The Mech Touch
Hidden beneath the bunker installed on the surface of the Scarlet Rose, the Kravon and the Selzer unleashed a lot more firepower than their opponents anticipated!
The Kravon fired rounds that splintered off into deadly shards.
The Terrinac did not expect to encounter this type of ammunition!
What surprised the six mech pilots from the Friday Coalition the most was that these shards were not as trivial as they thought!
The shield of the space knight and the exterior of the other mechs bore various scars.
In the worst cases, the shards managed to dig deep enough to remain embedded in the material!
Suffice to say, the Terrinac quickly figured out that these shards actually consisted of high-quality materials!
”Where did this come from?! Did Lady Curver withhold any information?! ”
The crew of the Terrinac formed all kinds of guesses.
Perhaps the Scarlet Rose picked up a shipping container during her flight.
Perhaps Ves managed to make a black market transaction back in the Great Zona Republic.
Perhaps Lady Curver secretly used her mission to smuggle a batch of high-value materials.
Whatever the case, the Kravon posed a lot more threat than before! Obscuring their formation in a particle cloud didn ’t help much at all, since the spread of the shards was already beyond the Kravon ’s control!
Though getting hit by a shard did not immediately spell disaster, the frequency of hits would soon take a toll on the mechs if they got hit!
The light skirmishers that ordinarily would have tried to avoid getting hit by taking advantage of their superior mobility had to take care the most!
Ves estimated that their defensive prowess was similar to that of the Fliskin.
While this granted them superior mobility, there was no meaningful way to cheat the random spread pattern of continuous bursts of shards!
Therefore, hidden inside the particle cloud, the light skirmishers all converged behind the space knight.
The mechs hid their slim profiles behind the larger and thicker space knight and its prominent shield!
Even though the shield featured numerous shards, it was resilient enough to hold out for a long time against this dispersed bombardment of shards!
However, the space knight and the other exposed mechs did not just have to contend against this rain of shards.
The Selzer also outputted a considerable amount of firepower! Though its expanding laser blasts only transferred a minute amount of damage to the stricken mechs, its large area of effect basically guaranteed that all of the mechs barring the hiding light skirmisher endured some heat and energy damage!
This was not that much of a problem at the start, but the continuous absorption of heat began to burden their own heat management systems while beginning to melt some of their surface layers!
The damage dealt by the Kravon and the Selzer was considerable when taken in isolation, but not enough to threaten the integrity of the Coalition mechs!
However, when the damage dealt by the two mechs overlapped, the enemy mech pilots started to feel some discomfort!
The constant heat and energy damage applied to the exterior of the mechs softened up the surface layers of their armor coverage.
This allowed the sporadic shards that hit the mechs to dig in deeper and deal more serious damage!
As Ves observed the approaching particle cloud while two of his battle bots bombarded it with their weapons with abandon, he became a little frustrated at the lack of information.
He could only guess what was going on inside this obscuring cloud! As long as the two rifleman mechs kept releasing particles, Ves had no way of confirming the results of his tactics.
Fighting against the forces of a second-rate state was much more challenging than he expected!
None of the people on the enemy ’s side was incompentent! Their mechs, mech pilots and commanders all represented the might of the Friday Coalition!
The mechs of the Terrinac didn ’t allow the ranged battle bots to beat them up with impunity.
As soon as the particle cloud entered within effective range, the ranged mechs finally started firing their weapons!
Unlike the Selzer, the rifleman mechs opted to fire particle beams!
Since the mechs had been designed to release the obscuring particle clouds, their sensors and targeting systems had been specifically tuned to overcome their interference.
The Coalition rifleman mechs accurately managed to hit the bunker atop the Scarlet Rose with their particle beams!
A pair of bright blue beams impacted the top of the bunker in an instant, causing its upper sheets to endure a considerable amount of physical and energy damage!
However, as the beams sputtered out, only a few surface layers exhibited some damage!
Breyer alloy was just as tough as the high-quality compressed armor plating of a second-class mech!
While the Friday Coalition used better alloys, they were incredibly expensive!
The advantage held by Ves was that he was not short on Breyer alloy! Even though the particle beams managed to penetrate some of the sheets after repeating, the bunker consisted of five layers of alloy sheets, which basically made the bunker as thick as a defensive mech shield!
Though it was not impossible for the bunker to get breached, it would take a long time before the two enemy rifleman mechs got through all of the layers!
Even then, his enemies still had to defeat the Kravon and the Selzer as well!
”It ’s all moot if those melee mechs manage to close the distance, though. ” Ves replaced his grin with a frown.
The enemy rifleman mechs were just meant to soften up his battle bots, which Ves managed to forestall by installing a bunker.
The true threat still lay in the space knight, striker mech and light skirmishers!
The interception continued.
Because the Coalition mechs were chasing a fleeing target, it took quite some time for the former to catch up to latter.
Ves made the most out of this window of time by ordering the Kravon and the Selzer to fire their weapons with abandon!
The Kravon ’s gauss cannon came under an increasing amount of stress as Ves did not hold back in maximizing its firing rate!
He had studied the weapon carefully and already knew exactly how far he could push without breaking the weapon.
Each shot consumed a considerable amount of energy, causing the Kravon to go through a lot of energy cells in a short amount of time.
What was worse was that the Selzer turned into an energy hog as well! The huge buildup of heat and the frequent swapping of heatsinks was a very obvious indicator to how much energy the mech consumed!
The energy expenditure got so bad that the stash of energy cells rapidly ran out!
”It ’s a good thing I ’ve already anticipated this outcome! ”
A couple of lifter bots emerged from the mech hangar, sneaked through a hole built into the side of the bunker, and dropped the recharged energy cells they carried onto a magnetic plate.
The bots then picked up the energy cells that the Kravon and Selzer already expended and flew back into the mech hangar.
From there, the bots hooked up the energy cells to a dedicated charging machine that rapidly replenished their reserves!
The power supply of a starship was a lot more formidable than that of a mech! It was no problem at all for the Scarlet Rose to recharge the energy cells a hundred times!
All of these arrangements that Ves improvised beforehand allowed his two battle bots to output a lot more damage than his enemies expected to meet!
Ves was sure his opponents were starting to get worried, especially as the enemy rifleman mechs still hadn ’t been able to breach the bunker!
He did not grow complacent though.
As the enemy mechs continued to sustain more and more damage from the shards and dispersed laser blasts, they would surely be in a bad shape by the time they caught up to the Scarlet Rose.
How could his enemies ever allow that to happen?
Hidden within the particle cloud, the striker mech that ordinarily should have been effective at close range suddenly started to shift.
Several protruding modules built onto its back and shoulders started to open up, revealing several launcher tubes!
Forty missiles suddenly launched out of the striker mech! Several more salvos followed until the mech released 160 missiles in total!
The four salvos diverged from each other and arced towards the Scarlet Rose from four different directions!
Their acceleration varied minutely in order to ensure that all of the missile salvos impacted their targets at the same time!
Ves cursed when he noticed the missile launch.
”I knew their mechs weren ’t so simple! ”
Missiles were some of the most thorniest weapon systems he could face.
Almost every missile looked the same, but their payload and other properties varied enormously.
Ves had no idea how dangerous these missiles were! At best, the missiles were standard-issue and contained just enough power to fracture a single sheet of Breyer alloy.
At worst, their payloads actually consisted of a tiny amount of anti-matter, which was enough to crack the Scarlet Rose in half!
”The missiles shouldn ’t be so potent, though. ” He muttered.
Because the missiles had been launched from a secondary weapon system, it was unlikely for them to be too powerful.
It was too uneconomical to supply extremely potent missiles to mechs that didn ’t specialize in missile weapon systems.
Ves also guessed that the Coalition Reserve Corps shouldn ’t enjoy a budget that was extravagant enough to supply their mechs with such excessive firepower.
While the missiles rapidly boosted towards the Scarlet Rose, Ves tried to glean their details by scanning them as best he could manage.
Unfortunately, the missiles came with a very sophisticated ECM system that just happened to be tuned against the Scarlet Rose ’s sensor array!
It was impossible for him to glean any details out of the missiles, let alone trying to intercept them before they struck their target!
”Since you like missiles so much, here ’s mine! ”
The Kravon boasted missile launchers as well! After positioning them over some narrow slows in the bunker, the mech fired its own missile salvos!
A lesser amount of missiles closed in on the enemy mechs.
Because they were continually closing in on the Scarlet Rose, the missiles released by the Kravon happened to reach them first!
Soon enough, the missiles reached into the particle cloud, where they soon disappeared!
The high amount of interference from the particle cloud also rendered the missiles blind and deaf once they got inside.
The chance of any of the missiles hitting their targets was miniscule!
Ves regretted that he didn
’t have the time to modify the payloads of the missiles.
If he could have just one or two weeks, he could convert several salvos of missiles into releasing shrapnel made out of Breyer alloy upon detonation!
As it was, the missiles launched by the Kravon could only act on their programming and explode randomly as soon as they entered the particle cloud.
”No damage? ”
The enemy rifleman mechs still maintained the particle cloud, but its density suddenly dropped in half!
”Yes! At least some missiles managed to score a hit! ”
One of the rifleman mechs definitely sustained some damage! Not only did it stop releasing particles, its rifle also fell silent!
Ves did not have long to study the effects of the Kravon ’s missile salvos, because the enemy missiles soon reached the Scarlet Rose!
The four separate salvos, which had dispersed in the first half of their journey, were all converging on a single point on the Scarlet Rose ’s hull!
Rather than hitting her propulsion system or any vulnerable areas, the missiles all impacted the bunker, causing it to become engulfed in a cascade of rapid explosions!
Ves held onto the control panel and braced himself as the Scarlet Rose shuddered from the repeated explosions!
While none of them were powerful enough to breach the ship, the large amount of missile detonations still posed a considerable threat!
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