The Mech Touch Chapter 488
One mech. Around twenty opponents. The Loquacious Raphael appeared to be on its last legs. The suicide attacks from the hovertanks rent apart its rifle arm while exposing various sections of its frontal armor to the elements.
No matter how well the armor system could hold out, it couldn't do anything about the exposed areas.
Nonetheless, at the end of its lifespan, the Raphael's entire frame glowed like a star about to explode. The mechs of the Flagrant Vandals all put up their guard as soon as Lord Javier yelled out those strange words.
"Twin Supernova Release? What does that mean?" Addy asked back in the rebel base.
Ves interpreted the sensor readings in rapid tempo. He quickly deduced that the Raphael's core heated up from two distinct spots. Once he realized what that represented, his eyes widened in shock.
"The Loquacious Raphael possesses two smaller power reactors instead of a single larger one!"
"What's the significance of that?!"
"It means it can run through a lot more power in an instant, though the heat build-up will be ruinous! At these power levels, the Raphael can't last more than three minutes!"
The artificial limiters that shackled the power reactors broke upon the command. With this irreversible, Lord Javier decisively chose to burn out the entire potential lifespan of his precious mech in a matter of minutes.
"My steed, lend me your strength! Let our final battle together be as magnificent as the death of stars!"
The mech glowed hot from more than heat. Some sort of unknown red-orange energy field coated the surface of the mech, including its damaged portions. It gave out the illusion that the mech was burning.
"Don't listen to his melodramatic nonsense!" Captain Orfan tried to sober up her mech pilots. "Ranged mechs, open fire! Melee mechs, prepare to intercept the Raphael!"
A storm of lasers and projectiles slammed into the Raphael, but just as they reached the energy field, it exploded. This prematurely set off the explosive shells and hindered the kinetic projectiles and laser beams from hitting the Raphael itself.
"What is this, some kind of energy screen?!"
"I don't believe it can sustain itself forever! Keep firing!"
No matter how much firepower the Vandal mechs threw at the overloading mech, none of their efforts bore fruit. The energy field acted like a reactive defense to the custom mech, halting any incoming attacks through sheer violence.
"Mr. Larkinson! Figure out that energy field!" Addy yelled at him.
"It can't be cracked by weak attacks, no matter how many it endures! It can only be penetrated by one strong attack!"
"Is there any other weakness?"
"As I said, the Loquacious Raphael can't possibly sustain this energy field forever. Why not wait it out?"
Unfortunately, Lord Javier didn't intend to waste this moment. His overloaded mech surged forward with its powerful legs, which stirred up soil and debris as it raced towards the nearest Vandal mechs.
A handful of melee mechs moved to intercept the approaching Raphael, yet the elite mech arrived within range before they could finish their adjustments.
"Weaklings! Get out of my way!"
The Raphael avoided the twin daggers of a skirmisher mech and spun forward, allowing it's glowing sword to slam against the side of the light mech with the flat of the blade.
By striking with the flat of its sword, the Raphael maximized the contact surface of the energy field surrounding the weapon. Upon contact with the sides of the skirmisher mech, the surface of the energy field exploded with extreme violence! A quarter of the light mech's mass practically disintegrated from the blast!
The Raphael's decision to attack the light mech left the swordsman mech next to it free to attack the berserking mech. With a powerful two-handed chop, the swordsman mech attempted to bisect its target starting with the head.
However, just as the sword made contact with the top of the energy field, it exploded with a smaller but energetic blast that pushed the sword off-course. This unanticipated reaction caused the swordsman mech to become unbalanced.
"My mech is invincible! No attack shall ever sully it, especially from unworthy scum like you!"
Lord Javier's reaction time sped up along with the comprehensive enhancement of the Raphael. His mech utilized the blast that destroyed the light mech to swing its weapon towards the vulnerable swordsman mech.
Though the Vandal pilot only needed half a second to recover from his mistake, Javier wouldn't let his opponent off! The sword swung with the edge first, and upon contact with the arm, the subsequent explosion sprung forth in a narrow line that almost sliced the swordsman mech's torso in half!
"Butchers of Detemen IV! Justice is at hand! None shall escape our wrath!"
"Hold him off! Don't let him approach our ranged mechs!"
It was too late! The Vandals came with greater numbers, but they spread themselves out in an attempt to surround the Raphael in case it ran away. They never anticipated that Javier would storm their formation. Now, their melee mechs needed to close the distance in order to cover for their ranged mechs, but no matter how fast they ran, they couldn't overtake the Raphael in overdrive!
A trio of explosions rang out in the clearing as the Raphael swung its sword in three quick slashes. Just a light graze was enough for the energy field that enveloped its sword to explode, crumbling the fragile rifleman mechs that attempted to flee.
None of the mechs survived, and two of their pilots even perished when the explosion breached the containment of their cockpits!
The Raphael proceeded to turn around and chase after the other ranged mechs. Though the latter enjoyed a head start, the Vandal mechs had ultimately been optimized to run a marathon. Against a sprinter doped with destructive stimulants, the Raphael easily overtook the scrambling mechs and downed them one by one with explosive stabs directed against their flimsy rear armor.
Captain Orfan shouted various commands to her surviving subordinates. She attempted to surround the Raphael to force it into a defensive posture, but the burning mech moved too quickly to let itself be cornered.
In an attempt to turn the tide herself, Orfan dragged her damaged mech into the Raphael's path and stabbed forth with its spear.
"Weakling! Stay down where you belong! Twin Supernova Slash!"
The Raphael accelerated for a tiny instant, allowing it to dodge the spear that attempted to impale its front. The mech swung its sword in a succession of rapid slashes that barely grazed the surface of Captain Orfan's mech.
Yet with each hit, the exploding energy field caused the mech to fall apart.
The first slash blew off its arms, causing the spearman mech to drop its precious weapon.
The second slash hit its abdomen, causing much of the armor at that section to be stripped off in an instant.
The third slash sliced off the head, which momentarily blinded Captain Orfan's mech.
The fourth slash slammed through the neck and into the exposed upper chest, destabilizing the mech's power reactor.
The fifth slash swung upwards on the same trajectory but deeper, allowing the sword to slam into the cockpit.
"This is your end!"
Luckily enough, Orfan realized her precarious situation beforehand. Just after the first slash landed on her mech, she already punched the eject button. Her cockpit launched out of the back of her doomed mech just before the fifth slash hit home.
Lacking its rifle, the Loquacious Raphael helplessly witnessed the Vandal captain disappear. "Tch! Scaredy Cat!"
Lord Javier released his frustrations on the Vandals mechs that remained functional. "None of you will get away!"
The takedown of Captain Orfan's mech caused the Vandals to waver. The loss of their immediate superior also caused the Vandal mech pilots to lose their coordination. Though a mech lieutenant among their number attempted to take over the lead, the Raphael tore through their ranks too quickly for them to organize themselves.
It was like a fox in a henhouse! In just under two minutes, the Loquacious Raphael took down over twenty Vandal mechs!
Nobody could believe what had happened. Just as the Vandals and the rebels took out the honor guard mechs, Lord Javier's last stand completely turned the final battle around!
This was a disaster for the attackers!
"Damnit! Addy slammed both of her fists against a command console. "The Raphael is on the move! He's getting away! Intercept him!"
"With what?!" A rebel officer asked. "The Vandals lost all of their assets in the vicinity and we don't have any vehicles left except for the mobile command center and the troop transports!"
Both of those vehicles wouldn't last a second against the Loquacious Raphael, especially in its empowered state.
Addy gritted her teeth. Both she and Breskin wavered on the decision whether to pursue the fleeing mech. They might just be sending more men to their deaths if they did so.
Ves spoke up at that moment. "Don't forget that the Raphael is already a total loss! It won't last more than half a minute! I suggest you put your vehicles on pursuit, but keep them at a distance. Lord Javier's mech will collapse sooner or later, and when that happens, get ready to intercept him or his ejecting cockpit!"
"You're right!" Addy shook her head. "This is only a temporary state! There shouldn't be any way that ridiculous mech can sustain this mode forever, or else it would have unleashed it at the start!"
"We are moving our forces in position, but we don't have enough men and vehicles at hand to surround the entire perimeter!" Commander Breskin informed the base the command channel. "Send everyone you can spare and fan them out in hundred meter intervals in case Javier decides to eject! Ready our remaining portable anti-air assets as well!"
The rebel base was in the process of evacuating the premises, so they already readied most of their vehicles. With the change of plans, they abruptly switched gears. They dumped out most of their cargo from their transports in order to make space for any available man or woman.
The Raphael ran as far away as it could from the rebels, but the mech already showed signs of breaking down. Some of the sections of its twin power reactors began to melt down from the excess heat and energy that ran through its channels.
"A supernova is a star's last hurrah." Ves quietly remarked. "Burning brighter than ever before and exploding with the fury that shakes the local cosmos, the death of one star will invigorate the life of other stars."
Supernovas happened all the time in the galaxy. With hundreds of billions of stars spinning around its core, it didn't matter if their lifespan could be measured in eons. Stars burned as long as they possessed the right substances to burn. The moment they ran out of fuel, they transitioned into a wholly new shape, which sometimes led to an explosive bang.
"No matter how much Lord Javier stretches his Raphael, he can't stave off the inevitable."
As a mech designer attached to the Flagrant Vandals, he was excused from joining the final chase. Even Addy moved out to lead a contingent of rebels. The only ones who remained were the elderly and the disabled rebels who took on the role of caretakers within the Detemen League.
Instead, he stayed behind and performed some additional analyses. From his hasty calculations, he predicted that the Raphael's twin power reactors couldn't be shut down anymore. Instead, the runaway reactions continued to build up, which only exacerbated the heat and energy build-up.
In short, the mech would soon explode with enough force to take out an entire city block.
"Don't approach the Raphael! It's going to blow soon!" Ves informed the rebels over the channel. "Anyone on foot should stand at least five-hundred meters away! Chances are high that Lord Javier will eject!"
Only a few seconds passed before his words came true. Lord Javier would never choose to go down with his mech. With only an instant to go before the power reactors reached a critical state, the rear armor of the Raphael blasted apart, opening up an avenue for its cockpit to blast off from the doomed mech.
A halo of rainbow enveloped the cockpit. Boosters at least twice as powerful as those attached to a regular cockpit pushed the boxy mass away from the doomed mech.
Just as Lord Javier's cockpit cleared away, the Loquacious Raphael finally couldn't hold it any longer.
Its twin reactor exploded in unison, which quickly blended into a massive explosion that wracked the ruined terrain another time.
Despite the glorious explosion happening in the vicinity, none of the rebels paid attention to the tragic sight of a hero mech's end. Instead, they focused all of their efforts at taking down the cockpit traveling through the air.
"Fire the missiles!"