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Chapter 710: Lan Jue’s Suggestions

    Chapter 710: Lan Jue's Suggestions

    "Vital crystals are energy - condensed vital energy. When faced with the question 'what can the aliens not afford to lose,' these crystallized shards of power are one of them. We can safely assume that the only real aliens are the three planets themselves. The others we've faced are extensions of them - like appendages. Every crystal we take is like taking a piece of one of the planets. As far as we can tell, this is why Monarch didn't send monsters into combat against Tyrannosaurus.  Were it not for Commander Lan Jue's reconnaissance, the losses suffered by Tyrannosaurus and its fleet would have been much worse."

    "We know that these aliens are beings of higher intelligence, and so we must assume everything they do has a purpose. It likely knew that sending in the monsters would have been useless against a Bastion. All it would accomplish is delivering vital crystals into our hands. To keep them safe, the alien homunculi were dispatched from the battlefield, and ordered to return once the danger had passed."

    "Their ploy was very successful. We recovered no vital crystals in the course of the expedition. With all we know now, I suggest that any further clashes with the aliens should focus on gathering vital crystals. In this way we strengthen ourselves while weakening our enemy. Kill the homunculi and take their crystals by any means necessary. So much powered is stored in those crystals - power that can create whole living beings - that they must be the most important resource our enemy possesses."

    As he listened Lan Jue slowly nodded his head. The Terminator's analysis made sense. Why would so many reinforcements be instantly called whenever even one insignificant beast was harmed? Because the planets feared a vital crystal would fall into the hands of their prey.

    Star Division had returned from their first tour in the Starfields with so many crystals because Jue Di was able to kill so many, so fast. At the time their aggregate strength was enough to handle a host of reinforcements.

    If contemporary knowledge held true, then a direct assault against the planets themselves was ill-advised. Instead, ambushing the creatures - what the Terminator now called homunculi - and taking their crystals was the best plan of action.

    After giving his report, the Terminator turned to military deployment and defensive strategy. It was also an important point of discussion. Plans needed to be laid for how the three alliances would work together for human survival.

    The Shattered Starfields sat in the center between the three opposing territories. While some areas were thinner than others, the alliances were still separated by vast distances. For this reason accumulating troops in the appropriate areas was impossible. Nor did they have any clue as to where the aliens would appear. Their ability to teleport made determining at-risk areas impossible. Everywhere was at risk.

    Lan Jue figured that the aliens would simply avoid any large gathering of soldiers. Their agility was a serious problem. Neither could humanity flee. Despite having nowhere to go, there were simply too many humans spread over dozens of star systems. Meanwhile the alien planets numbered only three, and could go where they pleased.

    As the conversation continued on military strategy, Lan Jue listened but didn't have any opinions. It was not his area of expertise. Instead, he set his mind to finding the most effective way for Star Division to help.

    Star Division was beginning to take shape as a powerhouse of planetary combat. But out in space, that power was greatly diminished. Lan Jue suspected that even he couldn't stand against a dreadnaught in outer space. Perhaps if he got close, but after a certain distance he would likely succumb to the ship's cannons.

    He was unsure how Star Division's role would manifest itself in these conditions. How would he employ his soldiers to their full potential?

    In the face of destruction the alliance representatives swore to put aside their own interests for the good of humanity. Sincere and cooperative discussion ensued about how best to protect the lives of their citizens.

    Defeated their enemies wasn't a simple feat that could be achieved in a single action. Nor was the defense of human worlds. The first step had to be to avoid unnecessary loss while impairing the enemy. The more they learned, the better they could craft a plan of attack.

    Although the North had failed in their attack, it wasn't without value. Alien defenses were discovered to have limits. Bastions may not have been as effective as the military hoped, but they nonetheless could contend with the aliens. Converging six Bastions on one of those planets would end in a different result, they were sure.

    Determining further action would mean more reconnaissance, and so the important of scouting missions were also declared. Everyone agreed that Star Division's help and intel was what brought Tyrannosaurus and its entourage back alive. For this reason, more than anything else, he had been given a spot on the first row of the dais. Granted he wasn't military, but his actions had made Lan Jue an unwitting standard-bearer for soldiers throughout all the alliances.

    Lastly, the delegates agreed on a master plan for resisting the alien menace; Scout, harass, research, and destroy.

    Reconnaissance was determined to be a pillar of the strategy. In order to protect their scouts and assist in their mission, the alliances pledged to work on new technologies and provide them for use in the field. These would include better ships and anti-interference communication devices.

    "Now we would like to invite the commander of Star Division, Commander Lan Jue, to help us ascertain best practices in scouting out the enemy forces." The Northern President invited Lan Jue to the podium with a smile.

    Lan Jue paused. No one had told him he was expected to speak.

    H rose to his feet and looked at the President, who nodded in encouragement. All of a sudden Lan Jue understood. They wanted him unprepared on purpose, in the hopes he would reveal something he might have hidden before. He'd told them everything before, what more did they want?

    He approached the podium and, after greeting the delegation, spoke his piece. "I have had the unfortunate experience of encountering these monsters over a long period of time. The first time was on planet Taihua, where their sudden invasion had stunned everyone. The sheer aggressiveness of these beasts, their insatiable hunger, was burned into our collective nightmares."

    "The Clairvoyant once said that this would be one of humanity's greatest challenges. If we faced it, and overcome this adversity than humanity would rise to master the cosmos. If we did not, it would spell our destruction as a species."

    The hall was silent. All of a sudden the atmosphere was dismal and heavy. Who did not know and respect the Clairvoyant's reputation? He was one of history's greatest prophets, who established Skyfire Avenue with his own hands. His vision helped lift humanity to the interstellar society it was today.

    After a moment Lan Jue continued. "His Majesty the Terminator has given an excellent account of what we know about the aliens, I won't address that further. However, I will emphasize that the aliens are an exceptionally intelligent adversary. They don't just consume - they study, and learn. They knew all the North's tactics and had counteracted their plans to assure the least cost to themselves and the greatest damage to our people."

    "I have met one of them that was at least as strong as a third-degree Paragon. It told me that our inherent potency is what they were after. They wish to emulate us in order to further their evolution."

    "So far I agree with everything this body has put forward. Reconnaissance must continue in order for us to learn more about what we fight, and why. I support His Majesty the Terminator's determination that we need to send out our best troops to continually harass their supply lines for vital crystals. Little by little we can steal strength from our enemy and turn it to our benefit. However we must understanding that this is exceedingly dangers. We know that among the aliens at least one has achieved the Infinite."

    "My team's success in scouting the enemy forces is simple; we had enough power, speed and defenses to evade them. But what you may not have known is that evading death came at the cost of an s-ranked power gem each time we needed to teleport away. That was what separated us from success and failure, living and dying. In addition we were strong, strong enough to strike fast and hard before they could muster a response."

    "In my view there are several things that must be done to assure the future success of our scouting missions. First, we need better and faster ships. Second, we must develop psionic shielding techniques. These creatures are capable of carpeting an area in a psionic pulse that locks on targets even if they're invisible."

    "Third, find way to protect ourselves. We found teleportation to be best, but there are other methods. You also need sufficient support."

    "Fourth, ensure that every scouting unit is strong enough to do the job. Even against common homunculi they need to be able to kill it and flee before reinforcements arrive. The higher caste of these creatures are frightening, but few. The alien planets are among this higher cast but they are restricted by their size. So long as you don't get close they won't be a problem. As long as our people have the ability to get away, our scouting and guerilla missions will be a success."

    "So, it is my suggestion and hope that all of the alliances put their focus on finding soldiers that can do these jobs and protecting them. For Star Division, this is how we've managed to survive. If we can maintain constant surveillance of the enemy we will know when they transfer, giving us time to prepare and react. That is all I have to say, thank you."
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