The Mech Touch

Chapter 3684 Fleeing Hope

Chapter 3684 Fleeing Hope

  Comparisons between expert mechs were never simple.

  Though the Amaranto, the Everchanger and the Star Dancer Mark II were all able to function as expert rifleman mechs, their strengths and specialties leaned in considerably different directions.

  The Amaranto was the most useful of the three in relatively static long-ranged firefights. Even though it was an awful duelist and dogfighter, these weaknesses were not relevant so long as the enemy did not deploy any close-ranged threats.

  Venerable Stark and her expert mech had already contributed significantly so far. The Amaranto's and focused firepower had accelerated the takedowns of numerous pakklaton warships by inflicting damage at just the right places.

  The Star Dancer Mark II was not as precise at long ranges, but once the distance between the two fleets grew less exaggerated, Venerable Brutus was finally able to showcase his abilities as well.

  Even if the attacks of the agile expert mech were not precise enough to target specific modules, they still inflicted heavy damage to the hull integrity of the enemy vessels.

  The same applied to the Everchanger. The biggest difference between the expert hero mech and the expert rifleman mech was that Venerable Joshua's machine was a bit less powerful.

  After all, the Everchanger also had to allocate enough capacity to make it competent in melee combat. It was already good enough if it was able to exhibit 80 percent of the power of a proper ranged mech.

  In any case, now that the Star Dancer Mark II and the Everchanger were both able to contribute earnestly in this battle, the condition of the enemy warships deteriorated at a faster rate than ever!

  When Warship Eta received the combined attacks of all three ranged expert mechs, the vessel was quickly speared through by a combination of cleverly-aimed resonance-empowered attacks!

  The combination of precision and power crippled numerous important ship systems, causing Warship Eta to lose power to over half of her functions!

  Aside from the power of three expert mechs, the other ranged mechs of the expeditionary fleet already began to showcase their power.

  The Transcendent Punishers were finally able to exhibit their full strength. They had always been firing their positron cannons up until this point.

  Now, they began to fire their gauss cannons as well, thereby slinging hundreds of projectiles towards the damaged pakklaton warships!

  Though the hit rate of gauss cannons was not fantastic, each time they struck a ship, they inflicted significant damage!

  Part of this was due to all of the energy attacks the enemy warships had endured. Their frontal hull plating had grown hotter and weaker. Though it still took a lot of energy to melt or vaporize them entirely, a single hard knock could easily shatter the weakened plating!

  Warship Beta quickly became overwhelmed by this torrent of gauss cannons as well as other energy weapons fire.

  After knocking out 4 out of 9 warships and partially crippling the combat capabilities of the remaining vessels, the pakklaton refugee fleet had lost over 60 percent of its firepower!

  The pressure on the expeditionary fleet grew much less. Even though the surviving warships still retained enough operational laser weapons to inflict severe material damage to their targets, the intervention of the Shield of Samar played an extremely crucial role in preventing greater losses.

  Even now, the Shield of Samar bravely flew in front of the Spirit of Bentheim while projecting an amazing resonance barrier that glowed with a bright blue corona!

  The energy manifestation of Qilanxo had grown weaker after a few minutes, but the former sacred god still made her presence felt by reinforcing the resonance barrier with additional defensive power.

  It was amazing how many attacks the Shield of Samar had managed to withstand so far! Even though Venerable Jannzi's force of will quickly depleted in strength due to all of the strain, she and her battle partner had already demonstrated way more defensive capabilities than other expert mechs and expert pilots!

  Out of everyone in the expeditionary fleet, no one knew how remarkable this display was than another defensive expert pilot.

  Venerable Linda Cross was highly confident in her own strength, but right now her confidence in her own expert mech was shaken.

  "How is this possible? Is this the power of a masterwork expert mech? That can't be right. There has to be more to the Shield of Samar!"

  There truly was no comparison between Venerable Linda's Amphis and the Venerable Jannzi's amazing Shield of Samar.

  Though the Amphis was a proper expert medium space knight with balanced attributes and serviceable dueling capabilities, it was pretty much a standard mid-tier expert mech designed in the standard Garlaner style without too many special traits.

  Even at its former height, the Cross Clan hadn't invested as much funding, effort and resources into its design, and it showed.

  The Larkinson Clan, though a lot smaller and weaker in the past, still invested a lot more attention and resources into the development of the latest revision of the Shield of Samar.

  Chief among them was the assistance provided by Master Moira Willix! Even if she held back a lot, her touch in the Shield of Samar was undeniable given her solid performance and excellent integration of resonating exotics!

  Though Linda Cross knew that her Amphis was a much more capable dueler that could take part in offensive operations, right now she felt her machine had become completely outdated.

  Even if she was able to contribute in future battles, at most her poor Amphis would be relegated to the background while the Larkinson Clan's proudest machines would play the starring roles!

  "How is this fair?" She whined.

  She had little faith that Professor Benedict and his gaggle of mediocre Journeymen could develop a new expert mech that was just as impressive.

  Personally, she also knew that it would be difficult for the Cross Clan to invest as much resources in a new machine for herself.

  Patriarch Reginald Cross had already reserved a generous amount of funding and resources for the development of his next high-tier expert mech.

  "Maybe I can request my own new expert mech after Reginald has received his machine."

  The battle continued at a more frenetic pace. After withstanding a lot of attacks, Venerable Jannzi and the Shield of Samar finally reached their limits and were forced to withdraw their imposing resonance barrier.

  They had done their jobs for the most part. Though Venerable Jannzi was still able to fight in other ways, it was impossible for her to exert her ragged mind and will to perform another powerful move.

  "It's up to the rest of you now." Venerable Jannzi said as she tried to recover from her heavy mental exertion.

  It was at this time that the pakklatons finally displayed a different reaction.

  After sending all of its shuttle-like vehicles back and forth between the different ships, the pakklatons apparently completed all of the transfers that they had planned.

  The 5 relatively-intact vessels all engaged their sub-light propulsion systems, causing them to turn and move in the direction of a distant star system.

  At the same time, they also engaged their warp drives, not hesitating to inject additional phasewater into them in order to supercharge their warp departure!

  As the energy levels and other signs of activity from those key ships began to spike, General Verle issued a key order to Venerable Stark.

  "We can't let the pakklatons flee with all of their phasewater and other valuables. Take the shot."

  "I have been waiting for this." Venerable Stark grinned.

  Though her fiery vengeance had cooled over the course of the lengthy firefight, she still retained enough energy to unleash a few more powerful attacks!

  The Amaranto glowed a bit brighter as the expert pilot began to prepare for another powerful attack.

  The changes did escape the notice of the pakklatons, however. The alien vessels all tightened their formation so that the Amaranto did not possess any straight shot towards any of the alien evacuation ships!

  Even if the Amaranto's next attack was able to punch through the hull of an alien vessel, there would be another in the way to exhaust the remainder of the destructive energies!

  It was too bad that the pakklatons didn't possess enough intelligence about the Amaranto and the Larkinson Clan. These ragged aliens could hardly be expected to access humanity's galactic net and read up on all of the public deeds and capabilities of their current opponents.

  As a result, when the Amaranto finally released its charged attack, the aliens bracing to block this next attack became utterly shocked when it went wide!

  "No! The human war machine didn't miss! Its energy beam bent!"

  Though it only happened for an instant, the powerful beam leveraged one of the Amaranto's special resonance abilities and actually managed to bend around the tough formation of alien starships!

  Without encountering the hindrance that it should have met, the special energy beam struck the side of one of the evacuation ships that was almost ready to activate her warp drive!

  Many avian individuals cried out in panic as they saw the beam strike the side of the evacuation ship!

  Surprisingly enough, the Amaranto's special attack did not inflict that much material damage.

  Though it had cleverly entered one of the open gaps produced by the gnawing voribugs, the released energies did not blast entire compartments apart or anything.

  Instead, Venerable Stark's strike was more insidious.

  She had switched the attack phase of her luminar crystal rifle from a laser beam crystal to a disruptor beam crystal.

  This massively reduced the direct damage her weapon was able to inflict, but allowed the Amaranto to achieve a different effect.

  After the disruptor beam struck the exposed interior of the civilian vessel that was attempting to make an escape, her relatively weak and less sturdy internal systems could not withstand the resonance-enhanced power of the disruption generated by this single strike!

  Though it would be far too exaggerated for a single mech to knock out all of the power of a large starship, the crucially-timed disruptor beam attack nonetheless managed to create enough chaos to prevent the vessel from completing its warping procedure!

  The civilian ship hitched as its warp drive experienced enough shocks to make its operation unstable. Automatic safeties kicked in and forcibly aborted the alien ship's attempt to enter into warp!

  The unlucky vessel had stalled while the other four evacuation ships successfully managed to slip away!

  The four pakklaton vessels in question appeared to elongate in an unusual fashion even as they rapidly moved away from the battlefield at a pace that was unattainable if they relied on their ordinary means of propulsion!

  This was the best result the Golden Skull Alliance was able to achieve in this situation.

  As for the pakklatons, this was one of the outcomes they had feared!

  A lot of their children and other valuables had been loaded onto the vessel. An awful fate awaited those aboard the stranded evacuation ship if the humans got close!

  Fortunately, the disruption caused by the Amaranto only lasted for a relatively short amount of time. The evacuation ship was still mostly intact and her engineers already reported that her warp drive could be brought back operational again once the damage generated from the disruption was repaired.

  All of that took time, however! The pakklatons had to do their best to stall the humans long enough to give the remaining evacuation ship enough time to restart her warp drive.

  The humans knew what they had to do as well. If they wanted to capture the bounty that was certainly stored aboard this valuable vessel, they needed to advance quickly enough to disable the ship permanently and prevent her crew from destroying any phasewater samples and other treasures stored inside her cargo hold!

  "Speed up our advance! Their warships are largely spent and crippled. Focus on disabling the remaining ones and smash aside any hulls in the way! That remaining evacuation ship must be ours!"

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