”I don ’t see those Dragons of the Void bastards anywhere! ”

”Push hard and fast! They ’ll pull back as long as we make them suffer! ”

A prodigious amount of firepower travelled through space.
The defenders fought with fury as they vented their frustrations accumulated in recent times onto the pirates that dared to face the Mech Corps directly.

Pirate mechs fell in great numbers, prompting the first of the cowards to turn back.
However, a few of the daredevils continued to push onwards as they ’d been promised great rewards for killing even one enemy mech.

At this stage in the campaign, both sides had lost their edge.
Every mech pilot fought at least a dozen different battles with only occasional bouts of sleep as their rest.
The constant vigilance and nerve-wracking patrols wore down their mental states and slowed down their reflexes.

Their mechs also dropped in quality.
The pirates had it worst, as they often used cheap, salvaged mechs that ordinary mercenaries disdained.
Many of the mechs they piloted had been scavenged from the scrap belts orbiting the Glowing Planet.
They only enjoyed a rudimentary repair before being put back to service.

This led to the unfortunate tendency for pirates to eject early.
They possessed no faith in the strength of their mechs.
Some pirates even piloted their fifth or sixth mechs.

As for the Mech Corps, they used to field large number of high quality mechs.
However, months of campaigning had ground down a substantial number of those premium mechs, which forced the mech pilots who ejected from a bad situation to take up cheaper run-of-the-mill mechs that had been kept as backups.

Ves noted that despite the somewhat tepid enthusiasm among the pirates, they still scored plenty of kills.
The Mech Corps continued to hemorrhage mechs as they attempted link up with the Mech Legion.

”It ’s the attrition and weariness that gets to you. ” He said as other mech pilots and mech technicians gathered at his side.

Landbound mechs ceased to be useful in this conflict in space.
Walter ’s Urmech and Fadah ’s Blackbeak had no way of maneuvering in space.
They had to possess a flight system at the very least to travel back and forth.

Not all landbound mechs lost all of their power.
In an emergency, a couple of rifleman mechs could position themselves next to the hangar doors and shoot out when they opened, but usually that was a waste of time.
The Whalers didn ’t even bother with that nonsense.

Fadah grumbled a bit when he stared at the Mech Legion ’s fleet.
”I ’m more worried about the Vesians.
We all know that we won ’t be playing nice once we make it to the end. ”

Even Ves worried about the possibility of falling out.
They had to stick close enough to present a united front, but they also had to keep enough difference to discourage any funny business.

”I ’m sure the Mech Corps has the situation well in hand.
They ’re not stupid. ”

They could only trust in the Mech Corps to see them through.
If nothing else, Ves had learned how little he mattered in a conflict that spanned over countless mechs and tens of thousands of ships.
Unless some kind of mythical ace mech pilot showed up, the battle between the different factions depended upon thousands and thousands of mechs.

The sheer number of mechs involved in this struggle really opened his mind.
As he tracked the slow convergence of the two military fleets, his despair about his insignificance increasingly took over his mind.

Then, he stopped.

”What am I thinking? ” He shook his head.
”I ’m a mech designer.
There ’s always a way for me to influence a battle. ”

As long as he designed better mechs that sold pretty well, he did his part in helping out the Republic.
Ves imagined a day where his designs dominated the market and elevated everyone ’s strength.

Such a dream may take a long time to come into fruition, but it would definitely come to pass sooner or later.

As Ves dreamt of better times, the battle out in space grew into a tangled and dispersed running skirmish.
Thousands of carriers and transports of all shapes and sizes desperately boosted in a particular direction.
They constantly built up their speed as they leveraged the Glowing Planet ’s gravity well for their upcoming slingshot maneuver.

This made it difficult for the pursuing pirates to catch up unless they followed the same trajectory.
However, this would put them into a permanent chase where they wouldn ’t have a lot of chances to catch up once they fell behind.

Ghanso knew that he had to hold the pirates back at this stage.
As long as they linked up to the Mech Legion and sling-shotted their way out of orbit, they ’d buy some precious time.

His Vhedra soared in space alongside his diminished squad and snapped off a series of shots.
His laser beams disabled two approaching pirate mechs.
While the machines hadn ’t blown up, his lasers successfully disabled their fragile flight systems, stranding them in a helpless ballistic course that brought them further away.

”Your aim ’s improved! ” A colleague at his side exclaimed.
”Just a week ago you would have only taken out a single mech! ”

”I had a lot of practice. ” Ghanso replied nonchalantly.

Even as many mech pilots performed worser and worser, Ghanso was one of a few who constantly improved.
Ever since he escaped death by ejecting early against the foreign expert mech, he found that some kind of limit had broken in his mind.

Many skills he ’d been struggling with for years saw rapid improvement all of a sudden.
It turned him from a well-trained but inexperienced mech pilot into a force to be reckoned with.
His marksmanship trumped over his squadmates by a significant margin, and he continued to improve every day.

In truth, many mech pilots broke past their limits and experienced something similar to Ghanso ’s state.
Mech pilots who experienced true combat and survived with their spirits intact grew more passionate about piloting mechs and bonded deeper with their mechs.

To a lesser extent, both Raella and Fadah experienced brisk improvement in their judgement and skills.

While Ghanso was taking out enemy pirate mechs left and right, he hadn ’t realized he attracted a lot of attention.
The pirates shifted their deployment and a squad of extraordinary mechs veered towards his location.

An alarm sounded off his console.
”Priority alert! Incoming expert mechs! ”

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