Very excited to try out Stellaris' new Leviathans DLC. I'm hopeful that this AAR manages to last a /little/ longer than my last one. Thanks for reading!
Her head ached as she stared at the blank speech-to-text dictation document before her. These last few months has been a grueling election cycle and, as much as she was loathe to admit it, she couldn't shake the feeling that the only reason that she had secured re-election was the Hyperdrive project. Her promise of interstellar expansion was ambitious, but it was her genuine conviction that it was the best possible future for humanity.
Dolores Muwanga couldn't remember what life was like before the Terran Unification Act of 2170. She hadn't fought in the wars of the 21st and 22nd centuries, she hadn't struggled with the collapse of much of Earth's biosphere, she hadn't contributed to centuries of brutally enforced inequality and infighting. All the same, she and the other 7-odd billion human beings on Earth were responsible for seeking out new solutions to all of the problems that they lived with but hadn't caused in the first place. She wouldn't outwardly admit it, for fear of being perceived as overly optimistic, but they were doing a pretty damned good job.
The Hyperdrive Project was imagined as a celebration of this new age of progress and enlightenment, in the same spirit as almost every other New Years' Eve that had been celebrated for as long as people bothered to measure time by way of calendars. The premise wasn't too outlandish. The Hyperlane Network had been detected during the last years before the Unification Act, but no single political entity possessed the capability to solve humanity's problems - let alone to leave them behind. It had taken thirty years, but the Terran Union now possessed that capability.
The greatest minds that humanity had to offer had created propulsion drives that could allow a ship to cross the Solar system in days, and special drives that allowed them to access naturally occurring "hyperlanes" that connected almost every major body with a significant enough gravitational field in a complex web-like network. Sublight unmanned probes had been sent over the last centuries, but even the fastest of these were laughably slow by comparison. The universe, or at least the galaxy, was at humanity's fingertips. None of this was news, though.
What was news, and was the subject of the announcement that Dolores was considering how to dictate, was that five Hyperdrive capable spacecraft were ready to be launched from an orbital construction shipyard: three combat ships, a construction ship, and a survey ship. Ricardo Riveros, a stubborn and unyielding man, was assigned to lead the small "fleet" of combat ships - each outfitted with tactical nuclear missiles. Vlada Markov, a meticulous scientist and one of the research leads for the project, would be commanding the survey vessel - unarmed but outfitted with enough survey equipment to map any conceivable celestial body.
The remaining research leads and their teams would remain on Terra to direct future R&D efforts. Maud Horner, a certifiable genius by any standard, was to lead up a project on designing AI programs to assist in an administrative capacity. Xiong Ouyang, a world leader in biological studies, was assigned to design the first generation of colony ships and colony protocols. Lastly, Cui Liang - another genius - was given a team dedicated to enhancing the materials used on ship hulls. Any one of these projects would be newsworthy in its own right.
With one last tired yawn, she sat upright in her seat and straightened her outfit's collar.
"Fuck it," she muttered to herself aloud, "I'll just do what I've always done: wing it."