The Mech Touch Chapter 620
619 Devil Mechs
Mechs piloted by members from six different outfits moved in unison. Though they came in different shapes and sizes, their evident coordination made them appear as if they came from the same unit.
The mechs on land drove the crowds of people to the front of the spaceport, while the mechs in the air cautiously covered them from aerial threats. Though many in the crowd seemed to develop misgivings about this sudden venture, the more desperate foreigners eagerly bought into the nonsense spun by the representatives of the outfits.
It helped that each of the outfits present enjoyed some fame. The Flagrant Vandals earned several mentions in the news recently. Their valor and courage made them larger than life, and any citizen of the Bright Republic in the crowd regarded them as champions.
The other outfits enjoyed no less of a reputation.
For example, the Masters of Combat inherited Venidse's brutal style of attrition warfare and became kings of landbound warfare. Their open and above-board fighting style gave many enemy outfits headaches. Anyone who dared to fight the Masters of Combat on their terms would inevitably suffer a loss or a pyrrhic victory.
"Many veterans from Venidse's mech legions have signed up to the Masters of Combat. Their martial tradition is colored by their military roots."
Lydia's Swordmaidens was nominally a pirate gang, but it was pretty much a known fact that they possessed some ties to Reinald. This connection wasn't very tight, or else they wouldn't have been a part of the plan. As a rare all-female pirate outfit, the Swordmaidens acquired a reputation for ferocity and sisterhood.
"Those witches are far more cunning than they appear. Nobody truly knows where they came from and whether they are closely tied to Reinald."
The Council Stars of Lisv was a small third-rate state of the same caliber as the Reinald Republic. Their peculiar culture had breeded the formation of the Glorious Space Knights, a foolhardy mercenary corps largely made up of spoiled brats and wealthy potentate scions. Fortunately, they invested a lot of money into shoring up their ranks with highly competent professional mech pilots, so their overall strength was very overbearing.
"The Glorious Space Knights worship mech duels and always favor melee mechs for some reason. The notion of chivalry has gone through their heads."
The Caged was one of the weirdest criminal gangs from the Roppo Principality. In a culture obsessed with hierarchy and order, the Caged rose up in defiance against the established order. They called themselves the Caged because their members regarded themselves as prisoners of Roppo's social order. Many of them desired to escape from this invisible cage and elevate their social status to a higher rank.
"The Caged makes it seem like they're a bunch of lunatics in constraints. That's pretty much right. They're a bunch of savages camouflaging behind a civilized veneer."
The only outfit which didn't enjoy as much fame was Bloodriven Sky. The distance from the Harkensen System to the Star Faith Collective meant that not many tourists came to enjoy the sights. Like many Starrers, the members of Bloodriven Sky devoted themselves to their faith. The only problem was that nobody truly knew what they believed in. Understanding the byzantine religion of the Collective was already hard enough.
"Never ask a Starrer to explain their beliefs. That goes double for Bloodriven Sky. Mercenary work is their secondary occupation. Their true job is to export their incomprehensible beliefs."
Citizens who didn't share the same nationality of the other outfits had been pushed towards Bloodriven Sky. The fanatical mercenaries proved to be the best at motivating the crowd, so their mixed composition didn't impact their forward momentum.
Behind the crowds and behind the mechs exhorting them forward, a large fleet of aircars hovered from behind. There had been a lot of discussion about whether to remain in the aircars or let the men go on foot. They eventually decided to stay in their aircars as long as possible despite the risk of attracting anti-air fire because the advantage in mobility was too great.
The timely intelligence from Miss Calabast forced the outfits to divert some troops to the warehouses adjacent to the spaceport. The ships weren't going to refuel by themselves.
As customary, Ves was seated in the same transport shuttle as before. Compared to the flimsy civilian aircars, a transport shuttle was much more robust.
Ves turned to Captain Orfan. "If I may ask, captain, why aren't you piloting one of our Water Wraiths?"
"Just because I'm a mech captain doesn't mean I'm a multitool." She replied as she checked up and issued silent commands to the Vandals via her data pad. "I'm great with a spearman mech, decent with any other melee mech, but marksmanship is my one big failing. The other mech officers who won the right to pilot the Water Wraiths won't do them a disservice."
He nodded. Even if she was eager to pilot a mech, the amphibian artillery mechs truly didn't fit her style. She favored landbound spearman mechs with an emphasis on mobility. The sluggish Water Wraiths moved slowly on land and its immense bulk hindered its agility by a massive truncation.
After several minutes, they moved past the park and reached a major transit platform. Ordinarily, the platform hosted thousands of vehicles that conveyed countless tourists to the prime tourist locations of Harkensen I.
Now, it had largely been emptied ever since the blockade had commenced. Many of the vehicles had been recalled to their depots, leaving the spaceport with an unobstructed stretch of ground.
The mobs of men, women and children emerged from the park and moved towards the front entrance of the spaceport like an inexorable tide. The Reinaldan mechs on patrol had already sensed their presence minutes earlier, and had sounded the alarm.
A mech of the Planetary Guard stepped forward. "Halt! This spaceport is closed for business! Entry is forbidden! Turn back now and go back to your shelters."
Ranks of Planetary Guard mechs brandished their fluid projectors. Behind, another rank of mechs from the Honored Ones readied their lethal weapons. Already, aerial mechs started to appear in the air on the other side of the wall.
"Step forward at your own risk!" The Planetary Guard mech continued. "You'll be regarded as hostiles if you proceed within two-hundred meters of the spaceport!"
"Ignore those Reinaldan fools!" A decorated mech of the Glorious Space Knights commanded to the crowd composed of fellow Lisvians. "The Reinald Republic won't dare to massacre their guests. It's all a bluff! Keep running forward!"
When the vanguard of the crowd of civilians reach the two-hundred meter mark, the Planetary Guard mechs prepared to fire their fluid projectors.
Then they started spraying.
Disgusting slime spurted out of their projectors like waterspouts. Upon landing, thousands of desperate humans became engulfed with quickly-solidifying slime. It was as if their entire bodies became engulfed with glue!
If the Planetary Guard mechs continued to use up their fluid projectors, the terrain would certainly become impassable humans.
This was not the outcome the organizers of this operation had in mind.
"Sure enough." Captain Orfan nodded. "When it comes to line combat, the Planetary Guard can't catch up to the military. However, when it comes to subduing riots, their non-lethal weaponry has no equal."
The outfits deliberately let the fluid projectors douse the people on foot with the residue. In order to gain something, they needed to lose something as well. The crowds of civilians needed to learn that the Reinaldan mechs were not their friends!
Captain Orfan ignored the screams of stuck civilians encased in rapidly-hardening slime.. "Alright, this has gone on long enough. Open fire already!"
Several seconds later, most of their ranged landbound mechs opened fire directly towards the Reinaldans.
The guard mechs hadn't expected such an extreme response! Who would open fire above the heads of so civilians?!
The opening salvo disrupted the Planetary Guard mechs, though it hadn't been enough to inflict serious damage. Nevertheless, the combined mech force's subsequent salvos continuously hammered the peacekeeping mechs. Some of them even lost their fluid projectors!
The Honored Ones hesitated for a moment. None of them were eager to start a mech battle with so many civilians in the vicinity. The collateral damage that ensued from a battle of this scale could easily wipe out tens of thousands of lives in a single minute!
Compared to the hesitation exhibited by the Reinaldans, the mechs of the foreigners displayed no such care. The unending stream of laser beams, projectiles and missiles absolutely hammered the Planetary Guard mechs into retreat!
"How devious." Ves muttered as he witnessed the battle with his own two eyes.
According to the plan, the first priority of every mech taking part was to focus their fire on the Planetary Guard mechs. More specifically, they had to break their fluid projectors and other means of non-lethal weaponry!
This was driving the Reinaldans into a corner. Under the suppression and focused fire of the attackers, the Planetary Guard mechs were rendered completely impotent at this moment!
The civilians screamed and panicked underneath the one-sided exchange of fire. Shockwaves and thunderous projectiles along with thick bright laser beams bombarded their sensory organs! Underneath the might of mechs, humans were as fragile as ants!
The menacing firepower unleashed by the Vandals and the other outfits motivated the foreign tourists even harder! None of them ever contemplated turning around! With so many mechs following behind them, their only fate was to be trampled by multi-ton machines!
The formation adopted by the outfits also ensured the civilians couldn't run to the left or right. Additional mechs had been stationed at the flanks in order to ensure the crowds could only run straight ahead.
"Save us! Guard mechs, please get rid of these devil mechs on my heels!"
"No! My wife! My wife has been trampled!"
"Where is my son! I lost my baby son!"
"You cursed Vandals! I looked up to you! There's going to be hell to pay once I get back to Rittersberg!"
The awe and respect commanded by the outfits turned into fear once the civilians realized they'd been used. Driven to survive, the tourists and visitors of Harkensen I could only run forward and seek asylum with the Reinaldans!
The Honored Ones continued to warn the hysterical mob to halt. After all, once those civilians ran through their lines, it became impossible to maneuver their mechs without crushing innocent lives beneath their feet!
"This is your final warning! If you do not stop and turn around this instant, we will open fire!"
Bluff or not, the civilians predominantly preferred to face the Reinaldans at the front than the devils to the rear!
After several seconds of confusion, a couple of mechs of the Honored Ones appeared to find their resolve. "So be it! You only have yourselves to blame for meeting your deaths!"
The Honored Ones from the ground and in the air opened fire towards the salvaged mechs of the foreign outfits! Their superior firepower inflicted heavy damage among the attacking mechs because their armor coverage had never been fixed!
Nonetheless, the destructive exchange of fire led to plenty of accidents! One of the Vandal-appropriated Water Wraiths attempted to fire its cannons at the Honored Ones, but a heavy kinetic impact disrupted its balance, causing all of its guns to fire towards the ground!
Hundreds of Brighter tourists splashed away from the impact zones! Up until the moment their bodies broke, they never learned their own side was responsible for their deaths!
Thousands of civilians lost their lives to these kinds of accidents. While the scavenged mechs fell into an immediate disadvantage, they tenaciously held on and fought back with no restraints even as the collateral damage continued to pile up!
From the start, The Big Breakout had never been about achieving a victory through military means. The Vandals and the rest held no illusions about their chances of winning against the Honored Ones.
They only way the attackers could defeat the Reinaldans was to test their scruples!