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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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Well definitely time to be ready to teach those cursed creatures who is boss!
I was thinking about it, but there are also easier prey on my borders.
Quite a pointed message for the Kalaxenans there.
I don't think it was lost on them, but like everyone else around, they don't seem able to take a joke. :rolleyes:
Progress! More space to spread thinly!
Yes the Ganlarev Concordat still seems to be as overcrowded as ever. The situation will be dealt with as soon as possible.
 

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The Search for Space

In 2234 the lost (and indeed forgotten) neolithic islanders of Sadatoni IV reappeared. Confined to a small remote and virtually barren island and left to their own devices, they had shown remarkable ingenuity in trying to escape. It had taken them twenty years, but they had finally managed to build a fleet of sea-going craft with which to strike back at their detested overlords.

2234-armada.jpg

Some Kalaxenan involvement was suspected, especially when the craft were found to be armed with 24 pounder cannon firing crude explosive shells, technology that the neolithics definitely hadn't been using the last time anyone had seen them twenty years before. Caught completely off guard, many of the Ganlarev colonists were massacred before the neolithics could be stopped and driven back to their island. Of course, no one could prove it, but it was generally accepted that this was the cowardly, underhand way the Kalaxenans had chosen to retaliate after the colonization of Rogveddi. Was there no end to their odious interfering?

Meanwhile, the quest for vast empty spaces to fill with Ganlarev colonies continued. Finding the way blocked to antispinward by various nasty aliens, President Bagglosch had decided to clear a nest of privateers from the Mili system, which would also give access to another unexplored system beyond it. Admiral Garma had thus been given another “cleansing” mission.

2234-mili.jpg

Location of the Mili system and the unexplored system beyond​

Incoming olfac-link feed from Admiral “Hardnose” Garma, commanding the 1st Noxious Fleet and currently undertaking operations in the Mili system. Requesting communication with President Bagglosch.

Admiral Garma! I trust the news is good.

Ah, not really sir.

Oh dear, what's up Admiral?

It's the privateers, sir. Their fleet is slightly larger than we thought.

But surely not too large for you to take on Admiral? Remember Samnivik, eh? Remember Sceptrum!

Well sir, we had superiority in both those battles. Here we'd be outnumbered, and probably outgunned.

Oh dear. Well, I suppose you'd better withdraw then, Admiral. We don't want to lose our entire fleet and then find there aren't even any planets there to colonize.

Very good, sir. Perhaps we could do some cleansing elsewhere in the mean time?

Good idea! What about the pirates in Nostea? There aren't so many of them there.

I would be honoured to be able to deal with them, sir!

Very good, Admiral. That's settled then. Take the Fleet to Nostea right away, and I'll be expecting some good news from there soon!

Aye aye, sir!

And so the fleet headed for Nostea, where another nest of pirates were lurking right in the middle of Ganlarev space, a constant threat and irritation to Ganlarev interstellar traffic. This time the pirates were slightly outnumbered and old “Hardnose” went straight to the attack. But these were no mindless jellyfish nor witless mining drones. They were a brood of desperate cut-throats, probably funded again by the wretched Kalaxenans, who now saw their very existence threatened and fought back with cold fury.

The battle was long and gruelling, but “Hardnose” did not know the meaning of retreat and fought on while ship after ship was smashed into oblivion by the furious pirates. In the end, the tide gradually turned in favour of the Ganlarev, and at last the pirates were annihilated and their lair raided. But the spoils from the pirate lair were a pitiful compensation for the Fleet losses, which amounted to almost half their initial strength.

Obviously, clearing systems of alien menaces was a riskier business than had been thought up till that point. President Bagglosch decided that the priority should be to explore the spinward regions, beyond the Valdari and the Kenjodani, in the hopes of finding vast tracts of virgin territory there, although such hopes seemed sadly over-optimistic these days.


2234-spinward.jpg
2236 was a sad year for Ganlarev exploration when Science Officer Pablasch died, still at the helm of the GCS Sniffer. He was mourned by all, and replaced by Shugglerm, a young female graduate from the University of Ganlarevia. She and Alorig continued exploring the spinward regions over the next few years, opening up vast new tracts of space. And amazingly, aside from a number of flotillas of strange space-borne crystalline entities, the space seemed relatively empty. Two tropical planets, Ziobir III and Zarqon III, were earmarked for Ganlarev colonies. This would also create a bulwark against Kalaxenan expansion.

In 2241 it was time to elect a new president for the Concordat. Bagglosch was getting old and the people were looking for new blood. Thus they chose President Paggro – no, not of course Paggro the Pungent who had passed away many years before, but Paggro the Younger. He also became known as “Paggro the Aggro”. He was more interested in the Fleet than any previous leader, and many more Suffocator-class destroyers were built under his direction. He was committed to the policy of peaceful spinward expansion, but he also wanted to make sure that the Concordat was ready for war if the Kalaxenans wanted it.

Ziobir III was colonized by the GCS Fungal Frontier in 2241, then in 2242 the GCS Three's a Crowd set off for Zarqon III. This created something of an energy crisis in the Concordat, only just averted by building the first two Ganlarev Betharian power plants.

Ganlarev expansion in this direction no doubt annoyed the Kalaxenans, but more surprisingly it also seemed to annoy the previously docile Valdari, who declared the Ganlarev their rivals in 2246. President Paggro was somewhat taken aback by this declaration, and immediately contacted Coordinator Modrig den Rothorag to see if there had been some mistake.


2203-valdari.jpg

Mr Valdari Leader Guy! What an unpleasant smell you guys have, by the way. And frankly you could really do with shortening your names to something more sensible.

Perhaps Ganlarev too primitive to manage long words?

Oh, that cut me deep, Mr Valdari Leader Guy! I thought we were friends. Peaceful co-existence and all that, no?

Banthary belong Valdari.

Oh good grief, you're not still banging on about that are you?

Also – Valdari just got joke.

Oh jolly good! Which one was that?

Biofuel joke. No find funny.

Well, you know, when it takes forty years for the penny to drop it's not always that funny. We've got some more recent ones if you want to hear them.

Valdari no listen more jokes. No find funny.

Well, not to worry. I was just checking up on this, er... declaration of rivalry we just received? It seemed to come from you guys so we thought there must have been a mistake.

No mistake. Ganlarev rivals now.

Aw, c'mon guys, I don't think you really want that, do you? Things could get messy, you know.

No mistake.

Right, well. Here's what we'll do. We'll declare you our rivals too. You guys OK with that?

Good. End charade.

Yes, what a good idea. Perhaps we could just end your puny empire's entire existence while we're at it? Here's a charade for you – three words, third word smells like “four”.

No more charade.

Really, you guys are no fun – it was “declaration of war” by the way.

Huh?


Yes, our main Fleet is in the Banthary system right now preparing to warp to Val'Sho. Bye for now.

Admiral “Hardnose” Garma, now with a fully restored Fleet of twenty-one Suffocator-class destroyers and forty-two Gagger-class corvettes, was indeed in Banthary at that very moment. He was ordered to attack immediately, which he proceeded to do with great enthusiasm.


On his arrival in Val'Sho a couple of weeks later he found Vak-Nosha, the Valdari home planet, defended by a fleet about one third the size of the 1st Noxious Fleet. It was quickly annihilated along with the spaceport and a bombardment of Vak-Nosha was begun.

2246-battle-vak-nosha.jpg

Die, stupid bovines!
Admiral Garma had given strict orders that there was to be no eating of prisoners, but as everyone knows, in war rules are not always fully adhered to. It became known informally as the Sirloin War.

It was at this point that the role of the Kalaxenans became clear in the whole affair, when, with the Noxious Fleet now fully occupied at the other end of the Concordat space from Rogveddi, they declared war.

2246-kalaxenans.jpg
 
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stnylan

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Well that is just darned rude of them. Typical Kalaxenans.
 

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So totally unnecessary. Bad Kalaxenans! BAD!
 

Farquharson

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Well that is just darned rude of them. Typical Kalaxenans.
So totally unnecessary. Bad Kalaxenans! BAD!
No more than we have come to expect. The Ganlarev's is a high and lonely calling... :D
Sirloin War... sub. :D
Welcome aboard!
Figures the meddlesome Kalaxenans would try to get in on the action, wouldn't it? Always want to butt in on their neighbors under the guise of "participation" and "cooperation" and other such...
Indeed. The question is, as they so pointedly said, who has the superior technologies? At this point in the game I was getting a little worried.
 

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The Stench of Death

2246-flagship.jpg

Admiral Garma's flagship, the GCS Stench of Death


2246
Admiral “Hardnose” Garma, commander of the 1st Noxious Fleet, was on the bridge of his flagship the GCS Stench of Death, overseeing the bombardment of the Valdari home planet Vak-Nosha when he received an incoming olfac-link feed from Ganlarevia. It was none other than President Paggro in person.


I can smell something delicious there, Admiral – what on earth is it?

Ahem, yes sir, we were just giving one of the prisoners... er, a bit of a grilling, sir.

A bit of a grilling?

Trying to extract some intelligence from him, sir, that's all.

Ah, I see. It's just, I'd smelled rumours, Admiral.

Don't believe a whiff of it, sir. Routine questioning, that's all.

Very good. So have you managed to extract much intelligence from them, Admiral? I imagine that would be pretty difficult, knowing the Valdari.

You're right, sir. We've been trying to get information about their other system, Yval. Do they have another fleet lurking there? How well defended is the spaceport? That sort of thing.

Any luck?

Not really, sir. Perhaps grilling isn't the best method. We might trying roasting instead. Or perhaps barbecuing...

Well, I'm afraid you may not have time for any more culinary experimentation Admiral. The campaign is going to have to be called off temporarily.

But... sir! What on earth for? They'll probably surrender in a matter of weeks!

Well, slightly bad news from Get Stuffed, Admiral. It seems the Kalaxenans have declared war and have a large fleet heading straight for the Rogveddi system.

Oh.

As, you say, Admiral, “Oh”.

Why, those slippery reptilian scum! What do you mean by a “large fleet”, sir? Do we have any details?

Only that it is comparable to the present size of the First Noxious Fleet, weakened as it is by the recent fighting.

Very good, sir. What are my orders, then?

Withdraw the entire Fleet to Banthary for repairs, Admiral. I'm afraid we can't spare a single ship to keep an olfac-sensor on the witless Valdari. We'll just have to hope they can't cause any trouble for the time being. Once the Fleet is back in shape, proceed as fast as possible to Rogveddi. Reinforcements will be joining you from across the Concordat – I've already ordered the building of as many new ships as we can afford. You can get regular updates on the situation direct from Get Stuffed. I don't need to tell you that things could get pretty ugly pretty quickly down there.

Aye, aye, sir.

It will be recalled that the tropical world of Get Stuffed had a habitable moon, the ocean world of Get Stuffed Islands. Planet and moon were both now Ganlarev colonies, and both had substantially upgraded spaceports. Thus, new ships were already being built right under the Kalaxenans' reptilian noses.

Before the slimy lizards had even managed to get a fleet to Rogveddi, a spanking new destroyer was already waiting for them under the command of the somewhat inexperienced but utterly fearless Admiral Schlargim. Somewhat foolishly, after finally arriving in Rogveddi the Kalaxenans wasted precious time destroying a mining station while a second destroyer was made ready to receive them.

Then, as their fleet began to approach Get Stuffed, the impetuous young Schlargim raced out to meet them. It was a suicidal act, but with hindsight it was generally agreed that Schlargim's reckless courage may well have saved the day. He managed to inflict a fair amount of damage on the Kalaxenans before the two destroyers were lost forever, and the young Admiral with them. By the time the enemy fleet came within range of the twin spaceports it was severely weakened. Whether they had even realized that they were attacking two spaceports together will never be known. But after only a few days the entire Kalaxenan fleet had been destroyed.

By this time the First Fleet was fully repaired and was heading for Rogveddi, picking up reinforcements as it came. Another, somewhat smaller, Kalaxenan fleet now tried to jump past the Rogveddi death-trap to try their luck in Samderaan, but there they ran up against the combined firepower of a spaceport and a defence platform, and that fleet too was wiped out without any help from Admiral Garma.

All this meant that Admiral Garma didn't actually need to go to Rogveddi at all, but simply headed straight for his first objective, the Kalaxenan system of Jabbah with its colonized planet, Raztl. The Kalaxenans had no fleet to defend their spaceport, and it was quickly destroyed. While Garma worked on bombarding Raztl yet another Kalaxenan fleet arrived at the edge of the system, but after surveying the size of the First Noxious Fleet it then retreated again.


2248-battle-raztl.jpg


Die, flappy-eared lizards!

The First Noxious Fleet moves in to attack the spaceport of Raztl

Before long, Raztl was captured and Admiral Garma moved most of the Fleet on to repeat the process in the nearby Mauthula system, with the planet Xirsh. Before the end of 2249 both planets were in Ganlarev hands. Now it was time to decide the next move. The Kalaxenans would probably now surrender the Jabbah system in a peace deal, but if Admiral Garma went on to occupy the Kalaxenan capital in Ipa'Go Tryll they would probably cede Mauthula as well.

However, energy reserves were running low, and there was still the Valdari war to finish off. And what if the Kenjodani were to decide to attack as well? In the end, President Paggro offered the Kalaxenans peace in return for Jabbah, and the lizards grudgingly accepted. Clearly they could still not quite believe that they had been defeated by their arch-enemies.

Now it was time for Admiral Garma to return to Rogveddi for some minor repairs, before heading back to finish off the Valdari League. But the Admiral was an old man and sadly he did not survive the journey. He was replaced by his second-in-command, Admiral Regglor, a promising young officer who had seen action in every battle so far.

Fears about the Kenjodani were proved well-founded when they declared their rivalry in 2250 and then promptly formed a defensive pact with the Kalaxenans. Clearly this was another race that the meddling Kalaxenans had managed to wrap around their little claw.

But no matter, the immediate business was the ongoing war with the Valdari. It was time to get back to bombarding Vak-Nosha and trying out new ways of extracting information from Valdari prisoners. Astonishingly, the witless Valdari appeared to have done absolutely nothing since Admiral Garma had lifted the siege of their home planet to go and deal with the Kalaxenans. At least, if they had built any ships to replace their former fleet they certainly weren't risking them in any kind of engagement. With an energy crisis in the Concordat looming ever closer, Vak-Nosha was finally invaded and occupied in early 2252.

The Valdari, who could now experience the true stench of the Ganlarev for the first time, seemed to give up all hope at this point and surrendered unconditionally. This was something of a disappointment to Admiral Regglor, whose command experience now amounted to the brief and not terribly heroic bombardment of a defenceless planet. And of course there had been almost no opportunities for more questioning of prisoners.

So both of the Valdari planets were incorporated into the Concordat and the Valdari League was history. No doubt the Valdari would fight back in the future, no doubt they would soon be in the pay of slimy Kalaxenan agents funding proxy wars against the Concordat. But for now, it was time to celebrate a momentous victory.


2252-galaxy.jpg


The galaxy in 2252

The Kingdom of Yondarim (lower right) have not been mentioned yet as they have not had much to do with the Ganlarev. Needless to say, they don't like the Ganlarev very much.
 
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stnylan

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I do feel a bit sorry for the new admiral. He must feel very redundant.
 

Farquharson

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I do feel a bit sorry for the new admiral. He must feel very redundant.
Yes, it's very sad, but of course there are always nests of undesirables to be cleared out at this stage in the game. He won't be completely redundant!
After Regglor regulates some military reforms, he'll be hailed as odor penetra. Then it is time to waddle war!
Odor penetra smells about right. :eek:
The Ganlarev triumph! Soon all the galaxy shall learn to rue the approach of their pungent odors!
I think they already do.
This is a very funny AAR! Will be following!
Excellent - welcome!
 

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Some Really Strange Aliens

At the end of the last chapter, the Ganlarev had just swallowed up the Valdari League (not literally, of course, although it is possible that some of the Valdari prisoners had indeed ended up getting swallowed). The horrid Kalaxenans had also been severely humiliated when they had thought to take advantage of the war to take back the strategic Rogveddi system, and possibly other bits of the Ganlarev Concordat. Instead they had lost one of their own systems, Jabbah, to the Ganlarev.

Conquering nasty alien planets was all very well, but it did not help the Ganlarev with their main preoccupation, namely finding lots of empty space to spread out and be as far away from each other and any other races as possible. Some potential colony sites had been found in far-flung parts of the galaxy, which obviously needed to be claimed before anyone else got there first, specifically the wretched Kalaxenans. Other sites were closer to home, and this included Ishtrum III, just one warp-jump from Ganlargo. Thus it was that in 2255 the GCS Trip of a Lifetime made the short hop and founded yet another Ganlarev colony, although being so close to Ganlarevia it was not considered a terribly desirable destination.

But all this talk about peaceful expansion did not go down well with Admiral Regglor, who still dreamed of winning fame and glory on the field of battle. After pestering President Paggro repeatedly, he was finally given permission to take the Noxious Fleet back to the Mili system to see if he could clear the pirates from there. The Fleet was far bigger, more experienced and better equipped than when Admiral Garma had visited Mili back in 2234. Admiral Regglor was not therefore running a big risk taking on the pirates, but the battle was quite spectacular nevertheless.


2255-pirates.jpg

Die, parrot-toting peg-legs!

Incoming olfac-link feed from Sol III, requesting contact with “To whom it may concern”. President Paggro responding.

Hello? Is this yet another alien race we haven't discovered yet? I don't believe it!

Greetings. I am President Seedkugh, I speak on behalf of the Human Co-operative.

Just our luck...

We hope for a long and fruitful relationship with the Ganlarev Concordat.

Sure. We just finished a war with the last people who told us that. We beat them.

Er... right. Well, if at first you don't succeed, as we say...

Yes, well, we prefer not to get too pally with the neighbours. Where do you guys live anyway?

The Sol system is our home. You may not have heard of it - it is rather isolated.

2255-humans-location.jpg

Boy, you're not kidding. I'm drooling just looking at that location!

Perhaps we can form a trading relationship. We are more of a supermarket chain than an actual civilization.

2255-coop.jpg

Oh, now you're talking – do you sell meat?

Sure! Meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned goods, a selection of wines and spirits...

We'd mainly be interested in meat. Especially beef. We've developed quite a taste for beef these days.

Ah yes, well we have a special on at the moment. Buy 500g of minced beef and get a jar of tomato and mushroom pasta sauce for half price. Makes a delicious bolognaise...

2255-mushroom-sauce.jpg

Wait, wait! What was that? You... eat... mushrooms?

Well, they're not to everyone's taste of course. Me, I find them kind of slimy and chewy, but...

Slimy.

Ah. Now, wait one moment, I'm just looking over the bio-data we've got on your species and...

Chewy.

Um. It says here “fungoid”. Err... what does that mean, exactly?

Well, it was nice smelling with you Mr Human Leader Guy but I don't think we'll be buying anything from you, if that's OK. Perhaps if you just stayed on Sol III that would be best.

Hmm. As I say, we were hoping to branch out in the near future. The Kalaxenans seemed to be interested in having a few of our stores on some of their key planets.

The Kalaxenans. Yes, they were the last people who said they were hoping for a long and fruitful relationship with us.

Ah. I see.

So – bye for now. Well, hopefully for ever, actually.

Good bye.

2255-humans.jpg

As usual, the Ganlarev's first contact with this bizarre alien race had not gone well, but the revelation that there were species which actually ate fungus as part of their diet was profoundly unsettling. It was also mildly annoying that the Humans seemed to want to develop the usual “long and fruitful relationship” with the Kalaxenans of all people. The following year, in 2256, the two races announced that they were signing a non-aggression pact, the first time anyone in the galaxy had had such close and amicable relations. It was quite sickening.
 
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stnylan

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There goes the neighbourhood.
 

Farquharson

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There goes the neighbourhood.
Fortunately the Humans seem to have been banished to one of those outlying systems - the Naughty Corner or something, I suppose it is. :rolleyes:
Just wait until you hear about truffles!
However, I'm pretty sure they don't sell them in the Co-op, so the Ganlarev may not need to know about them. :eek:

And here it is folks, the final episode! Yes, I did warn you that we were in a tiny galaxy, so you should have seen it coming. Anyway, I'll take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy and fun-filled New Year! As they say in the Concordat, "Lang may yurr lum reek!"
 

Farquharson

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Lebensraum

It was time to expand further to spinward, where there were vast open spaces ripe for Ganlarev colonization. At least, they would have been ripe if there were any tropical worlds there. Unfortunately the nearest habitable world was a small moon in the Mavall system, but it was a desert world, certainly not suitable for Ganlarev colonists. Nevertheless, it would make a useful stepping stone to further expansion, so in 2258 President Paggro gave orders for a Namarian colony ship to be built on Regganus IV, destined for the Mavall system.

Meanwhile, the somewhat ADHD Admiral Regglor had to be kept busy every so often with odd jobs clearing systems in Ganlarev space which had hitherto been inaccessible due to the presence of assorted undesirables. In 2259 more pirates were cleared from Chetrus, opening up several previously inaccessible systems to rimward of Ganlargo. It was another spectacular laser display.


2259-pirates.jpg

Die, whoever you are! You're in the way.

Then in 2260 disaster struck when the evil Kalaxenans set up a colony in Nijil, thus also grabbing the Mavall system. The Namarian colony ship, the GCS Finders Keepers was actually entering the Mavall system when the Kalaxenan borders engulfed it and the ship was immediately expelled. There was no doubt that the slimy reptiles had been fully aware of what they were doing, considering that their new colony in Nijil was named “Losers Weepers”.

2260-spinward.jpg
Of course, Admiral Regglor was all for declaring war once more, and taking these systems back by force since the truce had just expired, but President Paggro had other plans. The fact was that there were actually more suitable planets for Ganlarev expansion in the other direction, the vast spaces to rimward of Rovgeddi which had now mostly been cleared of nasty aliens. The Yondarim might eventually get around to filling that region, but President Paggro was determined not to let that happen.

2263-rimward.jpg

The region in question – the pale blue border to lower right is the Kingdom of Yondarim

This policy was not popular with some of the more warlike Ganlarev, led chiefly by Admiral Regglor and former President Bagglosch, who was now governor of the Ziobir Sector, just next to Nijil and Mavall. They lobbied hard for another war with the Kalaxenans. When the next election came around in 2261, Bagglosch ran against Paggro and won. Things might have gone very differently if President Bagglosch had lived longer than a couple of months into his term of office. He was an old man by now, so rumours of foul play were not taken seriously by most citizens. Thus, in the absence of any other likely candidates, President Paggro was re-elected in 2262. In just a few years he had fulfilled his orbital research mandate, earning some much needed influence for the many Ganlarev colonies he was planning over the next few years.

These were years of peace and prosperity in the Ganlarev Concordat. Nevertheless, there were a few minor incidents to deal with. In 2267 a race of subterranean aliens had the temerity to appear beneath the surface of the new Ganlarev colony on Kiram III. Of course, they were immediately exterminated with nerve gas, or perhaps they were simply overcome by the stench of the Ganlarev when the fumes seeped down into their cavernous burrows. It came to much the same thing.

President Paggro was re-elected in 2272 and fulfilled his orbital research mandate the following year. His policy remained one of peaceful expansion, unless of course there were defenceless primitives that could be safely wiped out or subjugated without too much trouble.

And it was at this point indeed that somebody somewhere remembered the Screk, the warlike race of giant ants whom the Ganlarev had shrunk from interfering with all those years ago for fear of reprisals by the once mighty Kalaxenans. Now nobody was the slightest bit worried about what the Kalaxenans thought about it, so in 2273 a few Ganlarev landed on their planet, causing large numbers of the Screk to collapse from asphyxiation. The rest were persuaded to surrender, and their planet, Regganus III, became the 26th planet in the Ganlarev Concordat. Which meant that the stench of the Ganlarev now reigned supreme.


2273-domination.jpg
The true extent of their domination of the galaxy can be seen here.

2273-galaxy.jpg


THE END
 
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Specialist290

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A most enjoyable ride :) I admit the conclusion seems a little abrupt, but overall that's a small blemish on what has otherwise been an entertaining experience.

...Though I really think you missed an opportunity by not tying the Ganlarev somehow to the origins of Pedro the Unwashed :p