Chapter 4226: Emberan
The Golden Skull Alliances brief stay in the New Scimitar System granted Ves and the other members of the expeditionary fleet time to handle both personal and official matters.
There were plenty of officials within the Larkinson Clan that could deal with all of the official matters.
Goods were being transported and mechs were being delivered on a constant basis in orbit.
What was even more important was that the Golden Skull Alliance finally met with elements of the Hex Army.
The officers and soldiers could finally get together in order to discuss their strategies, flesh out their planning and become more familiar with each others mech units.
While all of this was taking place, Ves and his family were free to enjoy the hospitality of the Wodin Dynasty in their own colony.
As far as colonies went, New Scimitar wasnt too bad.
While it wasnt a port system, it held a good amount of resources, which gave the Wodin Dynasty a good chance to turn their colony into a formidable industrial powerhouse.
With the abundant amount of support from the six matriarchal dynasties, the Wodin Dynasty rapidly built settlements, space stations and defensive measures in order to deter the Fridaymen from launching raids on this star system.
As far as population centers went, the capital city that the Wodins called Emberan was well-developed and meticulously planned.
While it was not as large and industrious as Kotor City, it already hosted a respectable population of 2 million Hexers, many of whom belonged to the lineage of the Wodin Dynasty.
The proportion of Hexer refugees was higher at other settlements, but Emberan was clearly built to serve as a paradise for the Wodins.
As Ves, Gloriana and the rest of their direct family toured the city a day after they arrived, they all noticed how clean and structured it was.
The streets were completely straight and geometric while the structures were all shaped in different forms of hexagons.
Statues of the Superior Mother and other notable Hexer icons infused the city with culture, and monuments dedicated to the fall of the Hexadric Hegemony reminded the colonists of their greatest shame.
Nonetheless, the mood among the locals was quite optimistic.
The greatest scars of the Komodo War had already begun to fade and a lot of colonists had already begun to start the s in their lives.
The Wodin Dynasty was doing quite well for itself.
The local economy was based on a broad and balanced mix of trade, industry and agriculture.
The only major shortcoming of New Scimitar was that its R&D sector was relatively small and underdeveloped.
The Wodins werent able to attract as many researchers, developers and mech designers as the matriarchal dynasties.
Even so, the place wasnt that half-bad.
Ever since Constance Wodin became the prime minister of the New Scimitar System, she pursued measured policies that may be a bit too heavy-handed on control and regulation, but ensured that everything developed in an orderly and predictable manner.
To Gloriana, it felt as if she had returned to her childhood home in the original Scimitar System.
“Dont you love it here, Ves We arent surrounded by cramped metal bulkheads and simulated skies.
The air we breathe and the environment here are much more authentic.
Our children would definitely enjoy the best possible growth conditions on this planet.”
“Give it up already.
Our children are Larkinsons, honey.
They deserve to grow up in the Larkinson Clan.
Besides, this place is far too rigid and inflexible.
Everyones place in life is already fixed in place.
There is hardly any upward mobility and whatever passes formen around here still isnt treated as generously as I wish.
I would never leave Marvaine to the clutches of your dynasty!”
To be honest, the Hexers had made a lot of progress compared to before.
The big flight from the Komodo Star Sector to the Magair Middle Zone had actually done the Hexers a lot of good.
Losing the war allowed them to leave behind much of the negative baggage that weighed them down.
Factors such as the subtle influence of the Superior Mother, the deaths of many crazy diehards during the Komodo War along with suffering so much humiliation that the Hexers could no longer maintain their arrogant attitude all played a role in making the modern Hex Federation a lot more tolerable.
Ves had already noticed that the Hexers had become a lot more pragmatic, most likely by necessity.
After all, they were no longer dominant in their own region of space.
They needed to temper their actions and beliefs in order to avoid turning themselves into the public enemy of the entire Magair Middle Zone!
He could clearly see the effects of this newfound pragmatism and tolerance by looking at themen on the streets.
Many of the male Hexers that Ves along the way were only up to 1.66 meters long, but about 20 percent of them were significantly taller!
This was remarkable progress since boys who were taller than the proscribed height used to be as rare as expert pilots in the past.
Though the Hexer boys still had a long way to go before they could regard themselves as men, at least they were making progress.
While Gloriana and the kids continued to spend a lot of hours with their Wodin relatives, Ves met with different Hexer dignitaries in order to discuss their upcoming joint operation as well as other forms of cooperation.
“The Wodins and the Hexers want to increase the degree of cooperation between us.” Minister Shederin Purnesse told Ves during a break between meetings.
“They have correctly figured out that you and most of our clansmen arent too eager to maintain our relationship with the Hex Federation.”
We dont need them anymore.
If not for the fact that my wife is a Wodin and all of the friendship and support I have received from the Hexers in the past, I wouldnt have bothered with these tedious meetings in the first place.”
“The Hexers are being quite sincere towards us, Ves.
They are offering numerous business deals related to giving our LMC greater preferential treatment within the Hex Federation to supplying our factories with raw materials.
There are even further suggestions on the agenda such as sharing advanced research and granting us access to exclusive phasewater tech.”
The Hexers may have lost their enormous state in the old galaxy, but they have managed to evacuate almost all of their top researchers, developers and mech designers!
The strength of their research and development sector was still comparable to that of a major second-rate state.
This gave the Hex Federation a powerful advantage to the point that Ves felt tempted.
However, thinking of all of the business agreements he had made with other parties such as the Cross Clan, Melmen Advanced Systems, Morton Tech and so on, Ves already had sufficient access to most of the tech he needed.
There was no need for him to grant concessions to the Hexers in order to gain access to their new technological library.
He dismissively waved his hand.
“We can make a few business deals with the Hexers in order to placate Gloriana and Wodin, but they have to align with our development strategy.
If there is no strong benefit to us, then I would rather not sign any contracts.”
Minister Shederin understood the patriarchs meaning.
“The LMC and our other institutions have a great need for raw materials, so I will instruct our negotiating teams to be more open to concluding any related agreements.
We shall be more critical towards other kinds of deals.”
He loved working with smart people.
From a strategic perspective, the entanglement between the Larkinson Clan and the Hex Federation did not increase that much if they forged trade deals that centered around the supply of raw materials.
As much as there was a persistent shortage of resources in the Red Ocean, it did not really matter where the Larkinson Clan obtained its metals and exotics from.
The Hex Federation was far from the only place that could meet the resource needs of the Larkinsons!
This meant that if Ves ever decided to cut his ties with the Hex Federation, his clan and all of its branches would only suffer temporary supply disruptions.
It might take months or years to find new suppliers to remedy the shortfalls, but that was a minor inconvenience to the clan.
Ves was much more interested in the discussions related to the upcoming military operation.
Perhaps the Wodins had already noticed that he got along better with Colonel Kellandra Wodin than anyone else among his in-laws, because he spoke with her during multiple important meetings.
“Operation Saturday Market centers almost entirely around the decisive battle that will presumably be fought at the Kosic Ring.” The middle-aged woman spoke as both of them sat in comfortable chairs that gave them a magnificent view over the city of Emberan.
“The numbers that we have committed to this assault is great, but our margin of error is thin.
We can handle a number of unpleasant surprises, but if the deviations are too great, then I am afraid this hard-fought battle will lead to a pyrrhic victory at best.”
Ves slowly nodded as he sipped his cup of tea.
“These are my concerns as well.
I have suffered from faulty and incomplete intelligence in the past.
While we are definitely a lot better prepared than any operations that I have participated in the past, we are about to plunge deep into someone elses territory.
That is never a pleasant experience.”
“Of all of the Fridaymen militaries that our people have fought against in the past, the Sundered Phalanx has always caused us to suffer more casualties.” Kellandra said.
“The quality of their mech pilots might not be the best, but their military mechs are just better.”
Ves looked intrigued.
As a veteran of the Komodo War who personally took part in at least several major campaigns, Colonel Kellandra Wodin understood the Fridaymen military forces quite well!
It would be a waste not to take advantage of her knowledge!
“Between the Gauge Dynastys Sundered Phalanx and the Konsu Clans Oni Guard, which one is better”
“That depends on your definition ofbetter.” Kellandra responded with a smile.
“Personally, I believe the Oni Guard are strong enough to stand on equal terms with the Sundered Phalanx.
They both have their strong points.
The Gauge Dynasty is richer and is able to pour more funding and resources into the development and production of better-performing mechs.
The Konsu Clan is not as wealthy, but it holds its military mech pilots to considerably higher standards.
The mech pilots of the Oni Guard have always been the best at fighting against our living mechs.
Our Valkyrie mechs arent even able to shake their minds anymore!”
This was a powerful achievement.
This was a quality that Ves had only truly seen among MTA mech pilots.
It was too difficult for other people to improve their mental resilience and discipline to the point where they could resist the suppressive auras generated by mechs such as the Valkyrie Redeemer and the Ferocious Piranha.
“Does that mean that the minds of the soldiers of the Sundered Phalanx are easier to shake”
“No.” Kellandra immediately shook her head.
“They all possess the natural confidence of fighting in the service of the strongest coalition partner.
Their arrogance is annoyingly persistent.
Even in defeat, they still cling to the belief that the Gauge Dynasty is the greatest part of the Friday Coalition and that their brethren will take revenge on their behalf.
You will see this for yourself once Operation Saturday Market begins.”
I guess we wont see them surrender anytime soon.”
“This battle will likely be especially bloody.
The defenders of Pima Prime will not retreat.
They cannot retreat.
Once they allow our forces to land on the surface of Pima Prime V, the Gauge Dynastys most important investments in the Red Ocean will become ruined.
That will permanently set the Gaugers back by an enormous degree.
No defender will be able to account for such a massive failure.
Expect each of them to fight to the bitter end.”
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