1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

The Shiji, Book Two: Project Kaguya

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by Sima Qian, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Chapter 24: Light from the Netherworlds



    Ariake no / Tsurenaku mieshi / Wakare yori / Akatsuki bakari / Uki mono wa nashi
    Like the morning moon / Cold, unpitying was my love / And since we parted / I dislike nothing so much / As the breaking light of day.


    Mibu no Tadamine (A.D. 860-920)​

    In the end, Minamoto no Yoritomo did resign in disgust over Tojo's inhumane practices. He had never before seen such brutality in his many years of military service, and there was no way he could reconcile the actions of the Razor with his bushido principles. Kami will punish Tojo for sure, he muttered to himself. Evildoers like him shall meet their ultimate demise, regardless of whether they are Japanese or not.

    Hideki Tojo, on the other hand, was quite eager to assume command of Yoritomo's forces in Germany. Shogun Tokugawa did not even need to give him special instructions, as within days he had arrived in Bremen to inspect the military conditions. There were plenty of tanks and mechanized infantry deployed in the region by this time. All that was missing was a leader to give the orders for a new offensive. Many of the troops had grown quite restless during the period of Yoritomo's inaction following the destruction of Dortmund, and were itching for another battle.

    However, Tojo had to cancel his invasion plans at the very last minute because of an unexpected new scientific discovery back in the research labs of Japan. A chemical engineer working on Project Kaguya had synthesized a new material that, upon inspection, proved to be several times stronger and more durable than steel. The report emphasized the usefulness of these new synthetic fibers in spacecraft components such as the exterior casing, but when Toyotomi Hideyoshi read it, he realized that these materials could also be used as protective plating on military vehicles.


    On Hideyoshi's orders, other engineers developed new armored combat vehicles that took full advantage of these synthetic fibers to pack. Powered by nuclear reactors and enhanced with onboard computers, these new machines packed significantly more power into both attack and defense and were far more maneuverable than ordinary tanks. The engineers called them "Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Modules," or GUNDAMs for short, but among the first military test pilots the names "mobile suits" and "modern armor" were far more popular.


    "I recommend that you wait a little longer before your next attack," Hideyoshi told Tojo. "You certainly want the utmost safety of your troops, am I not correct? Give us some more time to mass produce these materials, and I guarantee that you will not regret it."

    Tojo grudgingly agreed, although ultimately he could not contain his thirst for blood. Before the new units with the upgraded plating could arrive at the front lines, he had launched another assault, taking down the Russian city of Tblisi with his tanks. Fortunately for the citizens, they did not get to witness the awesome destructive power of the modern armor before they were handed their swift and painless deaths by the Razor.


    With the loss of Tblisi, the Czarina decided that she had enough suffering in this war. She called up Alexander the Great and gave him a formal apology for all the damage that Russia had done to the Greeks, and offered her assistance in helping them rebuild their ravaged nation. Alexander also saw there was nothing more to gain from the fighting, and agreed to sign a peace treaty.


    But Catherine would not agree to Tokugawa's requirements of unconditional surrender. "We will bury you!" she swore. And since the mutual protection pact between Japan and Greece had expired, she had little to fear of any renewed Greek involvement.

    Tojo would have liked to go on to destroy a few more Russian cities, but he was distracted by the arrival of many more modern armored units in Bremen. Eager to test them out on the battlefield, he directed them to the nearest target, the German city of Nuremburg. The infantry conscripts assigned to defense panicked and fled at first sight of the approaching war machines, which easily crushed any remaining resistance and flattened the city beneath them. Japan did not suffer a single casualty in the battle.


    So Hideyoshi was right after all, thought Tojo. These modern armored units are truly formidable in combat. Some more tanks were ugpraded at the barracks in Bremen, and soon the combined forces were ready for the next battle, the Second Battle of Berlin. Of course, only historians would ever use that name, for it wasn't much of a battle at all. Rather, it was just a continuation of the Razor's bloody rampage.

    Berlin, though no longer the capital of Germany but nevertheless the nation's cultural heart, now saw the approach of Japanese troops for the second time in history. And this time, they were not coming in just to plunder and loot the Great Library. Only one thought motivated Tojo, and it was pure destruction.


    Unlike Nuremburg, Berlin actually still had citizens remaining in their beloved city, although many had evacuated to safer locations away from the front lines. It made no difference to Tojo, who gave his troops specific orders to slaughter any Germans that might come in their way. Tens of thousands of German citizens died horrible deaths in Berlin, either crushed to a red stain on the ground beneath the modern armor, or buried in the massive unmarked graves from the toppling of the buildings and the three Great Wonders in the city. To the Berliners, the flames that arose around them were little different from those in hell itself.


    Tojo had absolutely no respect for his predecessor Yoritomo, and left Berlin as a smoldering ruin without any qualms. Hideyoshi questioned the rationale for razing such an important city, only to find that Tojo had prepared a stinging response. "What good is a library of obsolete knowledge for us?" he retorted. "Or a theater built of such poor qualtiy material that it would have caught fire even if I left it alone?"

    Hideyoshi was left speechless by this argument, but the destruction of the Great Wonders had a wholly different meaning for the other side. Otto von Bismarck, though still safe in his capital at Königsberg, might have cared less about the loss of the Great Library, or even Shakespeare's Theater, but he could not bring himself to accept that the war academy of Sun Tzu was no more. Without any way of training experienced military units, Bismarck knew that continuing the war was a lost cause. Still, he chose to follow the example of Russia, and make peace only with Greece, while continuing to put all his efforts to resisting the Japanese.


    In the meantime, Japanese researchers had made two new scientific breakthroughs. The first was the development of a material that could conduct electricity with absolutely no resistance or power loss, making it the perfect choice for constructing the fuel cells on the J.S.S. Kaguya.


    And the second one was an optical device that emitted a stimulated, high-intensity beam of radiation, far more focused than ordinary lighting. While there was no doubt that it had tremendous potential for military applications, the visible light variety of the device, known as the laser, proved to be immensely popular in the entertainment industry.


    A glamorous concert was held in the city of Fukuoka as the first demonstration of laser technology, with millions showing up to admire the flashes and beams of light. Or perhaps they came to gape at their idol, the pop star Ayumi Hamasaki, who sang to celebrate the discovery of the very last technology needed for Project Kaguya. Shogun Tokugawa was pleased beyond all expectations. It would not be long before the Japanese would finally be able to leave this ravaged world behind.

    ... to be continued
     
  2. conquer_dude

    conquer_dude Imperial Slave

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,703
    Location:
    Hattiesburg, MS
    :woohoo: Very good! :woohoo:
     
  3. stocktracker

    stocktracker Prince

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    414
    Are any of the other nations getting technologies as fast as you, or are you getting all of them first?
     
  4. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    As a matter of fact, I'm cheating using the game mechanics to my advantage here. I've totally depleted the treasury and now I'm in negative science mode (running 100% science at the cost of selling one city improvement and unit each turn). This is mainly so I can take advantage of the GA and get as much science out of it as possible.

    Not like that will make any difference, though. I was about 2-3 techs ahead of everyone else at the beginning of the GA, and now I have a monopoly on all the space race techs except for space flight and satellites. I think most of you readers already knew I was going to win this several chapters back, it would just be a matter of time.

    EDIT: Since this game was played in Vanilla v1.07, recycling is a prerequisite for synthetic fibers, so that delayed my research by a bit. If it weren't required, I would probably have all the space technologies now even without using the exploit.
     
  5. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Messages:
    15,825
    Location:
    Düsseldorf, ->Germany, E.U.
    Great update!
     
  6. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Chapter 25: Sayonara, Cruel World



    Arazaran / Kono yo no hoka no / Omoide ni / Ima hitotabi no / Au koto mo gana
    Soon my life will close / When I am beyond this world / And have forgotten it / Let me remember only this / One final meeting with you.


    Lady Izumi Shikibu (A.D. 974-1033)​

    Research on the laser had been completed not a moment too soon. The very same year, Japanese economists announced that not only had the treasury been entirely depleted, but also that there was no more of the extra production and commerce from the Golden Age. No longer could new units be produced every turn, nor could continued support for the sciences be maintained. Toyotomi Hideyoshi announced that in the new budget would cut all scientific funding, as the research phase of Project Kaguya was now complete, and the treasury was in dire need of a budget surplus, which it hadn't seen for decades.


    During the war years, Tokugawa had allowed Hideki Tojo to handle most of the state affairs, as he too had been caught up in the nationalistic fervor and supported the destruction of the Russian and German enemies. But the end of the Golden Age finally brought the Shogun to his senses. It did not take long for him to realize that Tojo had gotten completely out of control, and had lost sight of the ultimate destiny of the empire of Japan - to go above and beyond.

    A visit to the Kyoto cemetery was enough to confirm that indeed the Japanese people had suffered much from this war. Even though Tojo had inflicted far more damage upon the Russians and Germans, the casualties of the Japanese military were certainly not light either. For several days, Tokugawa went to every tombstone, one by one, laying a chrysanthemum wreath upon each of them in honor of the sacrifices these brave men had made for their country.


    On the very last day, after Tokugawa had paid his final respects to the war dead, there was a beautiful sunset over the land of the rising sun. "What a pity," he said with a long sigh. "The greatest moments of our history wasted on such a pointless conflict. Why couldn't we just work together in peace?"

    As the last of the golden rays disappeared over the horizon, a soft breeze blew through the air, and Tokugawa thought he heard a very faint voice behind him. "You're running late."

    The Shogun had heard this voice once before, and even though he could barely make out the words it was unmistakably that of the princess of his dreams, Kaguya-hime herself. He turned around, expecting to see her waiting there, but instead only saw the full moon illuminating the mountains in the east.

    "Where are you?" he cried out, flailing his arms up into the sky. But the moon only shone silently back at him, casting an eerie glow across the entire cemetery. He could only stare at it, waiting for a response, which never came.

    The silence was finally broken by a loud boom coming from the platform built for the Apollo Program. Tokugawa assumed it was another test launch, as these had become increasingly frequent as Project Kaguya drew to a close. Moments later, he saw the rocket itself above the smoke, streaking a graceful arc into the night sky. "We will be coming soon!" he shouted toward the heavens, hoping that Kaguya-hime might somehow hear him from so far away.

    Suddenly the ground shook once again as Tokugawa heard the deep rumble of a another launch. That's odd, he thought. Normally we only do one test launch a day, why were there two this time? The second rocket headed in the opposite direction from the first, and it was not long before both of them were out of sight. Something fishy is going on, thought Tokugawa as he headed back to town to check on the Apollo Program headquarters.

    The guards who greeted him said they had no idea what the launches were for. They only said that General Tojo had entered the facility earlier that day with a strange grin upon his face, but they were in no position to question his intentions. "He is probably at the command center," said one of the guards, and Tokugawa hurried off in that direction.

    There he found Tojo alone in the room, seated, hacking frantically away at the main computer terminal, throwing his head back to cackle evilly every now and then. "What are you doing here?" he asked. "Aren't you supposed to be leading our troops over at the front lines?"

    "Ahh, but I have decided to try something new." Tojo gave a devious wink behind his spectacles. "I've sent some fine gifts over to Catherine and Bismarck. Just watch and enjoy."

    Indeed, these were not ordinary rockets that had just been launched, but inter-continental ballistic missiles. In a maniacal craze, Tojo decided that he would use Japan's ultimate nuclear weapons against Russia and Germany to eradicate them once and for all. The ICBM's were destined to strike at Moscow and Königsberg, the capitals of the two enemy countries.




    A terrific explosion ripped through the core of each city, tearing buildings and humans alike to shreds. Czarina Catherine and Chancellor Bismarck would awake the next morning to find total chaos as the radioactive fallout devastated their cities. In an instant, half of the population in Moscow and Königsberg were wiped out by the nuclear blast, and the surrounding land was covered in a hideous orange goo. To the Japanese observers, it seemed that the curse of the evil water god had now fallen upon the Russians and Germans instead.


    But at the command center in Kyoto, Tokugawa was furious. "I didn't give you any authorization to use nuclear weapons!" he shouted in Tojo's face. "What made you think you could do this without my permission?"

    Tojo was about to respond when suddenly a buzzer rang in the room, and an alert message popped up on the computer screen. Clearly there was someone else who was not pleased with the use of nukes.


    "Look what you have done!" Tokugawa screamed. "Alexander has been our only ally for the longest time, and this is how we respect his opinions? Why didn't you tell me anything before you did this?"

    Tojo did not answer his question. Instead, he brought up another screen and showed it to the Shogun. "Alexander will be easy to deal with. Just watch this." And with one click, another ICBM was lined up to be launched toward Athens.


    Tokugawa shoved Tojo aside and seized the controls, only to find that the "Abort" button dimmed out before he could press it. It was too late to cancel the launch.

    "You fool!" he bellowed with rage. He grabbed Tojo by the collar and shook him violently. "This is totally against my orders! You have betrayed the very spirit of Japan by doing this!"

    Tojo did not speak, but he kept that devilish grin upon his face, even when he was pulled away by the guards who had rushed in, completely unconscious.


    The very next day, while the citizens of Moscow, Königsberg, and Athens were agonizing over the devastation they suffered, a war crimes tribunal was set up in Kyoto, with Hideki Tojo as the defendant. Not only was he charged with disobeying the Shogun's orders and using nuclear weapons without permission, but he was also accused of unnecessary destruction of cities and negligence in the "Rape of Yakutsk" incident. Many witnesses, including both troops that had served under him as well as high-ranking officials such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Minamoto no Yoritomo, showed up to testify against him.

    Tojo refused to testify and showed no remorse, so the tribunal was quick to convict him of all counts. He was sentenced to death, and a public execution was scheduled shortly afterward. Hideyoshi suggested that all of Tojo's property (much of it looted from the conquered cities) be confiscated and instead supplied to the J.S.S. Kaguya, where it would be used as the last spaceship component, the Planetary Party Lounge.


    Even though Tokugawa offered his sincerest apologies to Alexander, Bismarck, and Catherine, all of them were only more determined than before in continuing the struggle against Japan. The nuclear strikes on their capitals seemed only to have strengthened their resolve. There would only be one way to bring an end to the conflict, and it was to escape from it altogether.

    Not long after Tojo's execution, Tokugawa went to make a final inspection of the Kaguya, and his engineers reported that everything was assembled and operating flawlessly. For the first time, the completed spaceship was put on public display for every Japanese citizen to admire. The culmination of many decades of research and construction, it was a truly awesome achievement.


    A group of colonists who were most eagle to settle and develop the new frontier of space was selected from the population. As they boarded the spaceship, Tokugawa made a final declaration. "Dearest Kaguya-hime, we are now on our way. We have had enough of this cursed and corrupted planet, and with the blessing of Amaterasu we are finally able to leave it behind. The curse of the evil water god shall never threaten us again!" He turned to take one last look at Kyoto and the lands of Japan. "Sayonara, cruel world..."

    Amid all the cheers from the crowd that had gathered to watch the event, Hideyoshi tugged on the Shogun's sleeve. "Come, I think Kaguya-hime is growing impatient. Our ship is scheduled to depart just moments from now." Tokugawa waved goodbye one last time, and entered the ship.


    The J.S.S. Kaguya, launched at the end of the year 1890 AD, would take Tokugawa and the other colonists to the heavenly palace of Tsuki-no-Miyako and other realms beyond their wildest imaginations. At last, the destiny of Japan was safe among the moon and the stars.
     
  7. machia

    machia Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    ספרד
    Great last chapter. Waiting for the next story.
     
  8. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Eorzea, Hydaelyn
    Excellent game, write-up and win!
     
  9. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    8,125
    Location:
    NESing Forums
    You rock Sima!!!! Nice story!!! Where's the next one?
     
  10. mrtn

    mrtn Shaven not stirred

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    8,635
    Location:
    Stockholm
    What Hikaro said. :)
     
  11. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    8,125
    Location:
    NESing Forums
    Oh BTW, you should change the Project Kaguya from (in progress) to (complete)
     
  12. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    But... I haven't written the epilogue for this yet! I can't make the story complete without that! :nono:

    I'm still putting together the images for it, so it'll be posted soon.

    Don't get too impatient, I'll have my next story ready in a while. I just have to make sure it's actually playable.
     
  13. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Epilogue

    Everything had gone smoothly for Sima Qian. He clicked the glowing "launch" button and watched the animated sequence that followed, showing the blastoff of the J.S.S. Kaguya into space. When it ended, the message box he had been waiting for popped up just as expected.


    And so his second assignment was now over. Project Kaguya was complete and ready to be presented to the Son of Heaven. Even though it was a space race victory, Sima Qian decided to also include a final world map to show where all the strategic resources had eventually been acquired. There were none on the Japanese mainland, but by the end of the game he was in control of many sources on several different islands, in every corner of the world:


    Emperor Han Wu Di was quick to notice, however, that nowhere on the map was a saltpeter colony. "Why didn't you ever grab that resource?" he asked.

    "I could do without it," replied Sima Qian. "As a matter of fact, I never wanted it all. Even if a rival offered to give me saltpeter for free, I would not have accepted."

    "Why is that?"

    "Because it would have made me unable to build samurai. A supply of saltpeter would have forced me into training cavalry instead, and I would never had gotten any of my unique unit."

    Wu Di nodded, but still remained puzzled. "You didn't use samurai either," he contended. "So it wouldn't have made any difference if you got saltpeter or not."

    "That may be true. But I'm sure you also know that one can never count on a Great Wonder to set off a Golden Age. I was lucky." The historian grinned at this point. "Perhaps your attempt to reduce the effects of luck in this game hasn't been quite as effective."

    "No, you weren't just lucky," snapped the Emperor. "You cheated. You used illegal exploits in this game. Do you realize what kind of offense that is?"


    Sima Qian looked bewildered. "Really? How so?"

    "You traded cities in a peace treaty. That is absolutely forbidden!"

    "But I was being fair," protested Sima Qian. "I didn't redeclare war on Germany immediately after that, and Bismarck was certainly fine with accepting the deal."

    "Shut up!" shouted Wu Di. "The fact that the AI is incompetent does not excuse you from this kind of behavior. And this isn't the only thing you did wrong here. May I remind you that the negative science exploit is also banned under my rules?"

    Wu Di glared at his minister, waiting for a response. Hearing none, he continued. "I will let you off the hook this time, but next time I will not be so forgiving." He whistled, and an elderly eunuch entered the room and bowed before him.

    "Sima Qian, how would you like to have Master Zhang's job? Keep that in mind during your next assignment, or else you will find yourself in his position!"

    Master Zhang had no idea what was going on, but announced, "Your majesty, I would be happy to have this young fool mutilated and castrated if it pleases you."

    Sima Qian was already shivering with fear by this point, but suddenly the Emperor's mood changed. "Never mind that. Let's see your histographs, and I will determine whether or not you are worthy of the next challenge I have in store for you."

    He kowtowed and offered the scrolls to Wu Di, who studied them in detail.


    "I see that you have not won as complete a victory as you have with China in the previous assignment," said the Son of Heaven after a long pause. "Is there something difficult you find with playing as Japan?"

    Here Sima Qian saw an opportunity to try to win back the Emperor's favor. "Your Majesty, the choice of Japan for this game was a very good decision on your part. I had to alternate between fighting and building frequently. The militaristic trait helped me get many great leaders, and the religious trait was also very useful in building temples and cathedrals to keep my citizens happy. It is truly difficult to do that when I have no luxury goods available."

    "Indeed you built temples and cathedrals," said Wu Di in agreement. "And quite early too, I might add. But I think it's no surprise that you were eventually outperformed by a very wide margin in culture. Just look at how the culture graph is dominated by the orange color of Babylon!"

    "What good is culture when a civilization is destroyed?" asked Sima Qian. "Surely survival and expansion must take precedence over that."

    "Precisely. You are learning well. And that is why I was not at all surprised to see no Babylonian cities appearing beside the demographics report. I would have been annoyed if you didn't have any cities on there, but fortunately for you Kyoto managed to get third place."


    "I hardly ever paid any attention to that list," said the historian. "It means nothing in the context of a space race anyway."

    "Of course not. This game required you to be 'clever' in certain ways, and although the methods you chose were not the ones that I expected of you, it seems like you have performed quite well in that respect."


    Sima Qian kowtowed again before the Son of Heaven, clearly gratified by the first positive thing he had heard all day. But Wu Di soon shattered that idea.

    "So perhaps it is not enough that I stacked the odds against you this time, Sima Qian. Even removing all the resources from your home island failed to give you too rough a time. I will make sure that the next game is more challenging, then. Go home and have some rest, since you will need to be very alert and well-prepared once I give you your next assignment."
     
  14. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    8,125
    Location:
    NESing Forums
    w00t! Lemme see the next! (if there is one)
     
  15. DJ Bonebraker

    DJ Bonebraker a.k.a Laura

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    5,641
    Location:
    Eorzea, Hydaelyn
    Dang, Man.... I'd never have been able to win at all with the kind of variants you use... Normal Monarch level is torment challenge enough for me.... (as if you couldn't tell with my Dwarf Onslaught game) :lol:
     
  16. conquer_dude

    conquer_dude Imperial Slave

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,703
    Location:
    Hattiesburg, MS
    ...That hasn't had an update in a month or two.

    :clap::clap::clap: :clap::clap::clap: :clap::clap: I applaud you Sima! Plan to start another story?:D
     
  17. Sima Qian

    Sima Qian 太史令

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    730
    Thanks everyone for all the support. I'm putting up the start and end saves for this game in case anyone wants to try it, or perhaps just play on this map. Personally I'm a bit scared of playing archipelago maps since it's so hard to keep every city well-defended, but I think this game gave me some good practice with that.

    The replay for this game was actually quite interesting, very much unlike my last story where the map was mostly the same for 90% of the game and then suddenly conquered in the last 30 turns. Here, a lot of different cities changed hands, and often in the strangest places at the weirdest times.



    Keep in mind that these are Vanilla v1.07 saves, so if there are any glitches with that, don't be surprised. Although I've patched my game up to v1.29 and they seem to load fine.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Mirc

    Mirc Not mIRC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Messages:
    15,825
    Location:
    Düsseldorf, ->Germany, E.U.
    Excelent everything! :goodjob:!
     
  19. conquer_dude

    conquer_dude Imperial Slave

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,703
    Location:
    Hattiesburg, MS
    Oh BoOoOYaH!!!
     
  20. Marsden

    Marsden Keeper of the HoF Annex Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,024
    Location:
    Thulcandra
    Bravo! Your story writing is excellent. Detailed yet not too lengthy. The shots and stills add much to the experience and blend well with the writing.

    I look forward to more. Thank you.
     

Share This Page