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Chapter 770: A New Plan

    Chapter 770: A New Plan

    How could they save these people while not negatively affecting their main plan? Lan Jue's mind went over the question, considering every possibility.

    The meeting went on for a long time. It had to, since the very thorough planning Lan Qing had done had to be thoroughly changed with the addition of Lan Jue's information.

    "Alright, I'd like everyone to return to their ships and begin preparing your people. We move out in eight hours." Lan Qing stated. Now that their plan was formulated it was time to act.

    "Wait a moment." Lan Jue, who had been silent up to this point, suddenly spoke up. He looked at his brother.

    Lan Qing knew his brother's character, knew what had kept him quiet this whole time. "Did you think of a way?"

    He nodded. "Part of the problem in splitting our forces is manpower, and the fact that we'd be fighting a war on many fronts. This would invariably result in a lot of problems. Perhaps in this situation we can aspire not to save everyone, but to give them a chance. I think I know how we can do that that may actually serve our bigger plan."

    Lan Qing nodded. "Go on."

    He looked around the table. "We kill the progenitors. We go around to each of the seven planets to kill a single target. From everything we've seen these progenitors will be strong, at least as strong as the one we faced on Monteux. We also know the alien home worlds are using these progenitors to pump vital energy and human genetic information right to them. If we kill them, this cuts off supply to the planets themselves."

    "What's more, it looks as though the progenitors are needed to infect the humans. With them gone we can stem the rate of infection and keep the victims to a minimum. At the same time we begin the assault. The aliens outside of the planets will be too busy trying to stop us from pushing in to get involved in a ground assault. In this way we can improve the chances of saving as many lives as possible, or at least giving them a shot, while leaving our forces open to do the job they came here to do."

    Kang Hui furrowed his brow. "But you say these monsters are strong. They may also have many powerful aliens as defenders. Killing them without military support may be too difficult."

    Lan Jue responded. "I've already considered that. Precisely because of the reasons you've stated, we need to keep our strike team small. We can't drag our soldiers into it, they have another job to do. If we can do the job with a small team it'd be a benefit on many levels."

    His eyes sparkled. Lan Jue's plan wasn't impossible, but it hinged on who would comprise this small team.

    He took a deep breath. "Star Division is adept at scouting and quick strikes. We have already gathered some of the most powerful adepts in the universe. I can handle one progenitor, and if we can arrange Paragons for the others we stand a fighting chance. With what we've got here I think we can split in two teams. They move in, kill a progenitor, then quickly move on to the next. Also, I think if we did this before the main assault..."

    Lan Qing suddenly was struck with inspiration. If they could do as Lan Jue suggested and kill the progenitors first, the results would be dramatic. They were important to the alien forces, they knew, and killing them could through their foes into chaos. Whether chasing down their enemies, cutting off supplies to the planets or the situation on the planets' surfaces, everything would be affected.

    Ever since the start humans felt like they were being led by the nose, forced to react to alien aggression, always on the back foot. Breaking their cycle of strategic dominance would serve them well.

    Lan Qing weighed the option, then nodded. He agreed with Lan Jue's plan.

    Lan Jue went on. "Brother, my plan and the main assault shouldn't have any conflict. No one is being pulled away to save lives, it's a full attack with amended targets. In my estimation it at least gives the innocent men, women and children down there a shot at survival. I'm begging you to let me lead this mission."

    Lan Qing looked into the fiery eyes of his brother. He was moved by the passion he saw in them. Military planning required cold blood, a calm mind, and dogged focus on the mission. But people were creatures of emotion. Lan Jue's caring and passion were his crutch, but also a great boon. Where it not for these qualities, would he have so many women interested in him?

    Hua Li looked at Lan Jue, his eyes bright. "The plan has my support, I'll go too..."

    "Shut up!" Lan Qing and Lan Jue spoke in one voice. Of course he couldn't go, he had to consider his status. He was one of the leaders of their small alliance and commander of the Poseidon forces. How could they allow him to put himself in danger? The Poseidon Group would never agree.

    Hua Li resentfully rubbed his nose. "Since when did you two start agreeing with each other?"

    Lan Qing's ice-cold gaze turned onto Lan Jue. "You have eight hours to formulate a plan."

    "Got it!" Lan Jue determinedly nodded his head. Most of it was already settled, it just needed to be perfected.

    ζ

    The three bastions gathered and began to make preparations. It was the same for the fleets, who transferred crew and practiced maneuvers. After all, this was a joint effort from three factions that had rarely worked together, at a time when unity was paramount. They had to perform like fingers from the same hand if they wanted to have a chance.

    Hua Li eventually returned to his bastion. Lan Qing could only be assured of the Poseidon Group's full cooperation if he was there to watch them.

    In the large conference room where the talks had taken place, now sat humanity's strongest Talents. At the head of the table was humanity's mightiest warrior, Jue Di.

    On either side of him were seated the Photographer and the Terminator, placed according to their station. Both were Nirvana-level Paragons. Indeed, the Terminator himself was coming for this mission.

    Aside from them were other familiar faces - Satan, and the Pontiff!

    Yes, the two Western Paragons had also made their way here of their own accord. They had escaped the clutches of the alien planets. However, the enemy had taken Europa, leaving them both homeless and without much support.

    They were lucky to have happened upon Tyrannosaurus. They agreed with Lan Jue's plan and agreed to follow the Terminator into battle.

    At present Satan seemed to be faring well enough. He was calm and steadfast in the face of tragedy. The Pontiff, however, was a different matter. The Pontiff's Citadel was destroyed in a single day, the Paragon's people lost to the planet's explosion. Only he and a handful of Archangels managed to survive. The West's once-marvelous Citadels, a match for Skyfire Avenue, had been wiped from existence. As the leader of one of them, the Pontiff's pain was deep and abiding.

    His hatred for Skyfire Avenue ran deep, but the loathing he bore for the aliens sunk into his bones. He never said a word as he sat among the others - the once-calm religious leader now a volcano ready to erupt.

    Besides them, the remainder were representatives from Skyfire Avenue, and the unaffiliated Bize. The only one among them who was not a Paragon was Lan Jue himself. He sat farthest from the place of honor at the opposite end of the oval table.

    Within this room sat more than a dozen Paragons, representing the might of humanity. There was enough power gathered here to destroy an entire planet.

    "Lan Jue, go on," Jue Di urged.

    With Jue Di in attendance, even the unruly Satan didn't dare interrupt.

    Lan Jue rose to his feet and began with a salute to the gathered Paragons. "Thank you, your Majesties, for agreeing to gather here. We've called you together because we stand on the precipice of a terrible war. Not long ago my team and I set out on a fact-finding mission..."

    He went on to share with them everything they'd learned.

    "Without question, our first priority is to end the alien threat and save humanity from destruction. However, there are innocent victims, our brothers and sisters, still alive on those planets that have been taken hostage. I'm sure you all know that we don't have the forces to save them all. The Wine Master, the Pharmacist, the Driver and I tried, and we could only bring back a few thousand. Ten times... a hundred times more are down there now waiting for death."

    "Europa lies in the center of the chaos, and there's no way we can slip in. Our ships are numbered and can't afford to be spread thin to take the outer planets. Besides, they have a war to fight. So the task falls to us, to save as many of our fellow human as we can. We won't save them all, but we can give most of them a chance to make it through this terrible time."
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