Chapter 1926 The First Human Produc
It was strange.
How did Ves end up in this situation?
He just wanted to enjoy a normal Mastery experience for once. How did that lead to possessing the body of a dwarf and hoodwinking a large number of height-challenged miners to accept him as a god?
If he ever told what happened to Gloriana, she would probably collapse in laughter!
Of course, then she would likely jump on him and attempt to strangle him for deifying a male god instead of a female god!
Rion's body awkwardly coughed.
Controlling the body of a dwarf was a novel experience. Ves certainly never expected to view reality from a height he had never experienced since he was a younger boy.
Living through the life of a dwarf, even for an instant, gave him a brand new appreciation of the benefits and downsides of a divergent breed of humanity.
Heavy gravity variant humans were different from baseline humans. They were designed and cooked up by geneticists in highly-advanced labs and institutions to fulfill specific purposes
In other words, they were both humans and products married in a single, compact package.
As their official name suggested, dwarves were excellently adjusted to living on giant planets with elevated gravity.
A lot of planets like this existed in the Milky Way Galaxy and probably the Red Ocean Dwarf Galaxy as well.
The usual method to make them livable was to break some pieces of the planet up and chuck them into space to make the gravity more tolerable for baseline humans.
This worked fine when the gravity was only 20 percent stronger than standard gravity, but what about a superplanet like Desala X where the gravity was 4.6 times stronger than the gravity of Old Earth?
Turning Desala X into a livable planet for normal humans was too costly! Cracking it up until only a fraction of the original planet was left would not only throw countless resources away, but also result in an enormous financial loss!
It simply wasn't cost-effective to transform these giant planets into normal planets.
Therefore, humanity much preferred to adjust to the heavy gravity environment rather than the other way around.
The next solution was to rely on antigrav technology and other advanced solutions to adjust the gravity downwards.
This was a realistic solution, but one that made humans too dependent on a piece of technology to survive.
What if an antigrav module malfunctioned? What if terrorists or enemy saboteurs managed to cripple the antigrav network of an entire city?
The fact of the matter was that humans did not fare well in heavy gravity environments under a sustained period.
In the Age of Stars, some colonists attempted to live on a 1.5 g or 2 g planet without any gravity adjustments!
What happened was very interesting. Though the rate of injuries increased and childbirth became a lot more problematic, baseline humans actually managed to cope in this environment.
With the passage of years and decades, their bodies slowly morphed in response to the constant gravity acting on their body mass.
Their bones became denser, their muscles became stronger and their hearts became more vigorous.
They also tended to stop growing taller. THis was especially evident over the generations as their descendents became increasingly shorter and stockier!
Despite these encouraging developments, the human descendants that naturally adapted to a heavy gravity environment failed to pass muster.
Their brains started to regress as it came under a lot of pressure. The gravity acting upon its sensitive tissue combined with the difficulty of supplying it with lots of blood meant that the descendants were actually becoming less intelligent with each subsequent generation!
Evolution didn't work very fast. A couple of hundred years was not enough to remedy all of these issues!
Since natural adaptation appeared to be ineffective, why not resort to artificial adaptation?
The controversy this decision ignited among the bright and adventurous humans during the Age of Stars had led to a lot of outrage.
Was it ethical to modify a new breed of humanity? Would these 'new humans' supplant baseline humans as the new masters of humanity? Or would the opposite happen were natural humans lorded over an entire caste of subhuman slaves?
Regardless of the arguments, humanity back then was far more divided compared to the present time. Even if the powerful Terrans were too squeamish to explore this option, plenty of smaller and more radical star nations were eager to try!
The first true human product was born.
The earliest incarnations basically took human descendants of settlers of heavy gravity planets as a starting point and extrapolated their evolution over the span of millions of years!
They were shorter because being tall was a huge discomfort under heavy gravity.
Their bones were thick and strong to endure various accidents such as falling.
They were very muscular because they needed the strength to fight against the enormous gravity as they went about their day.
Their brains were significantly altered in order to better cope with the gravity pressuring them downwards.
Their heart and blood circulation grew more robust in order to sustain the prodigious needs of their oxygen-hungry brains and muscles.
Their skin grew rougher and thicker in order to withstand the external pressures of living in a heavy gravity environment.
Their metabolism grew a lot more efficient and robust in order to keep up with the enormous demand for energy and nutrients of their bodies.
Due to various coincidences, the resulting breeds of heavy gravity variant humans just happened to resemble the race of dwarves in human fantasy.
Before long, no one used the term 'heavy gravity variant humans' anymore to refer to this specialized breed of humanity. It only showed up in official documentation and academic literature.
Everyone called them dwarves these days.
Soon, the amount of dwarves in human space exploded in numbers! Their popularity rose among many rulers of human star nations and star empires because they solved a problem that many of them had grappled with over the years!
The introduction of dwarves allowed human space to utilize the abundant real estate of heavy gravity planets in a cost-effective manner!
Many superplanets in human space that had previously been passed aside suddenly became hot again as a lot of groups started to dump dwarves onto their surface!
With minimal investment, a star nation or a commercial mining company could easily turn an empty heavy gravity planet into a profit-generating machine!
Of course, the overt commercialization of dwarves led to a very worrying trend.
Dwarves were predominantly used for resource extraction. Hardly anyone intended to develop a heavy gravity planet beyond what was needed to rob its immense supply of valuable exotics and other minerals.
Why should the people in power waste any effort trying to develop these planets past this point?
Why should the 'true humans' work so much to better the lives of their miners?
To many people in the ruling classes, there was no benefit to providing further opportunities in this tailor-made heavy gravity mining race!
It didn't help that heavy gravity variant humans inherited many of the traits associated with fictional dwarves. Everyone considered them to be so good at mining and manual labor that they could hardly envision these strong and stocky humans as scientists or administrators!
The abuses had gotten very bad over the years. Dwarves were being increasingly treated as subhumans. This meant that the vast majority of humanity basically kicked out their shorter cousins outside of their group!
Part of the reason to do so was to make it easier to exploit the dwarves. Enslaving humans had become taboo as the Age of Stars made way for the Age of Conquest, but what if the slaves weren't 'human'?
It was a sad truth of human race that they were capable of committing countless horrors on others as long as they no longer recognized their victims as their own people!
Once the mainstream branches of humanity no longer regarded dwarves on the same level, the abuses that ensued resulted in a very shameful chapter in the long history of human civilization!
It should have been better these days. Ves inwardly muttered.
Even though Ves had traveled a bit in the past for this Mastery experience, dwarves like Rion Aaden should still enjoy the rights of actual human in this day and age!
To see that greedy groups like House Kantis still employ this out-of-fashion method of exploiting heavy gravity planets by enslaving an entire population of dwarves was very perplexing.
From a rational perspective, this decision made little sense.
Keeping dwarves on Desala X and forcing them to mine all day without their consent was not really needed.
As long as House Kantis paid them a meager but decent salary and gave them the option to exit the planet freely would not cost them all that much.
While Ves wasn't very knowledgeable about the planetary mining industry, he had seen enough mining equipment at Outpost 35 to know that all of the hardware was a much bigger expense than manpower to House Kantis!
Paying the dwarves nothing as opposed to paying them minimum wage would not increase the total expenses all that much.
Desala X would still be able to turn a healthy profit for the nobles.
Yet… it was undeniable that the bottom line would be impacted. Even if the drop in profits was modest, for some reason the greedy nobles couldn't stand such a minor loss!
As a result, Desala X became home to another egregious abuse of human rights. Ves continually wanted to shake his head at this idiodic decision.
House Kantis would incur a lot of outrage and possibly sanction if their exploitation of dwarves became known!
Yet… from what Ves had observed so far about this entire arrangement, it seemed that no one really cared what was being done to the local dwarves.
House Kantis operated a slave mine with complete impunity.
The Paramount Kingdom which should have been receiving a share of the proceeds of the planet in the form of taxes also didn't show any intentions to stop the abuses.
The MTA's Smiling Samual Branch shouldn't be ignorant to what was going on inside the star sector. Desala X was a huge planet that orbited its star on a stable orbit. There was no way to hide this huge satellite from the many forms of observation at the Association's disposal!
Yet just like in the Komodo Star Sector, the local MTA branch seemed to be taking a lax approach towards the enforcement of its rules.
This isn't even a coincidence anymore. Ves frowned.
He always thought that the MTA in his home star sector was just being lazy, but to see the same thing taking place seventy years in the past was an eye-opener to him. Had the MTA started to rot from within? How long ago did the mighty organization stop standing up for the weakest and most vulnerable populations of humans?
Gion Greybeard is rather smart to realize that the MTA will remain apathetic to his pleas.
The MTA predominantly consisted of tall folk, after all. Ves had already experienced how high-and-mighty they acted towards space peasants.
This was also why the batch of Timpala Steel was the key to reversing the fortune of the dwarves. As long as the dwarves managed to shock the MTA and attract some genuine attention, there was a very good chance that it would finally meet its obligations!
It was too bad that Ves could not allow this wondrous exotic to slip out of his grasp. Vulcan may be a generous god, but he didn't work for free!
For now, Vulcan made an agreement with Gion Greybeard and his rebels. The God of Dwarves, Mechs and Craftsmanship promised to help their plan succeed in exchange for the Timpala Steel they excavated.
As for how to convince the MTA to intervene? The god promised to take care of it. With his divine powers, it should be as easy as cake to attract the MTA's attention!
What is a cake?
A yummy food.
What is yummy?
Imagine a nutrient pack that you actually enjoy eating.
The dwarves in Vulcan's presence blanked out.