moon. The Baburites' oxygen-breathing mercenary army get a whole planet which they know as Pharaoh.
About a million
human, Gorzuni, Merseian and Donarrian mercenaries occupy Hermes with a
comparable number held in reserve. Recruited in many places on dozens
of planets, either they did not register on anyone's statistics or, if
some League company did notice, it did not inform anyone else.
"Space is too big, and we too divided."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 220.
for years of training and preparation on Pharaoh, the soldiers have
accumulating pay, beer halls, brothels, a multi-sensory library and a
hot, wet, barely terrestroid, permanently clouded, planetary environment
to explore. The clouds prevent them from learning where Pharaoh is.
Falkayn thinks that it is more likely to be inside known space. Outside,
it could be discovered by explorers, who continually expand known
space. Inside, it might already have been explored once but dismissed as
of no interest.
Learning that they are working for Babur
against the Solar Commonwealth does not demoralize highly disciplined
mercs who were recruited precisely because they were already alienated
from Technic civilization.