The first battle of Bentheim shocked the Bright Republic and everyone who lived in the Bentheim region.
Though plenty of people warned that the sandmen would descend upon Bentheim like moths to a flame, they never thought that a single breach at the frontlines would result in an immediate deep incursion!
The same reason that made Bentheim such an attractive star system to travel towards also encouraged many sandman fleets to flock to it.
This was because traveling to Bentheim as opposed to a regular star system was akin to travelling along the path of least resistance to the sandman fleets.
The outcome that many Brighters feared but expected had come true!
This will be the first of many attacks, Ves. Raymond Billingsley-Larkinson cautioned.
And when Bentheim is within reach, Cloudy Curtain might also welcome the sandmen in time.
Ves rapped his fingers against his desk in thought.
I\'m not entirely comfortable with the amount of forces ready to defend our star system.
I know that we don\'t merit much priority due to our lack of development, but it still seems as if we\'re being neglected.
The Mech Corps and the Starfighter Corps can\'t be everywhere.
They have to allocate their forces as prudently as possible.
From what Benjamin has told me, the military has made some very unpleasant choices.
The reason why the Mech Corps only stationed a small detachment at Cloudy Curtain so far is because it isn\'t important.
It isn\'t important! Ves looked offended.
Cloudy Curtain is no longer the sleepy rural planet that no one has ever heard of! We\'ve settled billions of refugees here! We\'re an important center for food production!
The brass are aware.
The difference is that they don\'t value them very much.
When you have to make a lot of difficult choices in a very short amount of time, you\'ll resort to the most pragmatic solution instead of the more compassionate alternatives.
The implications of Raymond\'s words were clear.
the Bright Republic is more than willing to sacrifice Cloudy Curtain to the sandmen
This is the tradeoff the higher ups have made after analyzing the reasons for the fall of the border states.
The analysts have discovered that the more compassionate a state tries to be, the faster the sandmen manage to dismantle it.
Unlike us, the sandmen are completely unfeeling.
While their coordination and intelligence are lacking, their choices are often the most harshest one at hand because they don\'t care about their lives.
So the Bright Republic has essentially decided that the strategically-important star systems such as Bentheim, Rittersberg and New Foundation have to be preserved at all costs.
Less important star systems like Cloudy Curtain can just be left to their own devices because it\'s too costly to defend them, is that right
There\'s no point in harboring any resentment against the government.
Bentheim truly needs the protection, as the sandmen love to batter port systems.
I know that there is also an enormous economic incentive to preserve our only port system.
They all had to accept that the government was unlikely to weaken Bentheim\'s defenses in order to reinforce weaker star systems.
The people in charge only wanted the Bright Republic to survive.
The fall of a lesser star system didn\'t weigh in their minds at all.
Why should they care over losing a relatively insignificant planet when they can sleep peacefully with the comfort that Bentheim was so well defended that the sandmen had to invest enormously to crack open its shell!
What response do you wish to make in light of this development
Reinforce the Silver Sentinels as much as you can.
make some preparations for evacuation.
I know we don\'t have as many ships as we like, but make sure we can cut and run within a day.
We\'re already in the process of bolstering the Silver Sentinels.
As for the latter, it\'s impossible to get our hands on more ships.
A lot of refugee ships should have fallen in the government\'s hands, right Why hasn\'t the state employed them to evacuate the Sydney Superior System and other star systems in the crosshairs
The same reason that applies to the lack of forces at Cloudy Curtain also applies to the lack of mass evacuations Sydney Superior.
The government doesn\'t value the lives of the citizens who used to live in Sydney Superior high enough.
Many of the ships that have fallen in the government\'s hands are mostly employed to support the infrastructure related to the production and shipping of starfighters and related goods.
Ah. Ves understood.
A massive quantity of starfighters are being produced throughout all of the Bright Republic.
While they are individually cheap, they all require a lot of materials to produce.
Once they are built, they all have to be shipped to the appropriate destinations.
There was a price for resorting to quantity.
The increased logistical burden of employing other weapon platforms was the main reason why they fell out favor.
Mechs were much more convenient in most cases because it was possible to invest in an expensive, high-quality mech unit that did not take up much logistical capacity while still offering excellent battle performance.
Ves and Raymond continued to discuss the security and defense arrangements, though there wasn\'t much to talk about.
All of the necessary decisions had been made before and Commander Magdalena could tell them a lot more about the readiness of their forces.
They also discussed the other changes that occurred.
Raymond passed on some bad news.
The fall of Sydney Superior ripped a hole in the Bright Republic\'s defensive lines.
A large amount of star systems that aren\'t very important but also aren\'t negligible are under threat.
Some of those star systems supplied valuable exotics and minerals to Bentheim.
While the disruption so far has been slight, we\'re not sure if it will remain that way as the sandmen keep encroaching into Brighter territory.
What does that mean to us in the short term and the long term
Our profit margin will diminish as the supply of exotics and raw materials is impacted.
Fortunately for us, your connections to the Tovar Family allows us to buy from their material suppliers.
Only until the Tovars are starting to feel the pinch will they draw back on external commitments.
Our analysts believe that price hikes are unavoidable in the near term and getting cut off from several important materials is a very real possibility in the long term.
At first, it sounded bad, but Raymond didn\'t appear very distressed.
It could be worse.
The LMC already enjoyed a good run on the eve of the next mech generation.
We\'ve surpassed a million total sales in the history of our mech company! Think of how impactful that is and how much money we\'ve earned! It won\'t be a problem if the LMC ends production and tries to coast along for the next few decades!
Of course, they would never do that.
Ves had to keep designing and selling more mechs in order to advance his design philosophy.
He understood Raymond\'s point.
They didn\'t have to be too remorseful if the economic circumstances worsened.
Ves definitely expected the economy to take a nosedive.
Monthly inflation had already surpassed 30 percent in recent days while the price of many goods had shot up as they became less abundant.
This only concerns our operations in the Bright Republic, right
Don\'t think that the situation is better elsewhere.
Many foreign third-party manufacturers have signalled an intention to stop producing the Soldier mechs because they\'re not economically viable anymore.
In fact, our partners from the Reinald Republic and other hard-hit states have stopped communicating with us entirely.
Perhaps they\'re still producing some Desolate Soldiers, but we can forget about receiving our fees.
Even when the Reinald Republic is falling apart, its people still want to scam us one last time. Ves grimaced.
It\'s not as if there will be any court left standing to prosecute them for their contract breaches.
In general, the economic outlook of the entire region worsened considerably more than Ves initially expected.
The sandmen truly disrupted the regional supply chains more severely than many companies could cope.
Even the states that were safer such as those in the fourth line of defense weren\'t looking too good.
Due to the interconnectedness of trade, the deterioration taking place in one state also impacted the economy of another state!
The consequence was that it was not very useful to shift production in the safer states such as the Independent State of Pillis which would be next if the sandmen managed to break the Bright Republic.
Both Ves and Raymond discussed the possibility of production stopping entirely in the coming half year or sooner.
Production would instead shift to producing only the most essential supplies and war materiel.
I hope this production shift won\'t take place before I\'m ready to publish my next commercial mech design. He muttered.
When do you expect to unveil your new mech design
Not too long.
A month at most, maybe a little longer.
We have to get it right at once since its mech concept is very radical and difficult to believe.
Though Ves and Gloriana directed most of their focus towards designing the Adonis Colossus, they still made sure to keep the Deliverer project alive.
The former project was already nearing the phase.
Once they finished implementing the defensive augments on the Adonis Colossus design and made some other tweaks, Ves could hand off the optimization and prototype testing phases to his design team.
Of course that would also be the time when Ves had to prepare its design spirit, which was something he was still holding off due to the recent changes in direction.
Compared to the custom mech project, the Deliverer project is much more important to our future and the future of our state. Raymond remarked.
Do you think it will work
It has to.
I know it sounds rather dubious, but don\'t discount it right away.
The Ylvainans will definitely surprise us with their uncanny performance.
They already managed to do so with my Transcendent Messengers and Holy Soldiers.
I think you\'re giving them too much credit.
The success of your work rests mainly in their sound design and fantastic glows.
I have high expectations for the glow that comes with your Deliverer mechs.
Is there really no way to make them compatible with Brighter mech pilots
Ves firmly shook his head.
Glows don\'t work the way you think they do.
We settled on describing this phenomenon as a glow because it was the most neutral option available.
If you think of it in different terms, such as a soul, then you\'d understand why only Ylvainans can unleash the full potential of the Deliverer.
I see… Raymond answered skeptically.
Though the Larkinson elder possessed a good understanding of mechs and how to run a mech company, he was too new to understand the LMC\'s principles.
Like any Brighter, Raymond looked down on religion and superstition.
In his perspective, the glows that had become the trademark of the LMC\'s products was simply some kind of unexplained metaphysical phenomena.
Even though it was rather mysterious, everyone had grown rather used to them after witnessing so many mechs with the same properties.
At least there is one upside to making the Deliverer exclusive to Ylvainans. Ves grinned.
I can jack up the price considerably without worrying about scaring away too many customers.
My credibility with the Ylvainans is so high that they\'ll buy anything I produce.
Take care not to break that trust.
Many companies wish to have the relationship you\'ve managed to forge with the Ylvainan people.
It doesn\'t matter if the Ylvaine Protectorate falls due to failing to repel the sandmen.
In fact, we don\'t even have to raise our prices of our Deliverer mechs.
With how much cash we have, we can afford to subsidize the production of Deliverers if that is what it takes to get them in the hands of our customers as quickly as possible.
Ves was willing to do this because he believed that his Deliverers were to winning the Sand War!
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