Chapter 735: Battle Plans

    Chapter 735: Battle Plans

    "I've got no problems here." Lan Jue said.

    A steady procession of speakers flit across the screen. Each one described how they would deploy their forces to support the operation.

    The plan was separated into three stages. First stage; control surrounding space by overwhelming enemy forces with superior firepower, and prepare for planetary invasion. At the same time, attempt to get any intel possible on the alien planets and their condition.

    Stage two; deploy the ground troops and try to retake control of the human planets as quickly as possible. Save anyone left alive.

    Stage three; order all ships to converge on the alien planets and begin their all-out assault. Continue until the enemy is annihilated.

    That was the main idea. Discussions continued over details and planning. Through the process smaller command teams were established, with their own objectives. Lan Jue and his crew were put in charge of taking the planets.

    Primarily they were to eliminate any aliens they encountered, then Eastern forces would sweep in to clean up. Afterwards they would establish a planetary defense system. The North was bringing a host of railguns meant for installation on the planets, which would them be used as forward bases and reserve firepower. Once the planets were recaptured, the aliens would be surrounded.

    The first step was the easiest. Although the aliens were strong, without the aid of their home worlds humanity overpowered them. Retaking the human planets would be harder, especially without air support. It made Lan Jue's task dangerous and challenging.

    Discussion turned to scenarios and how to respond to them. For instance, what to do if the alien planets joined the first during the first stage. In that case, how many bastions would fight against which planet? These questions were carefully examined.


    It would still be several days before everyone was ready for the final assault. In the meantime, soldiers were a flurry of activity, preparing for war. Everyday Lan Jue joined his brother for meetings and listened dutifully as plans were discussed. Over many hours the plan were hammered out, to the point where even Lan Jue didn't hold any concerns.

    Scouting missions would proceed once the human planets were retaken. For now that didn't seem too late, and easier once the enemy forces were cleared out. The North had a detailed plan in regards to how they would proceed.

    As the days progressed, Lan Jue also came to learn more about how Middle Heaven came to be. In truth, calling it a Bastion ship wasn't entirely correct. It was, after all, still a planet. It was also one of the East's best-kept secrets.

    Once the East had taken An Lun they started with a detailed survey of the planet, as they did with any new acquisition. They discovered it was not suitable for widespread human habitation, but it did have a wealth of resources including rare metals. Because of its riches and it's located in contested space, the East fortified An Lun with soldiers and defensive capabilities.

    As the operations on An Lun continued, An Lun's army was born.

    Much of An Lun's refined materials were used to develop An Lun itself. Military leadership recognized the importance of an installation on the border with the North, even if An Lun's wealth was depleted. Thus the plan was never to abandon the planet when its mines were dry. They would continue to develop it for military use.

    Time passed, and one day a geological surveying team made a new discovery. Deep in the An Lun mines was a unique sort of substance. It was similar to the materials used to create nuclear weaponry from the old world, and thus very dangerous for humans to be around. However, the unstable element produced a tremendous amount of energy, and composed the planet's core.

    The scientist who uncovered the element was initialized frightened by what he'd found. The recommendation was made to immediate halt all mining activities on An Lun, and to pull the miners out of danger. Among the dangers was the possibility that one mining accident could cause a chain reaction, resulting in the obliteration of the whole planet. The blast would be so intense it would put neighboring star systems in jeopardy. In short, An Lun was a ticking time-bomb - the moment its core became unstable it could blow.

    This came as a great shock to Eastern leadership. However, they had already poured a tremendous amount of time, energy and manpower into the planet. Simply abandoning it would be unpalatable. What's more, without An Lun acting as a vigil it left their borders open. The decision was made to dispatch a science team to see what they could learn.

    Research continued for two years. In the end it was determined the unstable element could be safely utilized. That meant they could stay on An Lun. As a result the government poured funds into learning everything they could about the element and its uses. It was named after the geologist who first discovered it; Molinite. It was defined by its instability, but under the right conditions it produced vast amounts of energy. The scientists' first problem was finding a way to stabilize molinite and prevent it from harming An Lun's population.

    As research continued scientists discovered that stabilizing the element wasn't too difficult. However, simply stabilizing it wasted its potential. So they set about finding ways to guide and utilize its potential.

    It took five years for them to find the best use for molinite. Since the planet's core was entirely composed of the material, the potential energy it stored was virtually limitless. Through ceaseless experimentation the rudimentary concept for Middle Heaven was born. The East's military deficiency made them determined to follow through with the plan. If successful, it would mean the East was in possession of the largest Bastion ship in human history.

    Initially they'd called it An Lun Warplanet, and kept it secret from anyone not directly involved. All throughout the building process only the highest echelons of government and military were privy to the information. This was, in part, why An Lun was so stringent in its defense.

    The first obstacle was stabilizing molinite on a large scale, and converting it into a power source that could move an entire planet. Research revealed that using too much of the molinite at once caused it to become dangerously unsteady. However, they could transfer energy to reserves. Then, once the energy was refined, it could be converted into stable energy.

    To achieve this scientists developed a plan wherein the planet's core would be hollowed out. Surrounding it would be a series of reactors and energy refineries to convert and store the energy. They used this energy to continue An Lun's transformation, and ultimately as Middle Heaven's source of power.

    Over time the bastion took shape. When Lan Jue went to visit An Lun, the planet was in the final stages of conversion. It was for this reason Lan Qing required that he and Star Division be restricted to a small area of the planet.

    Middle Heaven's greatest advantage was its maneuverability. Through the tremendous energy molinite provided, Middle Heaven could maintain high speeds and fight, all while remaining relatively stable. The planet's rocky exterior became its armor.

    Precious ores were still present in large quantities on An Lun's rocky surface, still available to mine. There was enough molinite in its core to keep the planet running for a thousand years, and that was if it was in constant flight.

    Middle Heaven was the greatest technological achievement the East had ever produced. It was worth it just to see the shock on the faces of Northern officials. Unfortunately for them they couldn't know about the molinite, or how the warplanet came to be.

    Middle Heaven was the crowning achievement of eastern science. It had as much firepower as Terminator had before its fall, but for a slight reduction in fighter drones. That was to be expected, of course, since the cost in creating this bastion was astronomical. Rumors of another bastion in production had been a lie to deceive anyone trying to look too closely.

    Eastern hopes were lain squarely on the bulky shoulders of Middle Heaven. They hoped it would lift their Alliance from military inferiority.

    Lan Jue also learned from his brother that Middle Heaven stored a lot of human, plant and animal DNA, as well as other important things from the East. If humanity lost and the aliens took over their section of space, Middle Heaven would act as their ark. The seeds of humanity would be conveyed to a distant star far from danger to start again. It was the same idea they shared with the Poseidon group.

    As for Hua Li's people, they weren't going to directly participate in the battle. However, in secret they had their agreements with the East.
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