The Mech Touch Chapter 1165
1163 Man Up
Axelar immediately fell into a crisis as the Ouroboros was being immobilized, blinded and chipped away by the twenty-six autonomous turrets and modules deployed by the War General.
Waltz Nexbern's War General truly lived up to its name! Even Ves expressed his admiration for its mech concept.
"The War General is clearly designed to deploy pieces of itself to surround and overwhelm its opponent!"
Ves heard of the concept of using mechs as drone or turret platforms but never saw one in action. They were highly unpopular in the galactic rim because their programming were easily susceptible to hacking.
They worked great against inferior opponents like bottom feeder pirates, but not much else. Against a technologically equal or superior foe who retained a dedicated team of hackers, the autonomous modules could very well turn their abilities against their original owners!
These concerns still existed in the Terran Confederation, but to a much lesser degree. After all, as one of the most advanced states in human space, their technological superiority was at the top!
Their Rubarthan foes were their equals in this regard, while the MTA and CFA held a slight edge.
However, the relative disparities were small enough that all four great powers confidently relied on a higher degree of automation. As long as they regularly updated the security suites of their automated gadgets, they were at little risk of being hacked!
Right now, Ves knew that even if he included a standard hacking module to the Ouroboros, it was pointless for Axelar to try and hack their programming. The six interference modules that constantly directed its ECM towards the Ouroboros blocked any remote access attempts anyway.
The modules and turrets continued to entangle and bombard the hapless Ouroboros! Axelar's mech didn't even have the opportunity to move from its starting position before falling into a trap!
Despite the advantageous situation, Waltz Nexbern knew better than to look down on his opponent. Who knew what tricks Axelar's mech was trying to hide!
He nonetheless kept talking, if only to hype up the audience. Every mech athlete played to the crowd!
"My War General is not an armchair general that lets its soldiers do all the fighting! A true war general won't hesitate to enter the fray!"
The four weapon barrels extended out of the sides of the heavy mech. Ves quickly identified them as high-powered but compact gauss rifles! After a brief windup time, the four gauss rifles discharged four solid projectiles at amazing speed!
Axelar's eyes widened in his cockpit. His Ouroboros was a sitting duck! Even a three-year old child could hit a stationary mech from this distance!
The rounds all impacted the arm of the Ouroboros at nearly the same section! Since the hero mech was pretty much locked in a single position, Waltz could employ his ranged weapons with pinpoint accuracy!
His first target was to aim at the white-coated arm of the Ouroboros. As long as Waltz could take out the hero mech's rifle-wielding arm, Axelar would have no way of retaliating from range!
"No! Not my mech's rifle arm!" Axelar screamed and instinctively closed his eyes!
The Ouroboros shook from the kinetic energy transferred by the rounds made of extremely hard and dense exotic materials. While they didn't come with any other special effects, just their mass, hardness and penetration profile was extremely deadly to other mechs!
Yet when Axelar opened his eyes, he discovered to his astonishment that the arm of his Ouroboros only accumulated a small dent!
"The armor hasn't been breached? How?"
While the compact size of the War General's gauss rifles limited their potency, their firepower was not to be scoffed at! For them to leave a dent of this size was seriously absurd!
Despite the lack of effect, Waltz did not pause from the setback but instead continued to fire another salvo!
Four more rounds impacted the very same spot, enlarging the dent!
"If two salvos won't cut off the arm, then I'll fire two salvos more! If four salvos isn't enough, then I'll just have to fire four more times!"
Axelar froze. Without a way to move his Ouroboros, he couldn't do anything about the War General treating his mech like a stationary target!
Even if his mech was surprisingly more resilient than he was used to with his other mechs, so what? He was still going to lose this mech duel!
As Axelar's thoughts entered a vicious cycle where his fears continued to fuel his lack of confidence and vica versa, Ves mentally shook his head at the sight.
Axelar was a lot more pathetic than he expected! How could he call himself a man and a mech pilot when he already lost his confidence in winning after suffering a small setback at the start?
"Man up already!" Ves shouted openly inside the mind of his host.
"Huh? Who are you?!" Axelar asked.
"I'm your so-called insane, sober self who designed this mech." Ves lied. "If you want to know who is responsible for upending your life by throwing away all of your stimulants, selling your pharmaceutical company, challenging the Haspel Asps to a duel and committing you to the Trail of Tears, it was me, your sober self!"
For a moment, Axelar completely forgot about the dangerous straits his Ouroboros fell into. How could this be? Did he possess a split personality or something?!
After he got over his shock at hosting another personality in his mind, he grew incredibly angry at his other self!
"IT'S YOU! YOU RUINED MY LIFE! YOU PUT ME IN THE FOREFRONT OF DANGER! WHY ARE YOU SO EAGER TO GET ME KILLED?!"
"It's because I can't stand my other self continuing to waste away our life in meaningless highs! It's high time you get your butt back into gear and stand up for yourself!"
Axelar really wanted to raise his fist and beat his head until he suffered a concussion! He couldn't stand his other personality!
"Are you happy now that you put me in these straits?! I can't move my mech! Waltz is beating up the troll mech you designed like a practice dummy!"
"It's just some neutron beam turrets and gauss rifles!" Ves dismissed the threat. "Are they powerful? Yes! But look at the condition of the Ouroboros! A mech designed by your genius sober self won't be felled by just these tricks!"
The real Axelar drew his attention to the integrity of his mech frame. Despite being bombarded by all sides by neutron beams and getting focused upon by perfectly-accurate gauss rifles, the Ouroboros was still whole!
"So what if my mech is hard to kill?!" Axelar mentally retorted. "I'm still going to be defeated! You put so little weapon systems in my mech that I don't have a way to break out of this trap!"
Ves mentally shook his head. "You idiot. Stop trying to search for solutions that don't exist when your mech already possesses one in its right hand! Your positron rifle is all you need!"
"But I can't aim! Those ECM deployables are screwing up my sensors and my targeting system!"
"Then use your own marksmanship skill to aim!" Ves yelled back. "Are you such a useless mech pilot that you are no longer capable of hitting a target without relying on aim-assist?!"
"It's not that simple! The gravitic bonds are impairing the aim of my mech! And those deployables aren't going to sit still while I aim my rifle at them! They're going to juke and dodge my shots like crazy!"
"Don't look down on the Ouroboros! Trust in yourself and your mech! As a mech designed by your other self, the Ouroboros is the best mech you've ever piloted! Open yourself up to it and it will help you out! Try it and you'll see!"
Ever since Axelar first beheld the mech designed by his other self, he never really accepted it in his heart. How could he take a hero mech seriously?
Even though he felt something special when he interfaced with the mech, Axelar's instinctive rejection of the Ouroboros prevented him from fully utilizing his deepening connection with his mech!
Although Axelar hated his other self and wanted to ignore the advice, he was pretty much at the end of his rope here. If he wanted to dig himself out of the hole his other self had dug for him, he had no choice but to try!
As soon as he dropped some of his apprehension towards his mech, Axelar indeed felt as if his Ouroboros became more responsive to his thoughts! It actually felt quite nice to interface with this mech!
Seeing as Axelar finally began to accept the Ouroboros, Ves moved on to correct his mistaken impression of his own mech.
"The Ouroboros is designed to be a God of Creation and Destruction in our hands! No matter how many troops a war general brings to the field, an army can never defeat a god! Its parameters are far beyond your expectations! Push through the hindrances and you'll find that you haven't come close to brushing against the limits of your mech!"
Axelar attempted to exert more force on the white side of his mech. Even though the Ouroboros was locked in the same position in space, the forces acting on the mech was spread throughout its entire frame.
Now that the Ouroboros utilized the full might of its mechanical power, it managed to resist the gravitic bonds and aim the rifle at one of the neutron beam turrets!
A powerful positron beam fired from the rifle! It rapidly traveled through the thin atmosphere, annihilating the gas particles along the way, causing lots of light and radiation to brighten up the entire arena!
Although Axelar tried his best to compensate for the difficulties with his own aim, his positron beam soundly missed the turret as it recognized it was being targeted! The turret instantly employed an evasion pattern that made it exceptionally difficult for a narrow beam to hit the turret!
"You dolt!" Ves berated Axelar. "Why are you firing the positron rifle in its default setting? The range isn't all that far and those deployables don't look all that tough! This isn't your average positron rifle! Widen the beam so that it spreads out its particles in a cone!"
"Won't that drain my energy reserves faster?! My mech will run out of energy before I can even finish off half of the deployables."
"Your mech's energy reserves are much larger than you think! Without all those redundant modules taking up valuable space, you can fire your positron rifle all day!"
Axelar still treated his Ouroboros as a multipurpose mech, but that was absolutely the wrong approach to take!
Once Axelar implemented the suggestion, he began to fire at the turrets with a widening cone of positron particles!
The shot expended a considerable amount of energy, but by the time the cone arrived at its intended destination, the turret simply couldn't move out of the way fast enough to dodge the spread-out positrons!
The turret suffered heavy damage!
Ves was surprised the turret managed to survive. For such a small deployable, it was very resistant to damage!
Fortunately, it hadn't managed to resist the damage entirely. Most of its external components suffered heavy damage!
When Axelar fired his positron rifle again, the turret finally succumbed!
While it took a bit longer than he hoped, he finally saw a chance of turning the tide!
"An army is strong when you face it as a whole." Ves remarked. "Yet they are only made up of a large number of weak soldiers. Take them out one by one and the army is no longer a threat!"
Doing his best to endure the constant interference and bombardment from the War General and its many autonomous modules, Axelar trusted in the armor of his mech and began to take out the deployables one by one.
The more turrets and modules he took out, the more Axelar gained faith in his own mech! The feedback that resulted from his increasingly more immersive connection began to show its true strength!
The Ouroboros was starting to come alive! Even the audience became enthralled by the indomitable hero mech fending off the War General's army!