On the other side of the planet, a man who appeared middle-aged sat within a large office. The room was surrounded on all sides by windows which displayed the giant city that was an entire world, and the busy happenings of its citizens.
The man in question had short grey hair and a few wrinkles, which showed off only the slightest amount of age. And while the man appeared as if he were in his late forties, he was in reality three hundred years old, and was none other than the second Supreme Leader of the Germanic Star-Empire.
Hans Epp sat in his office chair, as he gazed upon the holographic projection of what appeared to be a young man no older than twenty dressed in his military uniform, this man had distressed expression on his face as he bowed his head in submission, before apologizing profusely for his son's scandalous actions.
"Please, Supreme Leader, forgive my son. He is a young, and foolhardy. I doubt he could resist the temptation of that Oni temptress. You know better than I do about her skills in the art of seduction. A young boy has no chance against such a voracious tigress."
A slight scoff escaped from the Supreme Leader's lips as he spoke about the potential punishment for the crime of miscegenation, which was among the most heinous crimes one could commit in the Germanic Star-Empire.
"Your son is already an adult, and he has committed a disgusting and heinous act by sleeping with a foreigner. He did not even command his NeuroLink to temporarily sterilize himself for the duration of his sinful deed.
What if a half-breed is born of this unholy union? Would you then have him take responsibility for his actions? The only reason your son's head is still attached to his neck is because the foreigner he slept with just so happens to be the aunt of the Oni Emperor.
If not for her pulling some strings with her nephew, demanding that the boy be spared of his rightful punishment, then I would have had him executed on the spot! But my hands are tied. The Oni are a valuable ally, one which I cannot afford to offend with a matter as petty as this. Discipline your son on my behalf and ensure that he does not make such an error again!"
Before Heinrich could even thank the Supreme Leader for his benevolence, the line was cut, where Hans sat in his office with a frown on his face, as he voiced his disgust at Erich's actions.
"Fucking mutants! They have no respect for our way of life! I don't know why we even spare any of them!"
Entirely unaware of the quite literal bullet he had just dodged, Erich slept through the night with a peaceful expression on his face. When he awoke in the morning, it was at the crack of dawn. An audio recording of a bugle resounded across his room, thus waking him from his sweet dreams. Without a second thought, he climbed into the shower and got himself dressed for physical training.
Upon adorning his t-shirt over his chiseled body and looking in the mirror, Erich noticed something peculiar. The hexagon on his shirt had a number digitally displayed, one which shocked the young man to the core of his being.
From only half a day of school, Erich's rank on the leaderboards was already at 1,250,000. Evidently he had perfect scores on all of his first assignments, which bumped him up well into the top 5% of the twenty-five million students which attended the Naval Academy on Germania.
Even though the Empire's population was in the trillions, few men were selected for officer roles in the military. Most were enlisted personnel. And while the Naval Academy on Germania was the largest of the Naval Academies in the Empire, there was one on every habited planet. Meaning there were one hundred naval academies in total.
Still, to be within the top 5% of cadets after a single day of classes, this was quite an accomplishment. Even then, it just meant his life would be even more difficult if he wanted to reach the top 1% or even the top spot. Thus, Erich resigned himself to pushing himself past his limits during the Physical Training which he was about to endure.
PT was no joke. Even though many of these men would not go into the Star Marines, the minimally accepted PT score was set to the minimum of the elite infantry unit's standards. To receive a perfect score, one had to be in astounding shape. Luckily, Erich had been injected with an experimental Grade S gene serum when he was in his mother's womb, and thus, he scored higher than most Germanic men in nearly all attributes.
However, this was not something that was unique to Erich. Millions of fetuses each year were injected with an experimental Grade S serum, and only a small portion of them were ever mutated.
If he had to guess, then the top 5% of cadets attending the naval academy on Germania had been given the same serum as him, no, considering the academy on Germania was the most prestigious school, this meant that it was likely that ten percent if not more of the students had received a Grade S serum.
Meaning he would have to rely on more than just his genetic gifts to reach the top 1% of all cadets. Thus, he pushed himself beyond the limits he thought he had, and by the end of the class, he saw that his rank had increased ever so slightly on the leaderboard.
After training for two whole hours, the cadets entered the showers, where they washed off the sweat and grime from their bodies before attending their courses. Everything from advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, and any number of basic courses, to more specializes lectures like strategy, tactics, and survival, everything required to become an exemplary military officer as well as a productive member of the civilian sector was provided by the academy.
Just after lunch, Erich found himself back in Galactic Politics, where his teacher, Colonel Vernik Ekberg, had fulfilled his promise to teach Erich and the others about the classifications of civilizations.
The room was practically an amphitheater, even if it was mostly empty, and it had windows on all sides, which displayed the city below, if one got distracted they could easily watch the citizens of Germania go about their daily lives for the entire lecture.
In the center of the room stood the instructor, who activated a large holographic projection, which displayed the information he was talking about. With a cigarette in one hand, and a mug of coffee in the other, he spoke about the classifications of Interstellar Civilizations.
"By now you should all be aware of this material, but since it is only the third day of your first semester, I decided that I will give you all a brief review.
Now, who here can tell me what classification the Empire has on the galactic scale of civilizations?"
Erich raised his hand. The more questions he answered correctly in class, the more his score would raise, and thus he was quick to raise his hand before all others. Seeing that the new arrival was so eager to participate, the colonel smiled before choosing him.
"Alright, Silber, go ahead."
With a proud smile on his face, Erich displayed the knowledge which was quite common in the Germanic Star Empire.
"Our Empire is considered a tier one regional power!"
Vernik smiled and nodded his head as he took a drag from his cigarette before posing another question to Erich.
"Correct, but can you tell me what that means?"
This was a far more difficult question, but Erich was just as prepared to answer it as he responded with a confident smirk on his face.
"An interstellar civilization is judged upon several factors, including but not limited to the number of systems in its territory, the number of worlds colonized, their military strength, their economic prowess, and their technological development. The Germanic Star Empire ranks at the bottom tier of the Regional Power classification, specifically because of the miniscule size of our Empire.
We only have thirty-six systems, and one hundred colonized worlds. This is dwarfed by even the smallest of Minor Powers, let alone those in a similar ranking such as the Great Oni Empire, which has over ten thousand star systems under its control.
However, while our Empire is relatively small when compared to our peers, we have supreme military and economic strength, as well as advanced technology. If we had as many star systems as the Great Oni Empire under our control, then we would likely be either a tier three regional power, or perhaps even a tier one sub-galactic power. Which is one of the reasons why the Alfheim Dominion has decided to vassalize our great race!"
Vernik smiled and nodded his head, as he confirmed what Erich said to be accurate, before adding more information about the classification system which the Galaxy used to determine the rankings of different civilizations.
"You are once more correct in your assessment. There are four major classifications for an interstellar civilization and for each category, there are also three tiers. On the bottom of the scale, we have the minor powers. Which are civilizations with anywhere between 100 and 1,000 star systems and planets under their control. The fact that we are ranked a regional power, without even meeting one of the minimum requirements to be considered a minor power, is a testament to the strength, intelligence, and ingenuity of our great race!
I won't go into too much detail about the various capabilities of each classification since it is a relative scale, but for the sake of review just know that minor powers are vastly inferior to our civilization in practically every way, aside from the number of star systems they own, and how many worlds they have colonized. They also tend to be vassalized by regional powers.
One thing that needs to be noted before I move onto the regional powers is that interstellar civilizations like the Confederation of Human Worlds are so insignificant on the galactic stage that they do not even qualify as a minor power.
Okay, moving on now, the next group we are looking at would be regional powers, which is what we are classified as. Most regional powers have a between one and one hundred thousand star system under their control, either directly or through vassalization.
Technologically, militarily, and economically, the overwhelming majority of regional powers are inferior to the Germanic Star-Empire. With at most tier three regional powers being able to compete with our military might. Regional powers also tend to be vassalized by sub-galactic powers.
After the regional powers, are the sub-galactic powers. These are the second rarest level of interstellar civilization. They are extraordinarily powerful and hold large swaths of the galaxy within their sphere of influence. Nearly all vassals of a major galactic power are of this classification. However, we are the exception to this rule.
Finally, there are the Galactic powers, which there are technically six of, but only four of them are considered the major galactic powers.
As previously discussed, the Alfheim Dominion, the Svartalfheim Federation, the Asura Cabal, and the Ennead Theocracy are all Galactic Powers, and these four powers combined are in control of the entire galaxy either directly or through a series of vassalizations. However, there are two other galactic powers, which you need to be aware of.
There is the Ghimderi Trade Union, a race of goblinoids, who control the galactic economy. Unlike the other galactic powers, they have less territory than even our Empire. However, their military strength is formidable, despite their more pacifistic nature, and, as I previously stated, the galactic economy is almost entirely under their control.
It is because of this fact that the Ghimderi Trade Union often acts as the mediator between the four major galactic powers. Using their economic influence to compel more powerful nations than their own to do their bidding. Truly despicable!
For most, it is considered a sign of prosperity and prestige to host a Ghimderi Bank within their Empire. But our civilization will never hand over the reigns of our economy to any foreign nation, even if they came to our doorstep demanding that we do so!
Finally, there is the Naraku, who has no home world to speak of, not that we know of at least, and live entirely in massive Hive Fleets. The Naraku are classified as a devouring swarm and are the most powerful of such species. They are hostile to all other civilizations and are powerful enough to contend with the four major galactic powers entirely on their own. It is a miracle they have not consumed all life in the galaxy already.
Oh, look at the time, well this concludes our lecture for the day. Tomorrow we will begin a more in-depth study of Galactic politics, so I hope you are well prepared. Have a good rest of your day, gentlemen."
With this said, the bell rang, and Erich had departed from the lecture, thinking about how much of a testament it was, that their race had progressed to a regional power in less than half a millennium after reaching the interstellar age.