“We are the Empire. We do not believe that there is anything else that you need to know about us at the present moment.”
- - Emperor Ghelax Dreyk
The Empire of the Girdo Galaxy, known in short as the Girdo Empire and to themselves simply as the Empire, was a multi-species civilisation from the Girdo Galaxy, from which it took its name. Despite only occupying 500 systems, it officially owned the entire galaxy, a claim that it defended using hyperspace missile-firing Hyperluminal Defence Stations. It eventually merged with other civilisations to form the Apalos.
As mentioned, the Empire was often known as either the "Empire of the Girdo Galaxy" or the "Girdo Empire". These are translations from the Apalose (primary Imperial language) terms, "Spue-oer or Ger'do Sperwd" and "Ger'do Spue-oer" respectively. The use of the latter term led to many empires refering to the native species of the Empire as "Girdo" or "Girdos", and (due to the Empire's secrecy) some to even think that the Empire was composed entirely of the "Girdo" species.
The Empire originated as the Apalosian Empire on Taukappa. They revealed little of their history to others, only that it involved a 5500-year war with a rival nation, the Kingdom of Emeshk. A Kessler syndrome around the time of the conclusion of this war put a halt on plans of space exploration; after Apalos defeated and conquered Emeshk, the Taukappans remained planet-bound for a millennium, at some point during which they moved en masse into a utopian virtual reality.
However, scientific and technological advances continued to be made, as those parts of the now-lifeless Taukappan cities that had not already become server farms were repurposed for conducting experiments by the few individuals who still had an interest in the real world. Once the Kessler syndrome had abated, the Empire launched an interplanetary spaceship, the Premier, "manned" with Taukappan minds and avatar-constructing facilities, to explore their home galaxy. At this point, the Empire began a new dating system, starting at 1 AE ("Anniversary of the Empire") in 2654.
The entire galaxy was, at this point, in chaos. An old alliance, the Grand Galactic Fleet, had fought the Girdo Grox Empire thousands of years earlier. When they lost the war, the Grox chased them to the ends of the galaxy and killed them all. This left the galaxy with no major civilisations - except for the Grox, who were recovering from the war - so when new empires emerged, they fought for galactic dominance. What degree of organisation had formed in the following five millennia was then thrown into disarray by the Radeon crusades of the early 3rd century PE ("Pre-Empire"), leaving an ideal situation for the rise of a new superpower.
When the Empire appeared on the interstellar scene, they used their abilities of manipulation to bring the galaxy under their control. They sent some empires to wars against each other until they were both destroyed, they assimilated others into their own Empire by the power of economy and diplomacy, and they simply destroyed most rival empires using their swarms of Droner-class starfighters. After decades of this, in 21 AE, they had complete dominance over most of the galaxy. Then, they fortified their worlds and took on the Grox. By 71 AE they had managed to defeat their cyborg enemies. Using captured Grox technology, Imperial scientists worked on further improving the Empire's own technological base, along with defeating the rival "Third Galactic Federation", until 100 AE when the first Intergalactic Drive was developed and the Empire decided to explore the rest of the unverse.
Part of the reason the Empire wanted to control all other civilisations in their galaxy, and why they wanted to reach other galaxies, was their obsession with "truly alien" life. They had discovered that all life in their home galaxy was spread by some sort of panspermia, and they wanted to give other life a chance to develop unhindered by what Imperial biologists refered to as "Spodian" life (named after the mythological Spode). When they were finally able to access other galaxies, they hoped that they would be able to find some "truly alien" organisms.
The Empire became involved in the DCP Civil War and March of the Apocalypse (during which the Girdo Galaxy vanished), and joined the Seven Starr Alliance in order to be able to gain more information and to exert greater influence on the intergalactic community. By the time the March of the Apocalypse ended, the Empire had produced over two hundred million Droners and had worked on many technological improvements during their isolation from the rest of the universe. Upon their return, they brought back all of their ships and people from outside Girdo so that they could upgrade their ships and reintegrate their people back into the group mind.
A large portion of the rest of the Imperial Space Force was sent to fight against various xenophobic civilisations that were deemed to be a threat to "truly alien" life, in a short series of conflicts known as the Girdo Campaigns. Other aims were to obain advanced technology as part of "Project Timeship", and to create the Girdo Nature Reserve, consisting of most of the Girdo Galaxy, for "truly alien" life.
Shortly after the Campaigns, Emperor Ghelax Dreyk either died or resigned, and his position was taken over by Emperor Mazipnos Tokzhalat, the first non-Taukappan Girdo Emperor. Under his rule, the Girdo Empire generally kept out of conflicts, their role in the Seven Starr Alliance being more focused on scientific and technological development. However, they became involved in the Sombrero War, and when Ambassador Ten'Trantia to Rambo Nation was attacked and injured by a bounty hunter from the Confederacy of Allied Systems, the Empire also sent a Droner force of 8,304,768 ships to fight in the Cyrannus Galactic War. Later, during the evacuation of Girdo before the "Annihilation", the Girdo Empire merged with all of the other evacuating forces, becoming the Apalos. However, the Droners fighting in Cyrannus and its satellites remained there until joining Apalos after the Rowar Incident, and many Girdo ambassadors across the universe were also not merged into Apalos "Temple Ships".
Society and Culture
The culture of the Empire is mostly unknown. It is known that Imperial citizens of different species to the original Taukappans, that were assimilated into the Empire, still practiced some of their original beliefs and customs.
Apalose (Apalose: Spue-oerlish, roughly "Imperial language") was the official language of the Girdo Empire. Phonetically, Apalose is composed of various clicks, chirps, and warbles, but can be transcribed into the Latin alphabet without losing much accuracy. It can be easily spoken by most species, with the worst effects being a mild sore throat from using it too much, and is a simple language that is not too difficult for most sapient beings to learn.
Language is first believed to have appeared on Taukappa some time before the diversification of their tribes across the planet circa 50,000 PE. The first written records on the planet, made during the construction of the city of Apalos circa 7000 PE, are clearly from a language that is an ancestor to Modern Apalose. This language, sometimes known as Old Apalose, is considered to have transformed into Modern Apalose with the end of the Imperial-Kingdom War in 1000 PE. The lack of variety in Imperial languages, both throughout history and across Taukappa - only about 30 distinct native languages are known to have existed on the planet at any point since 7000 PE, unlike on other worlds where hundreds or even thousands will often develop in the same length of time - is often attributed to the weak group mind shared by the Imperial species, rendering complex verbal communication mostly unnecessary.
After the end of the Imperial-Kingdom War, the Apalosian Empire had control over Taukappa and all Imperials had been assimilated into the Imperial group mind. The original languages of the other cities were slowly replaced with Apalose over the next few hundred years, but they also lent many of their words and features to Apalose. Eventually, Apalose was the sole language spoken on the planet. When the Empire developed space travel, they eventually began conquering alien civilisations and, just like they did with the other Imperials on their homeworld, assimilated them into the Imperial group mind. The first generation of these newly-assimilated Imperials spoke their own native languages, since the presence of universal translators meant that they could still be easily understood. However, the next generation were taught Apalose as a first language, and soon the other languages of the galaxy started to become extinct. Apalose became the sole language of the Girdo Empire, and it is still in use by Apalos and on some space habitats in the Civilisation.
Apalose is a very simplistic language, with few changes to words to distinguish between different parts of speech. The native name for the language, "Spue-oerlish", is a good example of this, literally translating as "empire language". The fact that "Spue-oer" comes before "lish" is the only thing that shows it to be an adjective ("imperial") rather than a noun ("empire").
However, the rules for putting these words together - if any - are not that simple. In many cases, part of the adjective word is removed. For example, something belonging to a person called "Tokzhalat" would not be described as "Tokzhalatn", but "Tokzhala'n". Alternatively, part of the noun word disappears, the most extreme cases being names of cities where "-apalos" is shorterned to "-s". An example of this is "Teledros", "hot forest city", which would in full be "teledro apalos".
- Examples of vocabulary
- acore - empty
- argolce - land
- batel - wet
- co - dry
- deamol - grassland
- doltar - ocean
- dro - forest
- farata - desert
- klapara - river
- mun - cold
- shk - beach
- terha - level
- tele - hot
- trala - sand
- Politics and religion
- apalos - city
- eme - king
- kompahdh - war
- ling - worshipper
- sela - sanctuary
- soshiyl - peace
- spue-oer - empire
- suhrs - deity
- zhiodh - temple
- bio - life
- buwk - food
- egh - egg
- iko - health
- iyl - home
- lish - language
- meydh - love
- oid - inhabitant
- Other nouns
- n - belonging
- spais - resource
- sperwd - galaxy
- uwba - strength
- zin - honour
- ii - [first person]
- uu - [second person]
- ei - [third person]
- Other words
- an - [inverse - e.g. "buwkan" = "one who eats"]
- i - [plural] / and
- or - of
The Empire permitted religious freedom, and so most of the galaxy's religions were followed in Imperial cities. Suprisingly, the Imperial group mind had very little control over religious beliefs. It is likely that, for whatever reason, the Emperor did not care about who worshipped what.
However, the Apalosians did have their own religion thousands of years ago, although is unknown when or whether it ceased to be followed. This religion revolved around the worship of a deity known as "the Source", and there was a belief in the Taukappans' ultimate destiny of having dominance over the universe, brought along by following the Source's will.
It was believed that the Source had created three "Beasts", which were guardians of the ground, the ocean, and the sky. Once each Beast was slain, the Imperials would take its place as the ruler of that medium. The "Ground Beast" is believed to be based on the Hyper Epic Creature on Taukappa. It may be notable that current scientific evidence suggests that the Hyper Epic died within a few million years of the Imperials' early ancestors emergance from their homeworld's primitve seas. Likewise, the Sea Monster - the "Ocean Beast" - mysteriously disappeared not long before the first boats were invented. The identity of the "Sky Beast" is unknown, but it is known that the Second Girdo Grox War was ending around the time that the first aircraft were developed, and a crashed starship on one of Taukappa's neighboring planets was shot down during the war.
There may also have been religious beliefs about Epic creatures - probably that they were minions of the Ground Beast. It is unknown if there was any equivalent to these for the Ocean or Sky Beast. No other information about the traditional Imperial religon has been released, but it is believed that the development of magical or psychic powers is a common practice across the Empire. This may have been a later addition, though, perhaps imported from another empire.
The Empire was ruled by a democratically-elected Emperor, who usually reigned for life; his main purpose was to be a focus for the Imperial group mind. Different tribes and nations apparently formed their own distinct group minds, but for most of the past few million years the Taukappans were ultimately united. It is not known when this hive mind developed, but it seems to be around the time of the ancestral archecoid species about three million years ago.
Despite this group mind, the Empire still required order and organisation, most of which was adapted from the administrative system used by Diplomat empires but with most of the bureaucracy removed. This became even more necessary when different species became citizens of the Empire, even though they had cybernetic implants added to become part of this group mind.
- The Emperor had his own set of nine advisors, and with him they formed the Imperial Council. The Imperial Council took the place of Sector, Planetary and City Council for the Imperial Sector, Capitol and City respectively.
- Each Imperial sector (composed of several systems in the same area of space) had its own Sector Council, composed of one member of each Planetry Council in the sector, elected by the other members of each Planetary Council.
- Each Imperial world had its own Planetary Council, composed of one member of each of the planet's City Councils, elected by the other members of each City Council.
- Each Imperial city had a City Council, composed of twelve councillors elected by the public.
It should be noted that these Councils were only to provide order in administration, and the Empire was still ruled by the Emperor and was not completely a democracy.
The Imperial Space Force was the military force of the Empire. It consisted of a few classes of ships, as the Empire was convinced that no more are required. It replaced the previous Imperial Military, which had existed in the Empire's Civilization Stage, after the Empire developed interplanetary travel. It later ceased to be an official organisation in the Intergalactic Era as all ships were simply considered to be part of the Empire rather than a subdivision of it.
Old Military (Imperial Army)
“Oh, please. We had weapons that could break though those defences before we knew how to build aircraft. Our trikes could disable those turrets without trying.”
- - Commodore Hlraka on the Third Federation's planetary defences
The Imperial Military during the time of the Imperial-Kingdom War, known by historians as the Imperial Army, was unofficially composed of three branches - the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, for land, sea and air forces respectively. None of them are used now, but the vehicles were kept and maintained in underground storage in case they were ever needed again all the way until the Empire's Intergalactic Era.
However, the vehicles had several changes to them, making them vastly improved from how they were during their war against Emeshk, which was in turn much more advanced (with developments ranging from GPS navigation to nanotechnological repair systems) than the original designs that were made between 3500 and 5200 years earlier. Firstly, the Artillery tank's guns were changed so that they fired proton missiles, as were those of the Destroyers. Secondly, the sonicannon-armed vehicles had their sonicannons replaced with proton missile launchers (for Scoutbugs and Corvettes) and starlasers (for Rotorcraft). In addition, all aircraft had internal magnetic drives added so that they cpuld hover (or, in the case of Rotorcraft and the Death Ray, hover better) instead of flying to increase the accuracy of their firing. Finally, all vehicles were given proper quantum replicators when efficient zero-point energy generators were developed after the Post-Grox Crisis.
Note that the command structures of both the historical Army and the later Imperial Space Force are identical.
The vehicles used by the Imperial Army were as follows:
Despite its small size, the Premier-class was considered to be a capital ship due to its armament. There was only one ship in the Premier-class, and it was the Space Force's flagship, the Premier.
Most of the ship's systems were automated, so there was no need for more than a skeleton crew (specifically, the Premier held a crew of ten).
The Premier fought in many battles, as well as participating in most of the Empire's diplomatic and exploration missions. It may seem to have been a bad tactic for the Empire to have placed so much faith in a single ship, but were it ever destroyed then the necessary components for a replacement were ready to be put together immediately after the news reached the nearest Imperial world. For the time being, the Trade Frigates would be able to assume the Premier's duties.
The Premier was finally retired as a military vessel after the March of the Apocalypse, and instead took on the role of the Emperor's personal transport, being replaced with the much larger and more advanced Apalos. It was presumably deconstructed, along with most of the rest of the Girdo fleet, to be turned into Apalos Temple Ships.
The Frigate-class, or Trade Frigates, were created a few months before the outbreak of the Imperial War Against All. The first ones were modified from existing cargo ships, simply having weapons systems added, but immediately the shipyards changed the design of their cargo ships to have these new weapons systems. Just like the Premier, most of the Frigate-class's systems were automated, meaning that the entire ship could be run by a crew of eighteen (and frequently by an even smaller crew, sometimes as few as four crewmembers).
Given their size in comparison to their weaponry, the Trade Frigates were very weak and were only good against pirates and weak enemy starfighters. However, they were rarely used in battle and only fought as a last resort.
Unlike the other ships of the Imperial Space Force, Trade Frigates had large windows to the outside - the Premier only had portholes around the edge, and used an external camera system to provide a visual feed straight to a viewscreen in the bridge which was kept safely inside the ship - and made use of two reaction-drive engines (to be precise, fusion coils) as well as the standard internally-based magnetic drive system. The windows were apparently used for "diplomatic reasons" according to official Imperial documents. When queried about the reaction drives, the Imperials say something about a "lesson" of some sort and refuse to elaborate - most likely, they could be used as additional and unsuspected weapons if needed.
Trade Frigates also made use of a unique type of interstellar propulsion, the Twosystem Drive, that allowed faster-than-light travel between two destinations without having to jump between systems. They could not be easily attacked during Twosystem travel as it propels them about three times as fast as standard interstellar drives. However, due to its innate disadvantages, it was only used when carrying cargo along well-defined trade routes. Much like the Premier, the Frigate-class is a design that has not been seen in Apalos use.
The Droner-class starfighter was a 50-metre-long drone ship that made up the majority of the Space Force. Control over Droners could be given to other space forces, but all commands could be ultimately overridden by Imperial ships. The Droners had advanced enough AI so that, in comparison to most other drone ships (and even most piloted ships too), they were highly effective in battle.
Many aspects of Droner design was made to trick enemy empires into believing that the ships were in fact piloted by living beings, such as fake windows. This deceit could be used in various ways, such as by giving the enemy pilots a false sense of security which then leads to a drop in morale, or, if they have low opinions on drone ships, by making them think that the ships are better than they would otherwise think and so making them more cautious and more evasive. In some cases, belief that there was a living pilot inside the ship prevented some enemy pilots from firing as soon as they could have, as they did not want to kill anybody unnecessarily.
However, most empires soon worked out that the Empire's signature ships were unmanned drones, and the Empire began freely admitting it to anybody who asked.
Droners traditionally had three main roles. Bombers bombarded enemy cities and fired missiles at enemy spacecraft while Fighters flew along with them (6 Fighters to a Bomber) and intercepted any enemy spacecraft firing at the Bombers. They also joined in with the bombardment of cities when there were no attacking enemies nearby to deal with. Defenders usually remained in Imperial territories, attacking any enemy starships that come too close.
More commonly, Droners operated in "Droner Swarms" that consisted of 36 ships. In times of war, a more organised system was available for use. There were four hierarchically-ranked types of unit within the "Wartime Droner Organisation System":
However, putting this system into practice originally required a state of emergency to be declared and preferably wartime production to be established across the entire Empire in order to produce the large quantities of ships required, as most Droners were in defence fleets over Imperial colonies and were not to be used elsewhere except in extreme circumstances. After the March of the Apocalypse, though, this system was scrapped, and the Empire began to use its Droners much more freely. Although still seen to be in use by Apalos, the form of the Droner-class starfighter has been made mostly obsolete by smaller, more efficient designs.
The Empire also had larger Imperium-class Capital Ships that functioned as command bases and warships while they were exploring other galaxies. They had a large hangar bay which can hold up to four Droner Swarms and four Trade Frigates. They also had cargo holds, that usually contained large quantities of spice before the ships were fitted with quantum replicators. The first ship of the class, the Imperium, also held the Premier in its hangar bay, along with the whole of the old Imperial Army in closely-packed storage in its cargo hold, ready to be beamed down if necessary. The Army was finally used in the Battle of Picon in the Intergalactic War. Few vehicles survived the battle, and those that did were recycled instead of being returned to storage.
Finally, the Imperium-class ships were very heavily armed. They had four minor missile launchers (which usually fire either proton missiles or regular antimatter missiles) and one major antimatter missile launcher (which launches Planet and Sun Busters). These obtained their antimatter from an antimatter factory inside the ship (also later replaced with quantum replicators), meaning that the Empire did not need to purchase expensive antimatter from other civilisations. There were also twelve two-part energy guns for defence against enemy starfighters (capable of firing high-powered "superlaser" beams and shield-disrupting ion cannons), and twenty-four bomb bays that had various functions including the dropping of bombs and generating tractor beams.
The Empire had "primary" Imperium-class ships in operation. All of them had their own official peacetime postings at stationary positions in different galaxies: the Plazith Rim, Cyrannus, and the Quadrants. Two of them, both with postings in the Plazith Rim, were destroyed in the war against the Xhodocto.
The other seven survived until the Annihilation.
The Empire also produced 501 "secondary" Imperiums, one for each of the Empire's planets, each named after its designated world. Although heavily upgraded and reconfigured by Apalos technology, many of Girdo's Imperium-class ships appear to still be in use as dedicated military vessels, although it is unclear how many sightings of Imperium-like vessels are actually Temple Ships temporarily adopting that form.
The Apalos, officially intended to be the first of the Apalos-class Worldships, was the flagship of the Girdo Empire after the March of the Apocalypse, and was led by the Emperor himself. It was a saucer-shaped craft, vaguely based on the Premier, but designed to be a much more functional flagship. However, from its official launch during the Girdo Campaigns up until the Annihilation, there were rumours and conspiracy theories about the existence of additional, secret Worldships hidden inside the Girdo Galaxy.
It was intended to be the "final starship" of the Girdo Empire, with omnipurpose guns, shapeshifting capabilities, miniscule crew requirements, and the ability to form potentially billions of smaller drones out of its hull. Worldships were supposed to be able to perform various functions. They could be used:
Eventually, with the help of the AI Netspace, the technology designed for the Apalos-class was completed and incorporated into the Apalos Temple Ships. The Apalos itself has not been replaced with new vessels, although its exact role in Apalos military doctrine is unclear.
Hyperluminal Defence Stations were gigantic space stations made out of an entire planet using nanobots, and capable of firing hyperspace missiles which, rather than having a conventional warhead, caused damage by means of a primitive form of subspace compression. These had a set range of approximately one hundred kiloparsecs and speed of 1015 c, and were capable of hitting anything in that range, either in realspace or hyperspace. Each HDS had six main guns pointing in different directions; these were not the only possible launch platforms for the missiles, but were mainly used as a focus for spacetime-warping defences. Each Station was defended by millions of point-defence turrets and Droner-class ships, and were armoured with several kilometres of "neutronium-metal alloy" plating.
The high speed meant that each missile (weighing a little more than 100kg) would impart approximately 4.5x1048 joules of energy into an object causing any mass shadow that it hit, or 1.074x1015 yottatons of the TNT equivalent. Because of this, a single hyperluminal missile could destroy almost any individual object within sensor range except for those that were "ghost phased".
There were sixteen Hyperluminal Defence Station constructed. The first eight were around the edge of the Girdo Galaxy to protect both the wildlife sanctuary there and the Girdo Empire themselves. Another eight of these were placed around the edge of the Tuuros Galaxy, in an attempt to reduce the forces of the Xhodocto in case they escaped again, and also to prevent colonisation of the galaxy by other empires (with the exception of the Sporemaster Alliance, since their ships were already en route to the galaxy when the Girdo Empire began exploring there). However, these were destroyed when the Xhodocto reclaimed Tuuros during the "Second Coming", while the ones in Girdo were later destroyed during the Annihilation.
The Hyperluminal Defence Stations were part of the inspiration for the use of more advanced hyperspace missiles by the Technoosphere after the Annihilation.
All Imperial starships have various automation systems to allow for the ships to only require a small crew (and in the case of the Droners, no crew at all). The internal networking systems are completely independant from the external ones to prevent against computer virus attacks, and both systems (as well as two pairs of backups which are also independant from both the main ones and each other) have effective, up-to-date firewalls and antivirus systems, too. There are also manual overrides, just in case something really bad happens.
The Empire's use of assimilated and adapted technology meant that they made use of "technology sockets", which allowed multiple upgrades and variations on similar technological principles to be used in the same location on a device. This was possibly first used in the Artillery of the Imperial Army, which made use of an artillery gun that could fire different sizes of explosive shell. In the ships of the Imperial Space Force, only three types of gun were used for all of the different weapons that the Empire had access to:
- Beam turret
- Contains two parts: the primary turret fired Lasers, while the secondary turret is capable of positioning itself anywhere around the edge of the primary one and fired automated anti-starfighter Blasters (which are technically missiles).
- The primary gun part was also capable of more peaceful uses, such as Happy Rays, Scanning, and many more. The energy gun's output could also be modified to work as terraforming tools, which are equally useful both peacefully and militarily.
- Missile launcher
- Missile launchers could either fire automatically-replicated unguided Plasma Missiles, guided Proton Missiles, or guided Antimatter Missiles. Military missiles were first shot of out the launcher using railgun propulsion, and the missile engines were powered up after a few milliseconds to provide course corrections.
- The more peaceful usage of the lauchers was that they could shoot Fireworks.
- Bomb bay
- The bomb bay either dropped automatically-replicated Proton Bombs, or like the missile launchers could also be switched to launch an Antimatter Bomb (both city-destroying bombs and larger bombs such as Planet Busters).
- The bomb bay was also where superweapons such as the Gravitation Wave and the Staff of Life were fired from.
- Non-military uses were the Abduction Beam, planetary sculpting or colouring, and sending things to a planetary surface. Some things sent to the surface could also be directed by a missile-type engine, but these were still usually dropped from the bomb bay.
Fusion-powered reaction drives were only used on Frigate-class ships, presumably as an additional secret weapon (essentially a flamethrower that can shoot a jet several hundred kilometres in length). They were not usually used for propulsion, however. The last Imperial spacecraft to use reaction drives as a primary propulsion system were rockets that launched satellites into space from the last few centuries of the Imperial-Kingdom War to about a century before the launch of the Premier.
Within the decade before the launch of the Premier, experimental crafts using internal magnetic propulsion drives were launched into space in order to test the feasibility and the usefulness of the design. When it transpired that this magnetic propulsion would be faster and more efficient than rockets, such drives were added to the Premier. Powered my nuclear fusion, the Premier achieved low relativistic speeds and all spacecraft built since have used such drives for sublight travel.
All Imperial ships also have various faster-than-light drives and communication systems.
The primary form of armour that all Imperial starships since the formation of the Space Force have had is regenerative ablative armour. This permanently reduces the damage that weapons do to the starship so long as there is spare material on board to be converted into additional armour (when fighting within a planetary atmosphere, some of this can be gained from the surrounding air). The ablative armour layer also has additional functions - it is composed of thousands of interlocking plates across the surface of the ship's hull, and these plates can also have photovoltaic treatments applied in order to function as a power source or they can radiate excess heat from the craft's interior.
- Deflector shields
There are also three types of deflector shields used: Navigational deflectors, shield deflectors, and cloaking devices. The shield deflectors and cloaking devices were not added to all ships after they were first developed, but during the Post-Grox Crisis the Empire began to fit all of its ships with all armour systems.
All ships are fitted with navigational deflectors, as they prevent bombardment by micrometeorites during interstellar travel without using up any of the ship's ablative armour. Navigational deflectors can also prevent low-speed impacts between ships and large obstacles, and can be programmed to destroy small missiles in an emergency. Navigational deflectors are also necessary to contain antimatter before its use (such as in the detonation of an antimatter warhead), and these constantly-running deflectors have always been powered by some form of zero-point energy generator, even before the advanced versions were developed post-Grox.
Shield deflectors are powerful electromagnetic fields, which consume a lot of energy to maintain operation. They were initially only fitted to the Premier and to the Frigate-class ships, and used rarely due to the energy demands. However, they render the ships completely invulnerable to any weapons while they are up (but can be rendered inactive by a direct hit by an antimatter warhead). They can also work as "pressure shields", constantly deflecting all external particles to completely remove all pressure from the ship's hull. However, before effective zero-point energy generators were developed after the Third Grox War, pressure shielding was only used in rare cases such as travel through wormholes. Afterwards, pressure shields could be used constantly - and were, in white spice mines, to protect the mines against the pressure of the surrounding gas giant's atmosphere.
Finally, cloaking devices bend light around to ship to render them invisible to electromagnetic-based sensor systems (including sight). They can, however, be detected by other means such as sonar. Cloaking devices also mean that any weapons propelled/stabilised (such as energy weapons) or guided (such as missiles using most missile guidance systems) electromagnetically will not hit a cloaked ship unless they are travelling at a high enough velocity for inertia to carry them into the cloaking field. Cloaking devices were at first only added to the Premier along with Defender-class Droners used for scouting and raiding missions, and were of a lower priority to be added to other ships than shield deflectors since the latter render the ship temporarily invincible while cloakers essentially only render them invisible.
Space Force Army
The Space Force's atmospheric forces, also known as the "Army", were mostly composed of infantry, since developments in infantry weapons and armour rendered most armoured fighting vehicles obsolete, and even armed Imperial citizens were a match for most tanks (and even a lot of military aircraft). In case air vehicles were needed by the Army, Droners were perfectly capable of low-altitude atmospheric missions just as much as specially-contructed aeroplanes.
Relationships with other empires
“We come with offerings of peace, unless you wish that we do not have peace. In which case, we come with subatomic weapons.”
- - Emperor Mazipnos Tokzhalat on the Empire's foreign policy
The Empire was part of the Seven Starr Alliance, and as such, was allied with all other SSA member nations. Those nations were the only empires that they considered consider themselves to be officially allied with.
The Empire did not wish to classify the empires that they were on good terms with as official allies, so that they could (at least initially) appear to be neutral to other civilisations. However, they were allies in all but the necessary paperwork. By the end of the Girdo Empire's history, these included the Salsetthe Republic and Sporemaster Alliance.
It was very rare that the Empire decided to make enemies, but sometimes, it was inevitable. With the exception of the Girdo Galactic War and Girdo Campaigns, the only civilisations that the Empire fought wars against were the Xhodocto, Confederacy of Allied Systems, and the inhabitants of the Sombrero Galaxy.
Quotes from other empires
“A glorious and mysterious Empire, the Girdo are considered friends by our standards. With a long and complex history, a beautiful culture and an impressive space fleet, we are honored to be friends with the Girdo Empire.”
“LOSAS. GEEKS. WEIRDOS. UHHH... LOSAS.”
“Hmm.... they are powerful indeed, very secretive too.”
“A secretive race, a trait they share with our kind. Quite a strong mortal race, I'll admit.”
- - An old Taldar writing
The Empire of the Girdo Galaxy was originally a fiction in Ghelae's personal fiction universe, known only as the Empire. This fiction was created on 2 April 2010. On 11 May 2010, the Girdo Empire page was created as an "alternate reality" version of the Empire for collaborative fiction. From 4 July 2013, the information on the Empire and the rest of the "Imperial Universe", including the Grand Galactic Fleet, was moved to the collaborative fiction universe, and the Empire's original fiction page was deleted on 9 July 2013.