Lore of Yore
Histories of the known universe... and beyond
The soldiers of Vorgak Command were installed on Vorgak 3 primarily to oversee supply drops from the Albion Reach, and maintain a token military presence on the outward colony world. Occasionally Commander Lunk was required to break up a punch-up over at Patty’s Knob, or stop a horde of lagonasps from eating a crop of vorgatubers.
Then, colonists began dying. At first, Vorgak Command chalked it up to a bad diet of foreign food, but more settlers turned up dead on the commander's doorstep; too many for the field doctor to contend with.
Captain Bertram Smythe of the 51st Colonial opened an investigation, suspecting foul play, but came up empty-handed. Smythe was last seen embarking on well-deserved leave towards the Naggy valley, beyond the British embassy.
Days passed, and the brief surge of excitement experienced by the listless soldiers of Vorgak Command soon quieted. Life on Vorgak 3 returned to normal, and seemed unlikely to change.
It wasn't as if the aboriginal Vorgak were about to turn up out of the green.
The Mandurai Robotonists have got it cushy. Creating bio-synthetic forests and the huge artificial brain in orbit around the Gant Nebula has given the robotonists a certain sense of superiority. The Cosmic Brain was only programmed to catalogue solar flares: now it's thinking about starting a family.
A robotonist's product line ranges from the sublime to the downright bizarre. They live by the creed that imagination leads, which they use as a blanket excuse to muck about with genomes. The Cloister of Ligotechs files ethics complaints daily.
The facilities are secure—particularly the nuclear cage held at the heart of the Mandurai system's sun, from which advanced cybonics are streamed out through hyperspace. Nothing untoward can get out of a Mandurai factory, and if something were to get in—well, they make robots of war.
One of which is missing. An RK Pummeller is not where it should be in the storage facility on V'kanderplon IX. It is currently aboard a Vor-Rama host-carrier bound for the outward quadrenes where the Mecha-Priests have no jurisdiction.
Destination: Vorgak 3.
The British Empire is expanding through the cosmos. Albion's reach extends far from Earth, encompassing worlds happy to become devoted subjects of the Crown and leave their silly civilisations in the dirt.
The third planet of the Vorgak Hegemony. The soil is fertile and the seeding fields provide rich nutrients in abundance for the local sporganisms. The Empire has need of riches and abundance.
Fifty-four Bristol Bombardiers rain from the Vorgak skies. Fire flows wild over the fields. Coral pods pop and burst. Flesh and spores burn above as, below, the primordial ooze remains untouched and vital.
The Unification Fleet descends, bringing Colonarks to begin the harvest. Terrafarmers set up camps and colonies near the morass of swampland, and Vorgak 3 falls under the green thumb of Britain.
As for the natives? Gone; pitched out into the dark depths of space. It is definitive: The Vorgak are no longer in the British way.
The ability to shape an inhospitable world to suit the needs of its settlers is known to many species of the universe. While the Humans of Earth began greening conquered planets, many of the elder races had already been terraforming for aeons. The Pencans, an ancient species of cognitypes existing as beings of pure thought on the fringe of the Gonjo Nebula, could transform the atomic structure of entire solar systems on a whim, which made living in the nebula certainly interesting and definitely surprising.
For others, the art of terraforming is a precise science. Crobosi minunauts seeded worlds with tiny crystal eggs, from which the miniaturised terraformers would spring to begin modifying the molecular make-up of the soil. The Kin of Tweltiin utilised nuclear fusion devices to ignite new suns in proximity to target worlds, dramatically heating the atmospheres of frozen planets to an arable standard.
The British, while just as exacting in their attempts, sallied forth with more mundane methods of interplanetary climate change. While their highly-trained cosmonauts explored brave new worlds, the rural folk of Earth were cherry-picked to drive the alien soil towards the British ideal. These so-called terrafarmers were shipped out to numerous British colonies, from the Treven Mons project on Mars to worlds as far-flung as Lars Luma, Mov, and Vorgak 3. By the time of the conquest of Vorgak 3, these farmers of the sky had refined their craft after learning from the disastrous Seeding of Canstrar, which resulted in a hideous red weed mutating across the entire planet's surface, strangling all other life in a matter of months.
The terrafarms on Vorgak 3 were initially maintained by Sir Simon Leigh of the Colonark Tythe, who, as a keen sailor, had little experience with growing crops, and his first batch of tubers failed to sprout after being planted spectacularly out of season. Fortunately for the colonists, future harvests have proven more bountiful, and the eradication of the indigenous Vorgak in the Bristol Bombardiers' cleansing fires has meant that Vorgak 3 now flourishes as an arable colony ripe for British plantations.
Histories of the known universe... and beyond