Chapter 2391: Massed Firepower
The expert candidates waiting in the cockpits of their respective mechs.
Unlike the other Larkinson mech pilots, they had been ordered to keep their mechs still.
This caused the new custom mechs that Ves had personally modified and upgraded for the expert candidates to remain out of sight.
Joshua Larkinson clutched one of the manual controls tightly.
Anticipation and urgency ran through his body.
His concentration and fighting intent had risen to a peak.
After being continually denied the right to pilot the Quint, the time had almost come for him to bond and unite with the upgraded masterwork mech!
Only a minimal amount of systems had come online.
Enough to keep Joshua in the loop and provide him with an overview of the ongoing battle.
He watched the projection of the Penitent Sister ships falling one by one.
The main cannons of the Gravada Knarlax not only inflicted enough damage to devastate entire city districts at once, but also enjoyed a considerable effective range against large and cumbersome targets such as ships!
When the ranged mechs of both sides finally opened fire, the space in between them became filled with lasers, missiles and projectiles of all kinds!
Though the damage dealt by the mechs wasn\'t much due to the extended range, this would change soon enough.
Joshua wanted to be out there.
He wanted to launch his Quint and charge straight to the Gravada Knarlax.
At the very least, he wanted to shoot the distant pirate mechs and whittle down their numbers!
Unfortunately, it wasn\'t his time yet.
It was as if a cage pressed against his cockpit.
It constrained him and blocked him from unleashing his full might.
As a mech pilot and a Larkinson, all of this waiting was unbearable!
Poor Joshua wasn\'t the only one who was brimming with impatience.
The other expert pilots such as Commander Orfan, Commander Dise and Tusa also had to remain on standby while their fellow Larkinsons had already begun to exchange blows against their pirate counterparts.
None of them liked it, but they recognized that this was not the right time.
If Ves was right and their new mechs would truly be able to facilitate their breakthroughs on the spot, then doing so while there was still a lot of distance to the pirate fleet was not optimal.
Their time would come, but not in the early phase of the battle!
Instead, the regular mech pilots did much of the fighting in their stead.
Commander Melkor decided to join his fellow mech pilots in the field this time.
Due to the high prestige and requirements of the Avatars of Myth, he was able to add plenty of command talent to the roster.
Grizzled trueborn veterans of the Bright-Vesia War calmly directed the Avatars alongside veteran officers from other states.
Melkor acted more as a figurehead in certain situations.
This time was no different.
As the nominal head of the Avatars, his presence among his own men significantly boosted the battle spirit of his subordinates.
Every mech pilot liked a fighting leader! Even if it was not entirely wise for senior officers to enter the fray and lose sight of the big picture, Melkor thought it was worth it for him to take the field.
Just like Ves and Major Verle, Melkor realized the most critical factor to winning this battle was whether the Larkinsons kept fighting!
If even a small number of them lost heart against the overwhelming and overpowering might of the pirates, the panic would quickly spread to the other Larkinson mech pilots!
This was an outcome that the Larkinsons had to avoid at all costs.
If it took Melkor — who hadn\'t been entirely diligent in keeping up his piloting skills — to take the field, then so be it! He was a mech pilot as well!
His Bright Warrior in rifleman mech configuration fired shot after shot at the distant pirates.
Even though the enemies fielded over 8,000 mechs, each of them had spread out over a wide area.
Part of this was due to their internal divisions.
Aside from the core 2,000 mechs fielded by the Allidus Alliance, the rest consisted of a large mix of disparate pirate outfits.
None of them wanted to fight too close alongside each other.
Another reason why the pirates spread out their mechs was to make them less susceptible to weapons of mass destruction.
The Allidus Alliance didn\'t know for sure whether the Larkinsons were willing to employ nuclear missiles and other destructive weapons in this battle, but they employed a bit of caution and forced every pirate mech to fly apart from each other or huddle behind different asteroids.
At longer ranges, this meant that most shots flew in between the swarm without hitting anything.
Even Melkor experienced significant difficulties in hitting anything.
While he did manage to strike a few enemies here and there, his laser rifle lacked the punch to take them down in a single hit.
Many times, his shots hit against the asteroids instead of solid mechs.
He soon noticed that certain enemies were harder to take down than others.
The Allidus Alliance mechs boasted especially strong armor, enough to give them a lot of durability.
Throughout the firefight, only the Penitent Sisters achieved great results.
Their superior mechs with their excellent targeting systems and powerful rifles whittled down a lot of pirate mechs at range.
Their weapons were so powerful that much of the cover that the pirates were hiding behind could not offer them sufficient protection!
Only the fastest and most elusive pirate mechs managed to avoid their wrath.
Every other pirate mech was at constant risk of getting taken out by a powerful positron beam or a searingly high-powered laser beam!
A short but heated discussion ensued between Major Verle and Commander Chancy.
The Penitent Sister Commander thought it was best to direct her firepower against the higher-quality mechs of the Allidus Alliance, but Verle thought otherwise.
Quantity has a quality all of its own, Valerie. He spoke to her in a private command channel.
The mere sight of thousands upon thousands of enemy mechs is constantly wearing away at our confidence.
In addition, once we enter into knife-fighting range, being swarmed from all sides by thousands of pirates is too much for our limited forces to bear! We need to reduce their numbers straight away, and I need the help of your Penitent Sisters to accomplish that.
Can you do this for us, commander
Valerie Chancy scowled at Major Verle\'s projection.
Cleaning up the trash is beneath us, major.
Your mechs are already doing adequately against the cannon fodder.
Our weapons may be powerful, but our limited number of ranged mechs can only fire so many times.
I understand your dilemma, but this is preferable to the alternative.
Even if the remaining pirate mechs are stronger, we can at least cope with their quantity.
Taking the core pirate mechs out first would definitely destroy their spine.
Their spine is too tough. Verle shook his head.
It is easier and more convenient to remove the flesh first.
Besides, the effect of focusing our fire on them is greater than you think.
What do you think the rank-and-file will do when they notice they are being targeted by your formidable second-class mechs They\'ll fear for their lives and quickly huddle further away, thereby causing the pirate mechs to lose cohesion.
As the mechs adjusted their targeting priorities, this largely came to pass.
With every Penitent Sister mech managing to take out a pirate mech in just one or two hits with a disturbing degree of regularity, the rest began to experience the same kind of terror that pressed onto the Larkinsons.
Both sides had to withstand their own boogeymen.
For the Larkinsons, it was the Gravada Knarlax.
For the pirates, it was the enemy Hexer mechs.
To many pirates, their fear towards second-class mechs exceeded their fear of the Allidus Alliance and its formidable warships!
This was because the threat of warships was too distant from them.
While they gained a bit of confidence from the fact that they were fighting alongside them, so far the main guns of the Gravada Knarlax single mindedly tried to take out ships instead of mechs.
With the apparent lack of help coming from the Allidus Alliance ships, the constricted pirate mech pilots soon couldn\'t take it any longer.
No one wanted to have their cockpits seared through or their mechs being cut in half due to an instant attack from a Penitent Sister mech!
Even though the latter did not really amount to a lot after suffering losses in the previous battle, their high hit rate and huge damage had already taken care of more than a thousand pirate mechs at this time!
This was a horrible loss rate! Therefore, despite the cajoling of their Allidus supervisors, the constricted pirate mech pilots increasingly began to find more ways to shirk the battle.
Once a couple of pirate mechs retreated, the remaining ones began to develop doubts as well! In this complicated situation, it became increasingly more difficult for the Allidus Alliance to keep the undisciplined and cowardly bottom feeders in line!
Still, the commanders of the pirate fleet did not exhibit much concern.
The warships still focused their fire on the Larkinson and Penitent Sister ships despite knowing these vessels did not have any immediate battle effectiveness.
This allowed the Larkinson mechs to fly closer without suffering as much as they expected.
However, it soon became evident why the Gravada Knarlax and the other warships kept pointing their primary gun batteries at the larger targets.
Their secondary gun batteries finally started to open fire!
Placed along the hull of the heavy cruiser, the Gravada Knarlax\'s numerous laser cannons each began to rake across the battlefield, taking out dozens of careless Larkinsons mech in the initial volley!
If that wasn\'t bad enough, the Gravada Knarlax was capable of supplying an incredible amount of power to the laser cannon hardpoints.
Along with the inherently high heat capacity of the heavy cruiser, the damage outputted by more than a hundred laser cannons posed a huge threat to the approaching Larkinson mechs!
What was worse was that unlike the pirate mechs, the Larkinsons couldn\'t hide behind a single asteroid all the time.
Occasionally, the Gravada Knarlax\'s main cannons blew them apart, usually causing any mechs that were close to them to suffer a huge amount of damage as well.
The nature of the battle also meant that the Larkinsons had to close the distance to the pirates as fast as possible.
Unlike the Allidus Alliance which could mostly rely on the formidable range advantage of its warships, the most potent means of the Larkinson Clan only worked up close!
Ves grimly looked on as the activation of the Gravada Knarlax\'s secondary weapons was taking a considerable toll on his own mechs.
Some of the lasers also started to pepper the Penitent Sister combat carriers, causing them to rupture or explode a bit sooner than ideal.
Something had to change!
He narrowed his eyes and concentrated his mind.
He activated a few spiritual triggers he planted beforehand.
Two large initiatives went into motion.
One of them concerned resuming the long-stalled growth of his mother\'s mysterious spiritual construct.
One of the main constraints of this process was the incredible amount of energy it demanded.
Perhaps it wasn\'t a problem for the Superior Mother to supply this energy, but Ves was not so fortunate.
He had to resort to another source.
Some of his design spirits were able to feed the growth process, but Ves did not want to harm any of them, especially since the Larkinsons fielded mechs that depended on their glows.
Out of all of his design spirits, Ves had to pick a design spirit as a source of energy that was powerful but not critical to his lineup.
The spirit had to be someone he didn\'t mind pissing off.
It was best if he already shared a hostile relationship with it! This way, he wouldn\'t be making any new enemies.
Of all the choices, he eventually settled for a particularly suitable choice.
In the vault of the Scarlet Rose, a P-stone rested close to the Ancient Sarcophagus.
Upon receiving a spiritual command from Ves, a small construct began to form a spiritual connection between the two objects.
Soon enough, an odd connection came into existence!
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.