After successfully starving Velen I, I decided to go ahead and make some scouts, and send them to the two nearby empires.    I found out a few things about them, and one scout even survived and is in orbit.     And then, I got a shock.    My troop transports around Maria system managed to get a victory.     Errr – what ?     Troopships get wrecked handily fighting fighters, what gives ?

Why, that's my northern neighbor.

Why, that’s my northern neighbor.

It was interesting the reaction this engendered.    My breathing rate increased, my pulse quickened, and I was instantly getting the fight reflex as I considered building more fighters.

With any luck that’s not much of a problem – I did message him and we declared we are uninterested in attacking one another.     Especially me – I have so much empty space nearby why would I do so ?

But sending scouts after another empire can be considered aggression.    Might not have been such a smart idea after all, to do so.     At least now I know how the private messaging system works, and you can’t miss them.    A red box appears within the chat area, so they don’t get missed.    They do, however, take a long time to appear.

And it’s strange – up until now I’ve been playing a paranoid game alone and in the dark.    There’s nobody near me…….. except that, there is.    I was wrong about this guy being inactive.     And I kind of like the idea of having a neighbor.

So I’ll probably continue to expand northward until we are next to each other or one star apart – like “The Neutral Zone” – and then just build up along the frontier.

State of the common border.    Still far apart.

State of the common border. Still far apart.