Chapter 28 – Planet of the Dwarves
“The target of the invasion is the Hercules Star System. It is humanity’s first immigrant system, located 120 light-years from Earth and is the frontline base of the Coalition. The objective of this operation is to take control of this system, deprive the enemy of a foothold from which to invade, and on the contrary, provide a stepping stone for our invasion.”
General Bödeger, the second-in-command of the Expeditionary Fleet, projected the star system onto the main screen in the center of the Generals’ Assembly.
Hercules, the star, is a small, cool red dwarf. As a star, it is the most common and mundane type in the universe.
But the star Hercules is orbited in the Habitable Zone by Alcaeus, a giant terrestrial planet about eight times the diameter of Earth.
The planet Alcaeus is tidally fixed, facing its star, so day and night are fixed on the planet. Usually, on a planet with fixed day and night, the daytime region becomes scorching hot and the night region becomes extremely cold.
However, the giant planet had a thick layer of atmosphere, a large ocean, and a moon orbiting near-distance Cades, and all 3 came together to induce thermal circulation within the planet.
With a thick ozone layer protecting the planet and a super-continent at the midpoint of day and night that had 20 times Earth’s entire land area, Alcaeus had many areas that were habitable by humans on the planet without terraforming.
In addition, due to the proximity of the star Hercules to the planet Alcaeus, celestial bodies from space are attracted to the star, so the planet is also safe from meteorites.
In 2629 A.D., the first manned research fleet launched to Hercules, and as a result of various supplies and personnel being sent to the planet, the first interstellar migration was realized 125 years later in 2754 A.D.
“This is the history of settlement in the Hercules system. However, the gravity of the planet is 1.8 times that of Earth, and it was pointed out that it would be difficult to live there from the preparation stage of the settlement. Therefore, the Diete immigration plan was launched, and in 2823 A.D., Diete immigration was realized.”
Bödeger pointed to the biggest problems the giant planets in the Hercules system have.
The biggest obstacle to immigration to the giant terrestrial planet Alcaeus was the planet’s gravity, which is 1.8 times that of the Earth. A human weighing 50 kilograms on Earth would weigh 90 kilograms on the planet Alcaeus.
On high-gravity planets, all activities are taxing and work efficiency is reduced. Blood pressure increases to pump blood throughout the body, and the stress on the heart shortens life expectancy.
Because of the enormous amount of time and money spent on immigration to the Hercules system, the Earth government at the time could not cancel the Hercules system immigration policy even though the Diete system proposal was found to be significant in the middle of the preparatory stage.
Instead, as a countermeasure against gravity, the immigrants to the Hercules system underwent repeated genetic environmental adaptation adjustments. With each generation, they grew shorter and thicker, transforming themselves into dwarf-like figures over the course of several hundred years.
The Herculeans were the test subjects and victims of the Earth government’s immigration policies.
Pests such as mosquitoes, fire ants, and cockroaches were brought into the Hercules system, but based on the lessons learned, the Diete immigrants took steps to prevent the invasion of such creatures.
At the time of Diete’s independence, the Herculeans were driven from good lands by Earth refugees. Moreover, Earth displaced persons adapted to the environment with the technology of 3300 A.D., and did not become dwarves themselves.
The Herculeans, who have accumulated dissatisfaction with the Earthers, have become a people of extreme disobedience to the Coalition of Humanity.
Currently, the Hercules system is home to a billion Coalition members, but the Herculeans have not even disclosed their population.
“Dwarves are characterized by high blood pressure, short temper, violence, stubbornness and exclusiveness. The living space spreads to the strata, so the suppression of the planet surface is ineffective. Therefore, the Coalition has separated the Dwarven community from their own, and has placed its military bases on the moon Cades.”
Bödeger insulted the Dwarves in a vicious manner, but there was a reason for it.
The dwarves encountered during the conquest of Earth had the attitude that Bödeger had pointed out, not only towards the Coalition but also towards the Diete Monarchy as well.
As a reason for the dwarf’s antipathy, during the Diete War of Independence, the Dietes drove the Coalition into the Hercules system, causing them to be deprived of their sphere of life. That’s what they say.
At the root of the discontent, Herculeans were the victims of a crude immigration policy when immigrating from Earth, while the Diete immigrants gained a utopia that surpassed even Earth, with lessons learned from their failures.
The Dietes’ view is that it is natural to correct the problems found in the first immigration on the second occasion, and it was the Coalition that took the Hercules system, so that the Dwarves are simply taking it out on them.
“The dwarves are also unfriendly to us Royal Diete’s citizens. So after we conquer the Hercules system, we will station our Royal Army station on the moon Cades, just like the Coalition.”
When Bödeger explained this, there were many voices of approval in the conference hall.
“If we’re based on a moon, we won’t have to worry about sabotage from the planet.”
General Jhering, who is in charge of the right-wing forces of the expeditionary fleet, agrees, and General Reinelt of the left-wing fleet also expressed their support.
“Let’s just recover the planetary resources and use the system as a supply base.”
With two more Generals following Bödeger, and the three highest-ranked Generals in the expeditionary force in agreement, the policy set by General Command was finalized.
Of course, the preliminary discussions were over before the Generals meeting began.
The 19 fleets of the Solar System invasion force, led by The Crown Prince Gracian, conquered the Solar System, but on the other hand, the Capital planet was hit due to a significantly reduced defense force, which left a billion Royal citizens dead.
At this rate, they would not be able to make their triumphant return home.
The three generals, as well as General Lautenbach, who became Commander of the Solar System Invasion Force, were forcefully promoted from the Lieutenant General to General by the Supreme Commander, Prince Gracian, to praise his own achievements.
The four Generals who were promoted did not have any achievements, let alone military exploits.
As for the military exploits, the enemy forces in the Solar System were not present while invading the Diete system, so there was no cohesive enemy. In the Solar System, which should have been suppressed, Earthers are still resisting underground.
The Generals want to bring down the Hercules system before returning home, so as to match the military exploits and achievements of their promotions. Otherwise, even if they had the money and position, they would not be able to maintain their honor.
Other officers and soldiers also want to at the very most be able to explain their actions to their families and surroundings so that they won’t be looked down upon by the people of the Capital planet after returning home.
Thus, the Solar System Invasion Force is trying to invade the Hercules system with Prince Gracian who wants to suppress the burning succession issue.
In the place of the purely formal General officer meeting, those present were not asked for their own opinions. With no one raising any objections, Bödeger’s moderator proceedings went according to the script.
“The one billion Coalition people of the Hercules system will be taken to our home country with the subdued Earthers to avoid continued resistance on the front lines and joining hands with the dwarves. What do you think, General Jhering?”
When Bödeger asked, Jhering of the right wing army agreed.
“It’s a good idea. This will keep the uncooperative dwarves in order to control their growing power. But we must not let the dwarves go from being uncooperative to hostile due to the Coalition’s manipulations.”
If they were not brought in, worse things could happen. Jhering suggested such a possibility, and the General Command’s proposal was reinforced.
“I agree. If I had to choose between the Coalition and the Dwarves, I’d say the Dwarves are better. What do you think of General Reinelt?”
After nodding, Bödeger then turned to Reinelt of the left wing.
Then, Reinelt agrees.
“As long as we use the moon as a base, and keep it above a certain altitude or higher, the dwarves on the planet will not be much of a threat. The recovery of resources should be the same as Earth, I think it would be okay if we could do it remotely. Pests will spread and quarantine will be difficult if we drop people off.”
All the Generals of the invasion fleet agreed.
Finally, Bödeger reminded the youngest Major General in attendance of the General’s meeting of a very important point.
“We will use Fortress Kerviel to bring in the Coalition members and transport resources. Major General Amakawa may have done well in combat, but the people want their Crown Prince, who will succeed to the throne, to make further historical achievements, like the great ancestors who succeeded in the War of Independence. In consideration of the political decision, General Command orders Fortress Kerviel to refrain from participating in the battle.”
In the General officers’ meeting, the second-in-command General Bödeger, gave orders to Hart by name, the contents of which could not be misunderstood.
Hart also gave a salute and an unmistakable response.
Bödeger nodded while looking at Hart, and then moved on to the substantial matter.
“Then, I will announce the fleet formations. The expeditionary fleet will have 23 fleets and 4 fortresses. This will be divided into 3 combat groups and 1 transport convoy.”
Central Forces: 8 fleets (including 4 aristocratic fleets), 1 mobile fortress
Commander in Chief, Prince Gracian; Deputy Commander, General Bödeger
Conscription fleet = Diete, Athena Aristocratic Army
Right-wing Forces: 7 fleets (including 3 requisitioned fleets), 1 mobile fortress (including 1 aristocratic fortress)
Right-wing Army Commander, General Jhering
Conscript fleet = Apollo, Machaon Aristocratic Army
Left-wing Forces: 7 fleets (including 4 requisitioned fleets), 1 mobile fortress
Left-wing Army Commander, General Reinelt
Conscript fleet = Artemis, Podalley Aristocratic Army
Transport Convoy: 1 fleet (including 9 aristocratic squadrons), 1 attack fortress
Fleet Commander, Major General Rendano; Fortress Commander, Major General Amakawa
Solar System Area Army: 5 fleets
Area Army Commander, General Lautenbach
The announced formation allocated the aristocracy to three for each of the two star systems.
And, when he saw the aristocrats assigned to the convoy, Hart was beyond dismayed and even laughed at the blatant nature of the assignment.
The Marquis of Ornelas, a Machaon family from which Valfrete took his wife.
The Marquis of Carneus, an Apollo household for which Hart became a gene donor.
The Count of Harvist, an Apollo family of which the fiancée of the Sovereign’s grandchild was stripped.
Each of them has contributed 3 squadrons of 600 ships, and they are assigned to the transport convoys. With regard to these formations, Bödeger added a supplement.
“This time, a fleet and a mobile fortress were offered by the Machaon Duke of Mauriac, and they came together to make the most of the original group. Therefore, a part of the increased Apollo- Machaon system aristocratic army was sent to the transport convoy to coordinate the whole thing.”
Hurt was impressed by Bödeger’s brilliant excuse.
Fortress Kerviel alone can serve more than one million transport ships. In the Capital planet Defense, they alone dropped more than 7 enemy fleets, and even escorts were unnecessary.
Adding a fleet of only 100 transport ships to the convoy to which Fortress Kerviel belongs would only waste the strength of one fleet.
For those familiar with the aristocratic affairs, it was obvious that in order to reinforce the Crown Prince’s right to inherit the throne, those they did not want to make achievements, including Hart, were collectively assigned to the transport convoy.
The Duke of Strani, who went from royalty to vassal, only founded his Duke household last year and is not subject to fleet offerings. If there was a fleet of the Duke of Strani, it was clear that Bödeger would have given a new reason to send it to the transport convoy.
And if it were Valfrete, such a foolish formation would not have been made. Hart thought.
In the General officers meeting, where the groundwork had already been laid, Hart turned into a puppet that shook his head vertically as required. In the end, Prince Gracian, the Commander-in-Chief of the expeditionary force, gave his very gracious words to those present, and the meeting of the Generals of the royal army, which was to be an expedition to the Hercules System, was closed.
After the closing, there will be time for individual meetings within the same unit.
Hart shared his perception with Major General Oscar Rendano, a fortress commander affiliated with the convoy and fleet commander of the same convoy.
With the same rank and clear title, it was evident that the command of the fleet was in the hands of Fleet Commander Major General Rendano, and command of the fortress would go to Fortress Commander Major General Amakawa. What both of them needed to do was to clarify where the responsibility lay for the foreign element, the aristocratic fleet assigned to the convoy.
Rendano is not an aristocrat, and the aristocratic fleet is assigned to the aristocratic family with a close relationship with Hart.
Rendano’s idea was to keep it within the military framework by the book, with no special considerations.
“The aristocratic fleet may be under my command while the fleet is in operation, and under the command of Major General Amakawa while stationed in the fortress. Even if it is a conscript from a senior aristocracy, they will be treated as a Brigadier General, and there is no problem in terms of status.”
“Yes, I think so as well.”
Even if Major General Amakawa was told to take care of it, Hart would have complied. Hart, who has Japanese roots, flexibly accepted Rendano’s policy.
The aristocratic fleet of the three families also obediently followed the military policy.
The Marquis of Carneus did not oppose the fact that Philine was under his command since she was in the convoy. The Marquis of Ornelas, whose daughter’s husband is a Colonel General, the Commander-in-Chief of the Monarchy Army, Valfrete, did not go against the Royal army.
However, the remaining family, the Count of Harvist, was not convinced.
Brigadier General Alisa, the young lady of the Count of Harvist, who had come out on the frontline due to the aristocratic conscription, visited Colonel Colette, a classmate from middle school, under the pretext of a private consultation.
Colette, who had met an old friend for the first time in a long time, greeted her gracefully like a Viscount young lady, but in her heart she was surprised at how Alisa had changed.
The face of the benevolent Mother Goddess, who once smiled with such kindness, is distorted and she couldn’t disguise her exhaustion with makeup. The skin which had lost freshness was morbidly white, and stirred uneasiness in the spectator. Her emerald-like blue eyes are cloudy and lost their brilliance.
Alisa, with a morbid smile that had at least a sliver of her middle school days left in it, appealed to breathless Colette.
“Colette, can’t you rearrange the formation of the Harvist family?”
Colette cannot possibly alter the formation. She did not make any attempt at answering the question directly.
The deployment of the expeditionary fleet has been decided at a meeting of General officers attended by the expeditionary fleet and the Major Generals of the Solar System Invasion force and above, and cannot be changed by Colonel Colette or even the fortress commander Hart. Even Major General Rendano, who commands the transport convoy, can only change the order of the aristocratic squadrons belonging to the transport fleet.
Colette ascertained the extent of the changes Alisa was asking for.
“What exactly do you want to do?”
“I want to achieve a distinguished war service.”
When Colette heard Alisa’s hope, she did not deny it, but rather answered curiously in return.
“I can confirm for you that you are not a soldier, Alisa, but credit is given in the transportation mission. When Fortress Kerviel brought in large quantities of supplies from Earth, the entire Monarchy cheered. But war merit can’t be cited unless you defeat the enemy. I wonder if you want to earn military achievement, not credit.”
Alisa shook her head at Colette, who implicitly told her that the convoy would also be credited.
“Transportation is not enough. We must defeat the enemy.”
Colette understood that Alisa’s purpose was to restore her honor.
As mentioned in her Deed of Arms, “Escaping the Defense Battle of the Capital planet was not Alisa’s will, but under the instruction of the escort arranged by the royal family. Alisa is willing to fulfill her aristocratic duties”. However, the safe rear transportation convoy cannot prove that.
Earning a military achievement in battle with the Coalition is the only way Alisa can regain her honor.
The Count of Harvist offered a fortress ship in addition to 3 squadrons, equivalent to a Marquis, rather than the single squadron required of the Count. The Count’s family is also pushing themselves very hard.
It was clear what Alisa wanted, but Colette couldn’t give her the answer she wanted.
“This time, it’s difficult to change the formation because it has already been decided. But the importance of transportation is also evident in the use of Fortress Kerviel. Without transport, we can’t support the military’s activities. I’m sure the Royal Army understands that the Count of Harvist is responsible for that.”
“………… That’s not good enough.”
The role is so important that even Fortress Kerviel, which was active in the defense of the Capital planet, is utilized. When Colette appealed, Alisa backed down.
But to Colette, Alisa didn’t seem very convinced.