Part 23, cont.
Three weeks into the new year, the remaining Drath ships in Torian space all formed into a single fleet for their last stand. This did them no good, as they were completely wiped out by the Torian fleet that had been formerly defending Avignon without inflicting a single casualty.
But while the Drath had proven utterly ineffectual as a war partner, other civilizations were not as useless. The Arceans and Krynn proved unwilling to enter the war despite all entreaties, but were willing to trade me useful techs.
Meanwhile, the Scottlingas had directed a large fleet against the Torian defenders orbiting New Iconia V. It was spearheaded by this lightly-armed but heavily-defended (and shockingly fast) battleship.
My own fleets remained active, though I was now pursuing a somewhat more cautious strategy after Task Force 39's shocking demise. The Fast Reaction Force - a special formation consisting entirely of Quendor-class battlecruisers - saved the shipping lanes to Altaria by obliterating the marauding battleship, while the First Fleet continued to ambush the Torian ships assembling piecemeal near their homeworld.
Meanwhile, in a wholly unexpected (if insignificant) setback, one of my space miners near the Carinoids Cluster was suddenly ambushed and destroyed by a Korx pirate frigate, the Bolfirx. Although I had been previously inclined to ignore the remaining pirates, this infuriating event caused me to send the newly-commissioned Second Fleet on a mission to wipe them all out.
In fact, though, there were about to be many more pirates...
The End of the Drath
With the collapse of most of the Drath's effective resistance, the Torians had finally begun sending in transports. Inexplicably, these transports traveled directly past Gabe V without any escorts, allowing the Third Fleet to destroy several of them.
But it did the Drath little good. The miserable remnant of their fleet launched a final attack on the Torians at the Haber system and was destroyed by a single battleship.
And thus, with the proverbial whimper-not-a-bang, they surrendered. Luckily, it wasn't to the Torians:
Though the Drath had never been a major power and by this point had been reduced to a virtual irrelevancy, their surrender still represented a significant development. With their elimination went the last civilization who was not either one of my allies or the Torians. The Torian War had always represented the ultimate struggle for the fate of the galaxy, but now that was literally true: defeating the Torians meant I would immediately win an alliance victory.
Of course, defeating the Torians was still somewhat more easily said than done... particularly because of the other consequence of the Drath's defeat: the Torians were now free to focus all of their forces on me!
Galactic map at this point