The Mech Touch Chapter 669
668 Regressive Society
Pirates were very sensitive of outer status. The more impressive someone looked, the higher their importance, and thus the higher the cost of offending them. So far, it seemed his plan was working.
"Who are you?" One of the half-drunken pirate sergeants cautiously asked.
"I'm an envoy of the 6th Flagrant Vandals. Have you heard of us?"
"Vandals? Never heard of them. Are they strong?"
"I don't know. They sound kind of weak if they haven't developed a rep around here."
"Yeah, maybe this guy is faking it. It won't be the first time some spoiled brat from civilized space has come out here to muck around with us lowlives."
Surprisingly to Ves, most pirates scratches their heads or looked befuddled. These lazy bums didn't even keep up with the news! Practically everyone in Harkensen had heard of the Vandals, but these country bumpkin pirates never even caught wind of their exploits! How shameful!
He realized he made a mistake. He needed to speak the language of the frontier! His hand quickly gestured for Ketis to step forward, which she did.
"Alright you boys, scram already! On behalf of Lydia's Swordmaidens, I'll chop you idiots into pieces right now if you don't get your scrawny butts off this street!"
That caught everyone's attention. More than half of the pirates recognized the Swordmaidens by name or appearance. The huge sword held before her loomed against them as if they could already feel their bodies being cut.
The rivals put down their animosity against each other and tread back against the intimidating forms of the Vandals and the lone Swordmaiden.
"I don't think my rifle can even scratch their coating. That's real exoskeleton armor!"
"Hey boss, let's split. We can whack the bastards from the Riller Dollar later."
The pirates from the Riller Dollar and the Whisper Current already started inching away from each other. Against the intimidating newcomers, their courage had fled their nerves like ice pouring down onto their bodies.
All their instincts warned them that they wouldn't like it when they stayed!
However, pirates weren't known for their intelligence. The more drunken idiots swayed on their feet before turning their weapons at the newcomers.
"Hey missy!" One of them called with an obscene leer. "I could use some company in my bed. Can I interest a tough gal like you to come with me? My buddies can come too! Five K-fragments for the entire night, what do you say?"
Both the pirates and the Vandals halted for a second, amazed at the sheer stupidity of that drunken pirate!
"Damnit, he doesn't mean it, I can apologize, I'll pay five K-coins to make your forget about this, is that alright?"
Ketis shook in her armor which caused her sword to vibrate and emit a tone. Nobody knew what she looked like because she slammed her skull-faced helmet shut, but it was obvious she took the insult badly.
"Shut that fellow up before he runs his mouth!"
One of the loudmouth's comrades already started to bash the man's head with the stock of his rifle, but it was too late!
"Hey doll, stop diddlying around with those Swordmaidens and come aboard the Riller Dollar! We've got real men in our crew, and I bet that each of them will want a piece of you! Why, I know at least three buddies who, uh why are you behind me?"
The lewd man's skull practically caved in, but Ketis had already gone mad with fury!
"The Swordmaidens are not your whores! DIE!"
Ketis charged towards the pirates, who to their credit responded quickly and shot back. While the crew of the Riller Dollar held their ground, the pirates of the Whisper Current tried to sneak away.
Fortunately for all of them, Ketis was content to let the crew of the Whisper Current go away scotch-free.
"She's too fast! What does it take to stop her!?"
Ketis arrived in front of their group within seconds! With one huge horizontal sweep, her extremely sharp greatsword cut through the haphazard ranks of the pirates, bisecting three of the unlucky pirates right through their waist!
She had grounds to say that, because her quality combat armor combined with her quick and unpredictable movements simply made the pirates weep! Blood spilled by the torrents as her sword cut straight through flesh, bone and more with contemptuous ease! The casualties quickly surpassed a dozen, and there was still a lot more to go!
Ves stood back while stuck in the dilemma. It was absolutely idiotic for Ketis to go off like that on a perceived insult. It had obviously been an accidental outburst!Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
"Don't tell me that being prone to violence is one of her negative traits!"
A mech designer wasn't supposed to throw themselves into battle! If such a trait got magnified, then Ketis might not even live past another decade!
"Don't just stand there, help her clean up the trash!"
Upon his urging, three of his guards began to assist. They moved forward in their heavy suits and started unleashing their heavy rifles at full blast!
Explosive bullets started blasting the pirates into a shower of flesh and blood, while the lasers vaporized and flash-heated the body moisture within their bodies to explosive results!
It was a massacre! Even as the pirates broke and ran, Ketis cackled like a witch and used her superior speed to run them all down and hack their backs into pieces! The Vandals, not wishing to leave an enemy to take revenge, contributed their prodigious firepower into mowing each and everyone of the poor sops.
Ves meanwhile took cover behind the corner of a shop. The armored bulkheads had been built with street fights in mind, so they hardly suffered a scratch even with all of the weapons being fired. Nolsen remained with him to guard against any sneak attacks, not that these pirates were coherent enough to come up with such a plan.
"What an awful mess." He sighed. "Is this what the Swordmaidens do for fun? We could have totally avoided a conflict!"
It was too bad that everyone took their posturing way too seriously in frontier space. Pirates depended heavily on their pride. If they let someone walk away after such an insult, their deterrence value instantly plummeted in half!
From this angle, Ves knew that Ketis wasn't being too selfish or hadn't gone mad just because someone mistook her for a whore. At the heart of it, she was simply defending the honor and reputation of Lydia's Swordmaidens.
"This is still a whacky system."
Pirates were pirates. Some of them simply couldn't keep their mouths shut. Pride and dignity forces pirates to make a stand, thereby decreasing the chance of avoiding a fight. Unless an intermediary stepped in to defuse the tension, an escalation was definitely probable!
"The attrition rate among pirates must be horrendous. If they constantly fight at the drop of the hat because of stupid reasons, it'll be a miracle if they survive!"
The bloodbath quickly ended. The pirates of the Riller Dollar stood no chance against properly equipped men and women in armor. The disparity between the two forces was so enormous that even their overwhelming number advantage didn't avail them much.
As soon as Ketis carved out the spine of the last pirate, the Boseys finally showed up. An entire squad of station guards in exoskeleton armor appeared at the crossroads. One of them retracted their faceplate, revealing a worn dark-skinned face which increasingly grew into a frown as it beheld the carnage.
"Swordmaidens. Figures." He muttered while spitting out a glob of slimy spit. It landed on the coagulating pools of blood and blended in the darkening liquid. "Seems like you Vandals got dragged as well. What's your story here?"
Ves knew that the Boseys must have witnessed the entire events via their sensors, but he knew what was going on right now. While the Boseys were largely ineffectual at stopping fighting aboard their space stations, especially between members of powerful factions, they still had to maintain the pretence of keeping the peace.
Image mattered the most!
Knowing this reason, Ves stepped forward and gave a succinct and neutral summary of the event. While he didn't lie, knowing it was useless, neither did he cast any blame on Ketis. He pushed all responsibility for provoking this conflict on the lewd loudmouth that just couldn't shut up.
The Bosey guard captain spat again. "The crew of the Riller Dollar got what was coming for them. Serves them right for drinking their butts off until they can't distinguish head from tails. Case closed."
With that, the nominal police force of the space station marched off to put out another fire. Numerous incidents had popped up that continued to threaten the peace of the Independent Harbor!
With a flick of her sword, which abruptly vibrated and shook off all the blood staining the blade, Ketis marched back to Ves like a cat who got the canary. "I told you, the Boseys don't care a single whit about spilling blood on the streets as long as it doesn't affect their business. Hell, we're practically doing them a favor chasing them off the crossroads!"
While she may have a point about the latter, as the shops started to retract their shutters and reinforced barriers as soon as the fighting cleared, Ves was still displeased at her eagerness to fight. "Just because these pirates don't appear to have any backers, doesn't mean they can bite us back later on. You killed those people way too easily! If you want to chop someone in half, at least limit your venting on the actual culprit!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, buddy. This is how we take care of the riff raff in the frontier. Your soft ways will get you killed someday."
He shook his head. "I don't believe that. I'd rather believe that you'll end up dead because you ran headlong into an enemy you shouldn't have provoked."
"Hahaha! That won't ever happen!" She chuckled. "Any pirates who are strong enough to pose a threat to us won't dress like washed-up pieces of trash. Just look at this garbage!"
Her sword gestured towards the gruesome bodies on the floor. Heavy-duty cleaning bots emerged from nowhere and started to drag the bodies and their meager gear to a recycling point. The smaller kickable cleaning bots worked to slurp up all of the blood until the deck returned to its regular rust and patina-marked surface.
"These bunch of people were weak! They deserved to die! Coming here armed with nothing but a bunch of light weapons and a couple of layers of clothes, they had no right to stand in our way!"
"So that's your criteria whether you can slay them or not, Ketis?! If they're clothed like, I don't know, NORMAL PEOPLE, you just chop them off whenever they do something you don't like?"
"No one cares about the trash. Neither you, nor me, nor the Boseys care a single bone about these lowlives. If they wore suits of armor like ours and tote heavy guns in our directions, then yeah, I wouldn't have gotten close to them in the first place. That's the thing, though. In the frontier, we always show off our strength. If you don't look the part, you don't deserve to be treated like the part."
This argument went nowhere, after a bit more admonishing from Ves, he metaphorically threw his hands and gave up. Ketis genuinely saw nothing wrong with what she did. While Ves agreed that the pirates were probably scum that were guilty to various crimes, that didn't mean she earned the right to callously butcher them whenever she wanted. It was reckless, pointless and entirely unnecessary.
"What am I getting into?" He asked to himself.
The more he dove into the frontier, the more he felt the misconception he was travelling back in time. Civilization? What civilization? All pretenses of law and decency for human life could be thrown right out of the airlock! The sons and daughters of the frontier only abided by the rules of the jungle!
And the frontier happened to be the biggest jungle in the galaxy!