This is a short story I wrote last year, inspired by a similar piece in the Homeworld manual. Yes, I am aware that I’m showing my age.
Starleader Koto drummed his three stubby fingers on the table. The tension was reaching breaking point.
In less than a solar rotation he had to lead his people in a fight to the death against twisted, abhorrent aliens. The entire resources of the home world and its fledgling colonies were poised, ready to be diverted into whatever area of the war effort he demanded.
Sitting on columns around him were the greatest minds of his world. Plex, Vuch and Troy were all here to advise on every conceivable scenario. As usual, it wasn’t going well.
Vuch threw his drinks flask to the ground. “We cannot win a war without ships! That’s basic mathematics. We cannot take worlds or protect our own without them. Might is right! We must crush their puny bodies under a wave of steel!”
Plex shook her head and closed her eyes, unimpressed by the bravado on display. “And how will you afford these mighty ships, my friend? We need to invest wisely. We must expand our financial facilities, spread them across every world. If we are an economic powerhouse our losses could be replaced in seconds. Why can’t you see that?”
Vuch growled at the interruption, flashing his carved incisors to show his displeasure.
Koto remembered that in the beginning each had tried convincing him they were the one who was right, but now his presence was meaningless. Round and round they argued like children. An outsider would never realise they were debating how best to deal with the threat of total extermination.
Troy decided now was the moment to continue his customary whining. “Everyone please, please, I was promised time for my holo presentation. If you would just observe the slides you will see whoever wins the scientific race wins the galaxy. We would be like gods whilst the other races scattered like leaves before us…”
Koto stopped listening to the bickering. Secretly he wished the war had already started. The poor fools were trying to come up with the perfect strategy, but they were wasting their time. Koto had won countless battles without “Advisors” and the one thing he learnt was that no plan survived contact with the enemy…