not alone after all...
Zytinsky: It would appear so, if I might spare you the surprise.
Grudnek: Surprise? Surely admiral you were not expecting this entire universe to be revolving around us? Life appeared on Earth under a set of conditions which, while not likely, can be reproduced in much iteration. And this is a vast galaxy.

A panel on the left wall of the office slowly hissed and moved, revealing a corridor from which two scientists were emerging at fast pace. The recognizable bald head of Secretary Saczwsyzyn gave away the intent of this new party.

Saczwsyzyn: We do not know much, Director, but we intend to find out. We have dubbed the specimen “Alpha Aliens”.
Grudnek: How original, but yet, very accurate.
Saczwsyzyn: Fragmentary analysis provided by the fleet reveal it to be some kind of molluscoid life form, traveling from one star system to another. With your permission, we would like to detach a research party immediately to study this new lifeform.
Grudnek: And who would you have in mind for such assignment?
Saczwsyzyn: Well, the only team with such expertise would be Dr. Mori’s. I recommend we divert her from her current efforts for 179.8 days, which is our best estimate for research breakthrough.
Grudnek: Sadly, Dr. Mori is currently assigned to a top priority development project, our experimental colony ship. I shall not see this project delayed by one day, Secretary.
Saczwsyzyn: But surely the scientific benefits...
Grudnek: Will not make up for delays in the production of our colony ship. You see, dear Secretary, an ancestor of mine was prospector in the time of the great colonization of North America. He came from Europe with nothing, yet, by the end of his lifetime, he owned roughly a third of Missouri. All he did, was to show up first, spot the best piece of land available, and occupy it by any means necessary. Now this galaxy is quite large, and I intend for us to carve out the nicest piece, in the best delays. Like we used to say when we were young: Finders keepers.

The discussion was interrupted by a brief laugh from the admiral, who always adored when scientists were bickering between themselves. He took back the initiative.

Zytinsky: Might I suggest, Director, that I currently have three ships in the Manthula systems which could, haul the carcass of that thing here and save the expense of outfitting an scientific mission.
Grudnek: It flies into space by its own volition, yet it survives. Surely, this lifeform can defend itself.
Zytinsky: My boys are quite sure the defense potential is negligible.
Grudnek: Quite sure ... negligible. These words are but mere opinions. Surely you do not see values in basing our decisions outside the context of soundly proven facts, Admiral?
Zytinsky: All I am saying is that I believe we have the ships and the firepower to deal with whatever this space slug can muster.
Grudnek: I do not share your belief, Admiral. Therefore, for now, you will order the fleet to keep track of these Alpha Aliens movements. Should they enter our solar system, you shall destroy them immediately, with all firepower. Otherwise, you will exercise restraint.


The director dismissed the military and scientific parties by a wave of the hand, taking some kind of pleasure by knowing that neither party was satisfied in their aims. He quickly moved back to his desk, typing orders for the Secretary for Communications.

To: Maria Alexandra Waleska – Secretary for Communications

Subject : HIGH-PRIORITY – Alien lifeform encountered

Begin preparation for national announcement.

Our forces have encountered unknown lifeform.

It is a tremendous achievement for the Dominion, which will bolster our leadership all across the world.

All communications must be axed on the importance of this discovery, the gallantry and courage of our troops and the spirit of scientific achievement spread across the nation.

Avoid commentaries on the failure to communicate with these aliens for the moment. Parry any attacks by systematically targeting the Vatican and religious beliefs. Expose the mockery of their tenets.

Director Jerzy Grudnek


***
Field Survey Report
P.D.S.S Copernicus
Dr. Hildegarde Freijik – Chief Scientist


To: Director Jerzy Grudnek
Head – Directorate of Science and Truth
Subject: Exploration of Sol Star System – COMPLETED

Director,

As per mandate EX-0391, we are conducting a meticulous survey of our home star system from January 1st 2200 to July 7th 2201.

Following our first report, we have surveyed the surrounding of Jupiter and Neptune, to promising results. Surveys shows that our solar system is very rich in useful minerals. Our estimations, which are currently being reviewed by the experts of the Sub-Directorate for Stellar Occupation, denote 11 potential mining sites and 4 potential energy development projects.

While completing the survey of Neptune's moon, Triton, we have encountered unexpected energy signals. While it could be attributed to miscalibration of our instruments, further verifications could dispel any potential doubt about this anomaly. Our calculations leads us to believe that the probability of this being some kind of anomaly strand at about 78%, while there are 22% chances we learn new data about the limit of the current hardware outfitted on the Copernicus.

Mandate EX-0391 completed. Will orbit Neptune until new instructions are provided.

Request permission to engage in further analysis on Triton.

Personal Comment : “Let us cut through the debate, Pluto, is definitely not a planet.”.
***

Krakow Space Center – August 8th 2201

The xenobiology laboratory was home to some intense debate, following the discovery of the Alpha Aliens. Many scientists poured over the data and images provided by the fleet, seething at the rebuke of Director Grudnek to their request for a scientific mission.

Marsalek: Guthrie, can you compare the pictures AA-944 and BS-983?
Guthrie: We have been over this for the past few months Jan, what are you suggesting?
Marsalek: Something isn’t right, they don’t exactly look the same.
Guthrie: Most likely a distortion in the frame. Negligible, Jan.
Marsalek: I don’t think so, why don’t you enter them in the comparative matrix Waldemar?


The scientist smiled and proceeded, convinced that it was yet another attempt at proto-science in absence of real metadata provided by a research-vessel. The request was met by a series of blips and shrieking sounds. Huge glowing letter quickly appeared on the screen. “New Life-form found.”

In a fraction of second, Jan Marsalek was over the computer, thrilled by his instinctive discovery. Never was a research report written faster.

Marsalek: I get to name it right? I want to call them the Fortunas, like my favorite football team.
Guthrie: Protocol is quite clear Jan.
Marsalek: The hell with protocol, I just discovered the Fortunas!
Guthrie: Correction, you have discovered the “Beta Aliens”.




***
Selnoc Star System – September 3rd 2201

Admiral Tomasck Waldow stood idle in front our the large observation bay on the bridge of the P.D.S.S. Danzig, overlooking the space travel of his three-ship flotilla en-route for the Selnoc System. After six months of following Alpha Aliens which by common sense could be compared to space grazers, the idea of the unknown Selnoc system was much alluring.

Leaving the view, he turned crisply and made for his commanding chair, as the countdown to the wormhole stabilization drew closer to an end. The three ships were quickly engulfed in the wormhole, emerging almost instantly in the new system.

The observation bay, which seconds before was filled with harmless stars and the vast and dark expanse of space was filled with crystalline asteroids. Gesturing for his science officer, he asked:

Waldow: What do we have, Dr. Solanek?
Solanek: Selnoc Star System, many planets, potential for three habitable world, pending scientific inquiries. Committing to the exploration log the presence of many asteroids, crystalline in appearances, which implies a possible mining venture in the system. No life signs.
Waldow: Excellent, prepare the jump for the next system, we are behind schedule.


Nearby on the bridge, Freda Falkenhayn, head of security for the Danzig, was gazing at the asteroids, deep in her thoughts. She longed to return to Earth and be reunited with her fiancé, ready to trade the vast expanses of space for the stability of family life. Her eyes wandered for a moment, but her attention was caught by some stellar rocks, floating away from the main belt.

Falkenhayn: Dr. Solanek, what is happening in Sector 5-0-2?
Solanek: Asteroids, drifting Mrs. Falkenhayn. Admiral, shall we proceed with the jump?
Falkenhayn: Do asteroids normally drift into perfect flying formation?
Waldow: Battle-Stations! Comms, contact the Warsaw and the Lodz. Defensive Pattern Beta-9-Epsilon. Prepare emergency jump back to Earth.


The little fleet quickly moved, as many formations of crystalline asteroids closed the gap between them. At medium range, the asteroids opened fired, the space filled with greenish crystals flying at extremely high velocity. The shards sank right into the frail armor of the small corvettes, causing depressurization in several decks.

Five seconds later, the human ships were gone, emerging in the Solar System battle scarred, and thirsty for revenge.

Waldow: Comms! Give me Admiral Zytynski on emergency frequency. We have just been attacked some crystal sonofa...
Solanek: Gamma Aliens, Admiral. Protocol is quite clear.





 

Eid3r

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???

(Even if they're Human Poles and not Space Poles, I still support the search for new Krakow among the stars)
And we will find a new Krakow among the stars, with our polish space program.

 

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I'm kinda rooting for Space Poland to be partitioned multiple times. Is that mean?
It might very well happen, at this point, it would be an historical tendency. ;)
 

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Chapter 3: 2202 A.D.



The Director was sitting in the largest stateroom of the Boleslaw Space Station, orbiting around Earth. Through the thick windows, he could gaze at his home planet with absolute clarity. While down on Earth, many divisions remained, political blocs, nations and empires, from high above, mankind was, willingly or not, cast upon a single lot and increasingly besieged by danger.

He slowly turned to face the room. All around the large conference table, sat the best minds of the Polish Dominion, summoned at his behest. He joined them at the table.

Grudnek: It has now been two years that we have began our journey through the stars and yet, much wisdom drawn from our history still apply to this new venture. We did not expect it to be easy, and it has proven quite challenging. We are now at war. Admiral, brief the room.
Zytinsky: On last September 3rd, our naval forces were ambushed while on a reconnaissance mission in the Selnoc Star System, by what we now call “Gamma Aliens”. These aliens are crystalline entities with advance weaponry and savage intention. Badly damaging the P.D.S.S Danzig and nearly destroying our fleet which resorted to a propitious emergency jump to retreat. The fleet has been in repair ever since and is now again fully operational.
Grudnek: While we are currently outmatched by their firepower, there must be no doubt that this challenge will be met. However, we must plot our course very carefully for the next years, while we expand our navy.

The door opened, revealing the beautiful sight of Dr. Hildegarde Freijik, dressed in her uniformed, clearly straight off the Copernicus, which had entered Earth space minutes earlier. She took the last seat around the table, and motioned the Director for the permission to speak.

Freijik: My apologies, Director, for my belatedness. I have just arrived from the Alpha Centauri System where the Copernicus has been conducting surveys. I understand that we have a war on our hands, would my esteemed colleague of the Navy inform us on the gathered intelligence about these “Gamma Aliens”?
Zytinsky: We know their home system, we have estimates about their numbers and we are ready to provide a reckoning that will teach them not to mess with us ever again, Miss Freijik.

The insistence on the “miss” was clearly meant as a slur, for relations between the scientific and military arms of the Dominion had recently soured over endless debates for the allocation of scarce resources. She did not flinch at the insult, for one who had three doctorates would never drag herself to the low-level of these brass brawlers of the navy. She smiled, while speaking softly.

Freijik: Just to make this very clear, admiral. You are intent on facing these entities with the same number of ship, same technology and same intelligence as last September, yet you long for a different outcome?

The Director worked hard to repress a smirk while the admiral’s tone went from white to crimson in a matter of seconds. Hildegarde Freijik had a capacity to lay down the law that was quite simply fabulous. He used the opportunity to come to the rescue of his embattled admiral. He waved his hand, gathering attention.

Grudnek: Our resources are fully committed on our new colonization project. I will accept no delays or diversion of material for the next two years. Admiral, you will maintain a defensive posture in the Sol system. Dr. Freijik, our latest calculations leaves us three years before the first colony ship is out of production. We need you to find suitable planets to establish this colony.
Freijik: Preliminary analysis of Alpha Centauri I reveal a habitable planet not unlike Earth, with lush fauna and flora. It is a prime candidate for colonization, Director.
Grudnek: Whether it is a prime candidate or the only candidate is left to be seen. I will not pit our future on a lack of options, which is why I am ordering you to survey the Heka system.
Freijik: I shall depart in 47 minutes, Sir, soon as the Copernicus is refitted. Meanwhile, if you allow, I will make preparations for our scientific mission.
Grudnek: You may leave, Dr. Freijik.

She quickly rose; giving courteous nods to those presents, and turned toward the exit. The Director followed her into the corridor, proffering some last advice.

Grudnek: Hildegarde, be careful, this mission will be outside of military protection. Stay safe.

She acknowledged the remark and they both parted ways, her for her ship and him for the conference room, where chatter stopped soon as he came back.

Grudnek: Now, admiral, let’s discuss the expansion of the Dominion Fleet...


***

Personal Log
Dr. Hildegarde Freijik – Chief Scientist
P.D.S.S. Copernicus


Personal log, January 5th 2202.

The Copernicus left yesterday for the confines of the Heka system. This star system is twice as remote as Alpha Centauri, and located outside of dominion space, and of its military protection.

Preliminary observations report the presence of 4 possibly habitable planets, which make for a very promising start. There is wisdom in considering colonization of such a star system, which may prove an important trade hub.

So vast a galaxy, one must have vision. We are lucky that Jerzy is a man of vision. Yet, he refuses to approve the study of the anomalies we have registered. I wonder why...

***​

January 29th, 2202
Krakow Space Center
Deep-Space Observatory – Floor 22



Computer Voice: Sensor Uplink of the Eptraban system activated. Projecting data on the main screen.

The soft, machinal voice of Observatory’s artificial intelligence slowly woke up the scientific officer on duty. Emerging from deep sleep, Hugo Bilinski stumbled around his station, in search of his glasses. While eyesight difficulties were largely a thing of the past in 23rd century Poland, Bilinski had always refused any type of surgery or regenerative operation. For him, poor vision and glasses were the zenith of coolness and a major dig for the ladies. Not surprisingly, he was still single at 27.

Bilinski: Alright Boris, what do we have?
Computer Voice (Boris): Eptraban System. Located in the Alpha Quadrant of the Erium Nebula. Class K-Star. 4 planets, 2 moons.
Bilinski: Please relay information to the archives. Any activity on the sensors?
Computer Voice (Boris): Light radio chatter, midway from Eptraban II and Eptraban III.
Bilinski: Open a new file, Epsilon Aliens, relay information to the Directorate. They will want to look at this.

And while this was yet another discovery of importance, Hugo Bilinski could not get himself around the fact that statistically speaking, the more alien races discovered lowered the chances of avoiding a destructive-will-blow-up-Earth type of space ravagers. Space exploration was really playing Russian roulette, on a quite grander scale. And Hugo Bilinski, was definitely not a player.


***

May 17th, 2202
Excerpt from a discourse to the shareholders in Prague (Modern-Day Poland)
Erich Novak
C.E.O - Skoda Exo-mining



“The past few years have been booming for business. Thanks to large governmental contracts, we have deployed mining stations on Io, Europa, Mercery, Venus and Ceres. As we speak, we have doubled our initial production of ferrite, tripled our production of titanium and our profits are on the rise.

Now, we must look further than the frontiers of our solar system. Which is why, I am proud to announce that Skoda Exo-mining as been retained as the lead consortium by the Sub-Directorate of Stellar Occupation for the next five years.

We will therefore have the privilege of conquering the stars, and if you stay with us, dear shareholders, we will make a buck or two while doing so!”



 

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Chapter 4: 2203 A.D.

Field Survey Report
P.D.S.S Copernicus
Dr. Hildegarde Freijik – Chief Scientist




To: Director Jerzy Grudnek
Head – Directorate of Science and Truth
Subject: Exploration of Heka System - COMPLETED

Director,

As per mandate EX-0582, we have conducted a meticulous survey of the Heka system.

Our initial experiment reveals no traces of the crystalline beings “Gamma Aliens”. One might wonder if the encounter of Selnoc, in September of last year, was not misconstrued. Until further studies, we must consider the hypothesis of territorial defense, so common in many species, as potent an explication as deliberate aggression seems to be beheld in the High Command.

The Heka System contains few planets of importance to our interests.

Surveys realized on Heka Va testifies to the presence of large pockets of natural gas, which could be exploited, should the Department of Energy confirm those findings.

Heka IVa is showing promise due to its diversified fauna. Our first readings reveal that the sheer number of various animal and insect species is at least twice as big as Earth, before the extinction began. Per resolution HF-0491, we officially recommend the establishment of a research station.

Heka III is a continental world, larger than Earth, with the capacity to sustain 18 billion people. The climate is gentle and the world is home to many active volcanoes, which could complicate the colonization process. Our survey also confirmed the presence of a proto-civilization, with a technological level equivalent to Neolithic age. They do not pose a threat to colonization nor can they reasonably stake a claim to the planet for themselves, neither sustain it or defend it. One could argue that they are barely sentient.

Basic analysis is included in this report and samples are being transferred to the Sub-Directorate on Stellar Occupation per field order HF-031.

Personal Comment : “I am heading to the Zorf System. Gravitational readings are off the charts”.




***

Excerpt from news coverage
Danzig Action Five News Team – The best name in news!


“And now, today, the government announced a major scientific breakthrough that could have huge implication for the Dominion’s space program. A team of researchers, led by Chief scientist Dr. Qing Gao, has discovered how produce cheaper solar panels, opening the way to large scale production.

While this new technology will most likely drive down the market for photo voltaic cells, it is rumored that the Directorate will be able to cover the entire Boleslaw Space Station with them, leading to massive economies of energy for the daily operation of the center.

Let’s turn to Dan Specter for an analysis of the impact of such discovery on the markets. Dan, I believe it has been a rough day at the stock exchange...”



***​

Warsaw Administrative Complex
July 4th 2203




The Old Man entered the Parliament building’s great hemicycle at a slow pace, the only distinctive sound being that of his cane, knocking on the marble floor. His features told the story of a man well past his age, of elegant demeanor and of profound authority. He was wearing a simple garment of black with silvery thread.

He made his way between the abandoned desks toward the dais, in front of which was standing the Head of the Directorate, Yerzy Grudnek.

Old Man: We are most disappointed by your lack of progress, Director. Three years and all you have to show for is a mere advance in solar panels and the partial destruction of three corvettes.
Grudnek: We have discovered numerous alien species, sir.
Old Man: Of which, you know nothing. Hardly encouraging, yet, more threatening than heartening.
Grudnek: In time, sir, in time. We must prioritize.
Old Man: Our patience grows thin.
Grudnek: We have already optimized our mineral inputs, which in turn will enable further ventures in the vast galaxy.
Old Man: We do not view as a positive factor your dealings with private interest in those mining ventures. Perhaps you should revise your policy.
Grudnek: Perhaps you should read the fine prints of those contracts. Many executives can merely see beyond their own riches and their own lifetime. I, intend to build an empire that will endure generations. Control of these stations reverts to the Dominion in times of war.
Old Man: And I assume you expect war?
Grudnek: This is a large galaxy sir, there will always be someone to fight, don’t you think?
Old Man: Thread carefully, young man, for we do not share in your optimism.
Grudnek: Rest assured, Sir, I would never ask of you to be a believer.


The Director turned and aimed for the nearest exit, thinking for himself “I only need you to be a mere passenger...”.
 
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Eid3r

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Dear readers,

After 4 years, I believe you get a good idea of this AAR's style.

I would be very interested to know the elements you like and those you find lacking.

The motivation of writing this piece largely comes from you. Your comments are always welcomed, for the betterment of the Polish Space Program! ;)

Really looking forward to your feedback ;)
 
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Eid3r

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Silent readers ;)
 

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Idhrendur

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I don't really have anything constructive to add. I really like how the posts are formatted. The use of block quotes, the pictures highlighting and breaking things up, etc. It's just really well constructed.
 

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Chapter 5: 2204 A.D.



The Copernicus emerged from the wormhole facing the vast expanse of the Zorf system, which oddly consisted in two groupings of moons revolving around gas giants, very far apart from one another. Consulting the data emerging from the ships instruments, Hildegarde Freijik knew her luck had struck, if one could believe in such concept. For her own pleasure, she noted down that her “educated guess” had led her to such an important discovery.

She ordered the pilot to maneuver the ship closer to Zorf II, and she quickly sat at the console to read the live-feed of metadata, a skill that she had developed over the year as a result of close confinement in her lab and a knack for ordering raw data.

Freijik: This... is astounding.
First officer Salzberger: The planets or the moons, Madam?
Freijik: What ... branch of the Directorate are you from, Salzberger?
First officer Salzberger: Navy, Madam.
Freijik: You mean the early space program?
First officer Salzberger: Navy, Navy. Madam


And suddenly, all was explained, considering that the last Navy ship built in Poland dated back 30 years, before the space program.

***​

Field Survey Report
P.D.S.S. Copernicus
Dr. Hildegarde Freijik – Chief Scientist




To: Director Jerzy Grudnek
Head – Directorate of Science and Truth
Subject: Priority One, Exploration of the Zorf System

Director,

In the absence of orders from the Directorate, I have redirected the Copernicus to the Zorf system which displayed interesting gravitational readings. The preliminary survey we have realized is nothing short of astounding.

4 habitable moons are orbiting the Zorf II gas giant. Two of those moons are deserts and the remaining moons harbor a climate, flora and fauna not unlike Earth.

The possibility for an eventual colonization of all these moons enables us to formulate promising hypothesis in regards to commerce, military defense and commercial shipping.

I hereby recommend the selection of the Zorf system as the prime candidate for the establishment of our colony.

Personal Comment: “Jerzy, this is the real deal”.
***​

Research Station Leski
January 17th, 2204




Svetlana Romanov was not your typical Polish girl. At age 5, she was already experiencing with advanced ballistics in order to defend her snow fort against the bullies of Kalirana Ave, who from the height of being 10 years old, were real terrors in the streets of Lwow. By age 7, a rudimentary snow-and-gravel howitzer was produced on the field of battle, Boris Bolonoski’s eyesight may or may not have been permanently damaged and on the recommendation of the city administrator; she was packed off for Warsaw and the Academy of Applied Sciences.

Twelve years later, she now stood in a lab, in a brand new research station, orbiting Triton, Neptune’s moon. Some said she was brilliant, teachers sometime wrote “Spark of Genius” in her evaluations, if you asked her, she was a simple lass who happened to be fascinated by a lot of things.

And today, it was advanced physics that caught her attention. She stood in front of a holo-representation of the moon, pondering about the anomaly detected by the P.D.S.S. Copernicus several years earlier. A part of her was feeling guilty, as she believed it was Dr. Hildegarde Freijik who should have been granted the honor of this research. But the Directory believed otherwise, and Dr. Freijik was systems away on a star-charting expedition.

Focusing on the problem at hand, she pushed away her feelings about what she dubbed “discovery stealing”. Talking to the station computer, she recorded her observations.

Romanov: It appears as if a micro singularity intersected with the moon, literally passing through the core. While there are no visible signs of an impact of any kind, the gravimetry is all wrong. Correction, the gravimetry is not wrong, it is obviously right, but these readings flips on their arse some tenets going back as far as Einstein.

She frowned, unhappy at the situation. In the scientific community, there were some things that were taboo. Just as military history common sense could always be summarized as “do not attack Russia”, disproving Albert Einstein was threading on a very fine line. Even 249 years after kicking the can, old Frizzy-Hair could literally rise from the grave, drop a thesis on your sorry behind, and destroy whichever theory you thought had a shot at disproving his science. In the scientific world, you do not attack Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein attacks you, this is to be expected. Not the reverse.

***

Krakow Space Center
September 9th, 2204




Director Jerzy Grudnek was sitting at his desk, his gaze fixed on the communication device which enabled him to appear across the entire main-screen of the Leski Space Station, billions of kilometers away. His voice was cold, betraying his lack of enthusiasm toward the women sitting at the other end of the conversation, Dr. Mira Polotzk, in charge of the research station.

Polotzk: Director Grudnek, this is unacceptable. We do not even have half the equipment to perform optimally. Our main computer system is not yet connected with the Dominion mainframe, which means that our research is not automatically transferred to the Board of Review and Ethics, nor to the Archives. Do you have any idea how long it takes to prepare the dockets by hand?
Grudnek: I absolutely share in your outrage, Dr. Polotzk. These lapses in outfitting the station are unacceptable. Rest assured that I will do my outmost to prioritize the material.
Polotzk: See that you do Director, for I will not be sabotaged in my research. We are on the verge of an important breakthrough.
Grudnek: Alas, Doctor, I am afraid you will not be allowed to finish this very interesting research. You have been assigned to a more important task.
Polotzk: What could be more important than rewriting all the laws we thought we knew about astrophysics?
Grudnek: Yesterday, our shipyards finalized the construction of our newest science vessel, the P.D.S.S. Solidarnosc. I am offering you command, and we will have you on the field as soon as possible.
Polotzk: Sir, I have important work. And who would replace me here at the station? Thanks, but no thanks Director, there is no fame in your offer.
Grudnek: Since you refuse my offer, I will assume you will not disobey a direct order. Your ship will meet you at Triton shortly. You can defer command to Dr. Romanov.
Polotzk: Romanov? She is but a child, and far from having the required maturity to...
Grudnek: That will be all, Dr. Polotzk. Thank you.

He quickly cut the holo-feed. Grabbing a datapad, he sent a rapid correspondence.

To: Aleksandr Kropotnin – Sub-Director for Stellar Occupation
Subject: Re: Outfitting of Leski Research Station, Triton

Dear Aleksandr,

Disregard any claims of defect in outfitting Leski Station. We are led to believe they are frivolous.

We consider the station to be operational, within the regulatory parameters.

We would like you to defer any further request directly to our office.

Director Jerzy Grudnek

***
(Stay tuned tomorrow, for our Space Poles will have their first contact with another space-civilization)
 

Eid3r

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Chapter 6 : 2205 A.D.

Krakow Space Centre
March 23rd 2205


Five hundred and seventy six days ago, Sakura Mori saw the sun. Ever since that day, she stayed holed in her laboratory, which bears an impressive “Project Exodus” plastered across its doors. To discourage any idea of maybe going out for a stroll, this only door to the lab was heavily guarded by Swiss mercenaries equipped with enough firepower to overrun Panama. She couldn’t tell what was more discomforting to her mind: the fact that in the 23rd century, people were stupid enough to build labs with the evident fire hazard of a unique exit or the fact that in the same century, Swiss mercenaries were still commonplace. It was clearly a conundrum not meant to be solved.

A more amenable problem at hand was that of creating one ship large enough for humans, their ego and their maniacal tendency to over exploit their environment. Then, bring the said ship through space, and make sure it contains all the necessary materiel for the exploitation of new planets, to perpetuate a boom-bust cycle which slowly turned every planet to dust.

Some days, you had to think really hard not to believe that mankind was a form of space locusts, swarming from planet to planet and leaving desolation behind. And it was all the more difficult when, almost 90% in the project; you suddenly have to find space on the ship for more drilling material, at the expense of waste-purification systems for light industries. Building a sustainable future was a pipe-dream, constantly mowed by urgent right-now imperatives.

A sudden blink on her computer drew her attention for a moment. Reading through the new message, her face slowly turned to red, then to white, a color-pattern replicated by her knuckles and she clenched her fists. Searching for the first item at hand to throw, her godly rage fell on a poor mug spelling “Never trust atoms, they make up everything” which shattered quite nicely on the opposite wall.

Mori: And now I need to put 1,200 Land Rovers on that thing? Who on Earth decided that space colonist would need Land Rovers?
Assistant: I believe this is part of the negotiations which led to the entry of Britain in the Polish Dominion, Dr. Mori.
Mori: Join the Dominion, for a better future for all mankind! PS: We have Land Rovers!
Assistant: Something like that.
Mori: Alright, we have already packed all the nooks and crannies on this baby. We’ll have no choice but to dump the tea supply from hangar C-3004.
Assistant: I am afraid this is impossible. Otherwise, India will not get its share of the expedition.
Mori: What? You mean... ugh... just find something to throw overboard, and let’s be done with this, before they send us more trinkets to add. I tell you, they would sell the name and colors if they could make a profit.
Assistant: Well...
Mori: Just don’t tell me.




***​


Somewhere in Poland
April 7th 2205 – Also known as Easter




Drops of water dripping from a small crevasse in the cavernous ceiling echoed in the vastness of the cave. Dimly lit by torches, the great columns of the erstwhile catacombs stood idle and grey, silent witness to the enduring passage of time. At the center, an altar, with a golden cross standing at its side. In the swirling shadows, scowled figures wearing brown robes and masks are moving, congregating around a tall man, wearing robes of crimson and a large hood obscuring his face. They called him the Archbishop.

The Archbishop: The sinful Directorate is but a lie, brothers and sisters. For they have wrestled the reins of the polity and bound the masses into servitude to an immoral desire to replace God by their own flawed senses. They claim to the power and virtue of reason over belief, yet, they fail to understand that faith is above reason and that therefore, there are no discrepancies between them. For it is the same God who reveals the mysteries that infuses our faith that has bestowed the light of reason unto us. Day after day, the very essence of mankind is under assault, its soul wrested from the loving arms of our Holy Mother Church and cast upon the sterile altar of science, unbridled and directionless. They forget that science must be at the service of the human person, of its dignity, his true integral good and that it must be bound by morality.

Many in attendance muttered their approval of the words, nodding their heads in acquiescence.

The Archbishop: We must remain true to the Lord, brothers and sisters, and we shall make it our endeavor to rekindle the flames of the Faith, which have been smothered by lost and misguided souls. We must remain steadfast in our beliefs, and we must above all, continue our service toward the people. For a time will come when we will meet under the sun once again. For now, let us pray.

Many attendees went to their knees, muttering prayers. Hours from now, they would return to their daily lives, to their government postings, their military careers or their scientific endeavors.


***​

Krakow Space Center
December 19th 2205


Director Jerzy Grudnek was entertaining a military party in the reception room down the hall from his lavish office. With the courteous help of a quartet of cellist to provide propitious ambiance, he charmed his way around this viper’s nest, as he often liked to refer to the military faction of the Directorate. Discussing with Admiral Waldow, he knew he walked a fine line between the impatience demonstrated by the military and his own independence as commander in chief.

Grudnek: Reports of crystalline encroachments have become most rare Admiral, I believe your men deserve credit for these results.
Waldow: The treat is contained, Director, but I would personally much prefer to eradicate it once and for all. There will come a time when our protection zone will need to expand outside of Sol’s borders, and with only three corvettes, we are spread thin.
Grudnek: Alas, my dear admiral, I share in your pain. The size of our fleet is but a mere shadow of our true grandeur. You will be pleased to know that, with our first colony ship going in production, vital resources will be freed for the rearmament of our current fleet and its expansion.
Waldow: I will be blunt, Director, we cannot ensure safety for the Zorf expedition unless we are provided with 7 new ships in the next five years.


The director slowly nodded, and was about to answer when he was interrupted by an aide, rushing to his side.

Aide: Sir! Our communications array is picking up signals coming from the Rackta system.
Grudnek: Rackta. This is outside of our borders, isn’t it?
Aide: Indeed sir.
Grudnek: On which frequency are the signals?
Aide: All of them sir.
Grudnek: My office, in a minute.


He motioned the admiral to follow him and he walked a bristly pace toward his study, replacing his garments and for the historic occasion. Taking place behind his large desk, he looked at the communication screen, nodding to the technician to open the link.



A birdlike creature appeared on the screen, four-eyed with a large beak and purple feathers. Crackling sound was heard for a moment and then the Director could hear the familiar voice of Dr. Hildegarde Freijik, disbelief showed only for a moment on his face.

Krak’thul: Greetings, fellow sentients. I am Krak’thul and I represent the Rackuddon Interplanetary Union. Our great and esteemed leader, Consul Klotrast hopes for peaceful relations with your people, but rest assured that we are more than capable to defend our way of life.
Grudnek: And I am Jerzy Grudnek, Director of the Polish Dominion. It is my great honor to convey the salutations of the United peoples of Earth. The way forward lies in our enterprising hands, and I am certain that we shall find a common path toward prosperity. However, I would require immediate information about the fate of one of our own, Dr. Hildegarde Freijik, whose voice you seem to be using.
Krak’thul: You will excuse us, for we are not able to produce sounds in the same tones are those composing your language. Our scientists have for some time intercepted the internal radio chatter of one of your ship surveying the Z’reka system. We determined that this voice-pattern was the most ... audibly eloquent.
Grudnek: I see. Might I suggest that you share with us the boundaries of your Union’s space, to ensure that our explorers do not encroach on them. Likewise, I would suggest the exchange of plenipotentiary embassies, to establish formal diplomatic relations.
Krak’thul: There is merit in such a suggestion. We must for now convey with our serene leader. We assume you will do the same.
Grudnek: I hold the destiny of my people in my own hands.
Krak’thul: Kindly accept my apologies, esteemed Director Grudnek
.

The communication was cut soon after. The director fell back in his chair, unbuttoning his collar. Next to him, the martial admiral Waldow was standing straight, slowly processing what he had just saw, the first exchange between humans and aliens.

Grudnek: You will have your ships, admiral. And many more.

Next to the director, a datapad was bleeping. Research and development had made a breakthrough in the use of nano-composites for starship’s plating. The timing couldn’t have been more surreal.

***
(Dear readers, kindly let me know which characters are you favorite so far, as I will make sure they are fully explored and used in the following chapters. ;) )
 

Eid3r

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(As it is a beautiful, sunny, long week-end up here in Canada (We don't get many), there will be a pause until monday for updates. ;) )
 

sparta105

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This is a very good story! At first I thought it would be a little slow with one chapter only taking up a year, but I'm glad I was proven wrong. Keep up the wonderful work! :D
(Dear readers, kindly let me know which characters are you favorite so far, as I will make sure they are fully explored and used in the following chapters. ;) )
Grudnek. Definetley Director Grudnek ;)