In my current game I'm playing Earth. Found it to be a fun playthrough, wrote it up as a historical work from the point of view of someone living at the time period. Originally posted this on a different thread, but it kind of grew out of control and I decided to give it its own post since it was getting to be pretty long.
Earth's first contact was the Gorf, overly friendly fungi with a pungent odor and a tendency to impose themselves on your personal space. The Gorf-Human alliance has now lasted close to one hundred years and is the bedrock upon which we are forming our federation. Our second contact was the Synthoids – a weapons system whose only function is to exterminate all organic life. The First Synthoid War still stands today as the closest humans even came to total extinction. Our meager naval capacity was unable to stem the tide of Synthoid annihilators, and even with the full might of the combined Gorf and Human fleets it took the Synthoids less than a year to overrun the mountain world of Seven Summits and atomize the entire population of the industrial heartland of human space. This heavy loss was followed mere months later by the defeat at Barnard's Star. The worst military disaster ever felt by humanity after we achieved superluminescence was caused by the foolish decision of Admiral Reyansh Pannikar to leave the star-citadel empty of a fleet in order to install the new plasma launcher weaponry on his forces. Admiral Pannikar had assumed that thanks to its series of fortresses Seven Summits would last for years; it fell in days, to an army larger than any that Earth had ever observed amongst its exploration of the galaxy. Without its fleet, the bastion on Barnard's fell almost immediately, leaving the Synthoids two jumps from Earth and the Centauri shipyards with their belly wide open. The Admiral would regret this decision to his last days, and died at the young age of 70 to a drug overdose. It was only a desperate defense of the Alpha Centauri shipyards using the few ships that managed to flee from the battle of Seven Summits and the fortunate arrival of a small cadre of Gorf corvettes that just managed to force the Synthoids to withdraw, and Earth was left half the empire it had been before the short, painful war. It was no victory, but it was survival.
Without Seven Summits mining production, Earth's economy tumbled. For nearly two centuries Earth had been ruled by citizen-scientists; the navy was respected, but ultimate decision making was left to the xenophile and democratic factions. The 1st Synthoid War led to rapid changes in our politics and our priorities; energy and minerals were now devoted to rebuilding our defenses, and risks were taken that were previously deemed unnecessary. A line of genetically enhanced super-soldiers was developed, and cloning technology was utilized for the first time to produce large stocks of battle-ready pre-programmed soldier lines. The jungle planet Opar – long thought to be uninhabitable due to its dangerous wildlife and proximity to the Giranshu, a warrior species known for raiding young colonies for slave stocks, was settled, fortified, and turned into a vat army “recruitment” and conditioning center. Besides the army, the navy was granted new permission to increase our anchorages and upgrade our now defunct shipyards to state-of-the-art, and the navy itself underwent rapid research and development, culminating in the creation of Earth’s first battleships and arc weapons systems. All of this military buildup came at a price; research suffered as materials and energy were earmarked for the naval expansion, and some of the younger colonies did not receive expected supplies and had to make do with whatever food they could collect without specialized equipment or facilities devoted agriculture, and orders for more worker droids were all but ignored, both due to the new distrust humans had for intelligent machines as well as a shortage of mineral supplies.
Earth’s spy network and explorer corps was also increased; we needed to know if there were other potential allies waiting in the void that could help contain the Synthoid threat. Contact was made with the Mireesh, a proud warrior race dedicated to the defense of democracy from all forms of tyranny, and the Belmacosans, delicate flower-people with a penchant for conversation and song, an ancient culture devoted to all forms of beauty. Both had been menaced by the Synthoids, and both agreed that when the time came they, too, would fight with Earth. And only a decade after the previous war, that time came.
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