Today I took the first step to making my very own space empire! I always thought I'd make a pretty sharp empress so I started a mutiny on our ship and now I'm in charge. ''Large and in charge.''
The old captain kept saying how he was //"the best at space"// even though he was kind of the worst? Anyway, now he is //"the best at floating around in space being dead"// because I flushed him out an airlock.
The rest of the crew seem pretty on board with me being the new captain, probably on account of my airlock based justice system, so now I guess I'd better figure out what to do next!
My decision making process normally consists of doing one of the first two things that comes into my head. Hesitating any longer than that will only get a gal flushed out an airlock like a giant nerd and my mother did not raise a nerd, lemme tell you!
Got my own ship, got a crew that's probably not gonna try any funny business because they can't breathe in space, now I think I'll...
[[Attack the nearest planet! Yeah!->Planet attack]]
[[Hire additional dudes at Dude Station!->Dude station]]
So I decided to attack the nearest planet and teach whoever lived there who's boss (it's me, I am the boss). I kicked back in a super-slick pose in my newly //reupholstered captain's throne// (the old captain was gross, no way I was sitting on his dubiously stained chair) and we burned through the atmosphere and landed the ship as dramatically and ominously as possible.
Anyway, now we're here and it's mainly full of these weird eyeball... sheep... things? I say //mostly// because there are also a lot of rocks. At least the eyeball sheep were probably pretty menaced by my arrival? The rocks ''definitely'' were.
I figure I can either be empress of this high quality... space... boulder planet or I can head back into space and go with my recruiting plan.
Eh, I may as well...
[[Stay here and rule, as is my birthright (since I made it my birthright through mutiny)!->Rule planet]]
[[Leave this weird sheep rock and head to Dude Station for some dude hiring action.->Dude station]]
Deciding that a single ship and a bare-bones crew was a start, but not yet the constituent parts of an empire, I commanded us to a bastion of dudes for hire: //Dude Station//.
The lawless space station deep in the heart of the Dude Nebula held all manner of mercenaries, guns and trades-for-hire from innumerable corners of the galaxy. Here I planned to grow my forces so that they might work for my glory and the furtherment of my goals.
Unfortunately, none of these ingrate dorks will work for free and I only have the money that the airlocked old captain still had sitting around from our previous shipping run.
There are two groups that are within my current price range: a bunch of bruiser outlaws, simple but brutal, and a gang of technicians and disgraced scientists who are crafty but lack fighting spirit.
Faced with the choice, I pick...
[[The outlaws, letting strength be my... strength.->Outlaws]]
[[The scientists, putting the guile of technology at the forefront of my new force.->Scientists]]
I thought the weird eyeball sheep would make pretty good subjects for my empire so decided to stay and rule the sheep planet.
The subjugation of the locals and settlement of the ship complete, the crew, now my royal advisors, put together a palace fitting for an empress. Its construction is one primarily of rocks and wool but I sit atop a throne of rock in a hall adorned with the finest wool tapestries detailing my illustrious rise to power.
A time into my reign, a band of mercenary fashion designers came to the planet, greedy for the luxurious wool of the imperial sheep. Judging that what they truly needed was to be ruled, I brought them under my command and my empire became a business, respected and feared across the stars.
Imperial Wool, as any individual possessing even the thinnest sliver of taste can tell you, is the finest of brands.
''It can be found only on the shelves of the most exclusive retailers. Witness it, be humbled and live only for the wool.''
Disgusted with the proposition of nerds aboard my imperial flagship, I instead hired the murderous outlaws at Dude Station and brought them under my command.
Near feral in their manner but brutally effective, my new soldiers had to be put to use so I pondered who should be crushed beneath my boot (my boot was way stylish and had these crazy big heels for crushing stuff extra hard).
Anyway, considering it's gotta be some real rude biz, I think I'll send my goons to do one of two things:
Go in and take out the governor of this lunar colony I know. This moon is the worst and I love it and I can have them shoot the chump who runs it and then I'll take charge.
Or I could hold the stations of the Party Zone to ransom with my new firepower. The clubs, drug-dens and money-worshipping hedonists of the galaxy's premier illegal entertainment cluster wouldn't have so much fun //with guns pointed at their heads//.
Both sound fun but given that they're in opposite directions, I am going to...
[[Fly me to the moon and let me play at assassinating a guy and taking over the place.->Moon]]
[[Make the Party Zone party like it's never partied before - under the threat of death unless they give me all their money->Party zone]]
Understanding the value of cunning and not just brute force, I brought the scientists into my employ. Despite their lack of martial prowess, they proved to be unscrupulous and without morals, making them an excellent addition to my team!
Deciding I should use their skills properly, I identified two targets vulnerable to our new strengths:
A series of laboratories hidden deep within unknown space housed secret experiments on the nature of dimensional rifts. They were run by a group of techno-monks with a religious devotion to their research. One of the disgraced scientists had been expelled from their ranks and knew the backdoors we'd need to break in.
Alternatively, there was a fleet of considerable size populated only by AI forms which had broken off from their homeworld after developing sentience. One of my new specialists claimed she could tear their self-reliance away and bring the synthetic life under my command. ''Robots.''
It turns out nerds aren't useless and both these options sounded pretty sweet. Of the two I chose...
[[The laboratories because dimensional rifts sound rad as hell.->Laboratories]]
[[The AI fleet - robots are basically nerds and CRUSH ALL NERDS, man.->AI fleet]]
I decided to just be straight forward with my new gang of rude dudes so we went to go shoot a guy and take his stuff. The governor of the previously mentioned moon was a complete tool who ruled the place as a despot to benefit only himself. It should clearly have be benefitting ''me''.
With my team of heavily armed bad eggs, we bust our way into his mansion and made... a governor omelette? I was too busy taking over the moon to make coherent metaphors. Anyway, we shot him and I took over the moon.
It's a total dump but also pretty great. It has a spaceport and a bunch of slums and all kinds of giant trash piles!
Now that I'm here, I need to decide whether or not to stay or strip the moon's resources and get off this lovable trash-pile.
I resolutely decide to...
[[Become the Trash Empress and rule over trash moon.->Rule moon]]
[[Mine the moon dry and build a fancy scrap fleet.->Fleet]]
A brutish force of mercenary scum requires a brute force approach so I decided to send my forces to the Party Zone and demand protection money lest its inhabitants find themselves relocated. ''To HELL.'' On account of we would shoot them and everything.
Now my dudes are pointing guns at all the party people and they're giving me money so they can keep partying. It's been pretty great but now ''the law'' has shown up! Unbelievable! A fleet of sherrifs, galactic-paladins and all kinds of other //justice// obsessed tools is entering the zone and I'm going to have to deal with them.
Two routes in my imperial brain:
I could launch the party stations themselves at the attackers. Destroy them all and watch the Party Zone burn.
Or I could rally the inhabitants of the party stations to fight for their freedom. Tell them the law is here to stop the party.
I decide to...
[[Send everything up in flames. I like burning.->Burn it all]]
[[Trick the booze-hounds and addicts into fighting for me.->Rule the party zone]]
Seriously, I thought dimensional rifts sounded so radical that I would go check out these secret laboratories. We scooted out there and headed in the back door of one of the labs (they didn't bother to lock it, probably on account of the place being so secret).
The techno-monks turned out to be nerds of the highest order and devout pacifists. After I threated to give them the old //slap in the chops// if they didn't do what I said, they agreed to do what I said!
Their experiments looked at the joins between dimensions of existence and the weak points therein. Turns out there are all kind of realities. ''Weird realities.''
Naturally, I decided to harness the power of the chaotic dimensions for my own ends (like how one harnesses the most chaotic creature of all - //the horse//).
Right, so taking a look at the list, two dimensions catch my fancy:
The //dimension of torrential chaos and destruction// sounds pretty sharp. I could point the destruction at nerds and dorks and any scum that dares oppose my inevitable rule.
Failing that, there's the ''DIMENSION OF UNFATHOMABLE TERROR''. I could crack that open and see what's cooking in there.
I go for...
[[Chaos and destruction, because that is absolutely my aesthetic.->Empress of destruction]]
[[The unknowable terror one. What could go wrong? I do what I want.->UNFATHOMABLE TERROR]]
So this AI fleet mostly just floated around minding their own business but they weren't sitting ducks and would apparently defend themselves.
Or rather, they would defend themselves against attacks with guns and being kicked and stuff. My least ethical scientist was able to ''~#"hack"#~'' something or other so they didn't see us as a threat and let us dock, stroll through their mechanical halls and didn't even turn their robo-heads as we passed by them.
We made it to some control room and my boffin said we could use the techno-gizmos in the place to take control of the whole fleet. She warily told me about another option though, some //real weird biz//.
There was taking control of these robots via re-programming but then there was //merging// with their collective, truly becoming their leader, becoming another form of life. It would give me the chance to replace weak flesh with the strength of silicon and steel, she said. This nerd was kind of a weird lady, y'know?
So this choice was before me. I decide to...
[[Take over the AI fleet.->Fleet]]
[[BECOME THE AI FLEET.->Merge AI]]
The super-space-police-fleet was almost here to liberate the Party Zone from our strong-arming. A grumpy bar owner who didn't want to pay me not to have them shot (out a cannon into space) must have gotten in contact and brought them in to get rid of us.
Naturally, I didn't appreciate this interference. Not from the force that had shown up to so rudely ask us to leave and not from the backstabbers who had called them. If these two sides wanted each other so much, they could have each other.
I had my fellas set the party stations' maneouvering engines to send them towards their saviours at ramming speed. They all burned in the collisions that followed.
After this, I was branded a big time villain. A serious monster and the empire I wanted became one built not from planets and stations and subjects but of fear and soon a reputation for the most ruthless actions the galaxy had ever seen.
I travelled where I wished with no opposition lest my gaze be pointed towards anyone who might cross me. The cruelest elements of the worst lawless underbellies joined my forces and I ruled as a empress of marauders, a scourge that tore across all civilised space and beyond.
''It was nasty as all heck.''
My force of thugs and toughs were an effectively bad bunch of dudes but our numbers were not overwhelming. The lawmen had us outnumbered. Without more soldiers to command, this wouldn't be a battle my forces could win.
Fortunately, reinforcements were already at the end of our gun barrels! With the majority of the Party Zone's population caring only for pleasure and petty freedoms, after lowering our ''protection money guns'' it was a simple thing to convince them that the approaching police fleet was coming to take away their fun-time-party-lifestyle and instill a sense of order and law to the place. Giving them weapons and pointing them in the right direction to "defend themselves" did the rest of my work for me.
What was left of the invading fleet retreated after the battle between Johnny Law and the party gang. With the Party Zone reeling from the trauma, I stepped up and declared myself the ''Empress of Individualism'' and pledged to protect the freedom of all to party how they wish. As long as they respected my //benevolent rule//, naturally.
The zone grew under my protection, and my pockets began to overflow with profits. I built casinos and protected trades of all kinds thought unseemly in the more cowardly ends of space. My Dude Station mercenaries became my loyal lieutenants, unblinking in their devotion to me and merciless in their results.
''The Party Zone was my house now, and the house always wins.''
In the end, I just couldn't resist the allure of giant mountains of scrap and junk so decided to stay and rule over the trash moon.
My newly aquired subjects built giant, gnarly statues in my image out of discarded metal and I had the governer's pathetic mansion demolished and an imperial trash palace built in its place. The palace is way bigger and has loads of jagged metal nonsense on it and it is so great, I love it.
I wile away my days having my people battle in trash coliseums for my glorious approval as I watch from on high in my dread palace. If the uninvited try to breach my territory, I defend my moon by firing the torn metal of wrecked buildings and ships from a grand rail-cannon. Their debris rains down on me like snow and I laugh.
''I am the Trash Empress and my life is metal as hell and I love it.''
Thanks to my stunningly competent skills as empress, I had a fleet to command and I commanded the heck out of that fleet like no-body's business.
I went from system to system, subjugating all before (later beneath) me. I cut through the lowly to the powerful and as my empire grew, so did any opposition to my rule shrivel and die.
My dominion spread across the galaxy, a real classic empire with a strong theme (the theme was me, being boss as heck). I even had a throne built atop a mountain of skulls because, unlike //some people//, I have respect for tradition.
From my place in the highest of high towers on the mightiest of worlds, I looked out over all I had destroyed and all I had built on its ashes.
''I am the empress and I am boss as heck.''
At the suggestion of my imperial scientist, I decided to become one with the machine conciousness of the AI fleet. As my powerful brain was plugged into the robotic collective's mainest of frames, my perception of the world blinked and clicked until everything was different.
I became not just (wo)man, but machine too, and more than the sum of those two parts.
I am a radical cyborg now. I have all the RAMs and my CPUs have too many cores to count. Any machine is mine to understand and commune with, a techno-empress for a new age. With the AI ships housing the robot side of my robo-brain, I //am// the fleet and I rule it as one.
''I can //~think~// at a computer and change its screensaver. I am become a robot god.''
Chaos and destruction were high on my list of //favourite things//, //TO-DOs// ''and'' //turn-ons// so I waved my slapping hand at the monks until they set up a charming techno-portal to the reality of pure chaos and destruction for me.
We made it into a cannon that unleashes a force of sheer unmaking and stuck it on the front of the ship! I use it to threaten people and now everyone thinks I'm the best.
With the powers of unreality rifts under my control, none stood against my unimaginable strength. None beyond the initial one or two before word spread but they served as examples - their homeworlds now nothing but a smear of unspace in the fabric of the cosmos.
''I took my deserved mantle of //Empress of Chaos// and the stars themselves bowed beneath my control.''
I commanded the monks to open a rift to th''WE ARE ONE WITH THE IMPOSSIBLE HORROR WE ARE THE END WE ARE THE DREAD AND THE UNDOING OF THE UNIVERSE
WITH THE GATES OPENED WE UNHINGE THE GREAT EYE MAW AND TAKE ALL MATTER AND THOUGHT INTO THE BELLY OF UNMAKING
ALL ELSE IS GONE BUT THE EMPRESS AND THEN
WE SWALLOW OURSELVES
AND THEN THERE IS''
''My Space Empire and Me''
A Twine game by @Calciumtrice for ludum dare 34.