The Mech Touch Chapter 748
746 Bottom Feeders
Three distinct grouping of miscellaneous pirate vessels made up from many different gangs all decided to ambush the fleet that came out of the transition entry zone from the nearest dimmest star.
They even pulled out all the stops somehow by planting a minefield in the vague area around the entry zone!
This was a luxurious amount of treatment to any random pirate gang that blundered into this small brown dwarf star system, yet this time the pirates had definitely kicked an iron sheet!
The seasoned Vandals depended on two distinctive advantage to weather the storm.
First, their combat carriers may not be able to match up against the vessels of an elite mech regiment, but they certainly withstood anything the pirates could throw at them for a couple of minutes!
Second, their absolutely devastating heavy mechs projected an enormous amount of concentrated firepower at a fairly long range and passable accuracy. The storm of firepower harassed the motherships of the incoming waves of pirate mechs and had already caused a fourth of them to change their mind and turn tail!
"Send the following units to attack the smallest group of bogeys approaching from our starboard side." Major Verle ordered as he drafted the movement orders in the air with his armored fingers.
The plot projected in front of his command chair responded to his intentions by coloring the affected formations and depicting a bold arrow that thrust right at the heart of one of the three loose swarms of pirate mechs.
"The mech captains have acknowledged their orders. They are moving into action. Our other mechs are holding position."
"Inform the Swordmaidens of our latest maneuvers and invite them to join our assault. We need to make the strongest impact as we can in order to achieve the greatest effect."
The Vandals didn't even ask and the Swordmaidens already followed suit. At least two-thirds of their Misty Slashers already trailed after the Vandal offensive.
Both sides sent out their melee mechs to charge straight towards the heart of the smallest group of mechs, which consisted of sixty or so pirate mechs of dubious quality. Since the incoming response from the Flagrant Swordmaidens outnumbered them by more than two-to-one, the pirates immediately lost heart in their offensive and tried to turn tail.
The ultrafast Inheritors zipped through their swarm which had built up too much forward momentum to turn back in time. The Inheritors avoided any risky moves but spent most of their efforts on hindering the pirates from escaping and corraling them from the flanks so they wouldn't split up.
The Misty Slashers arrived next as their miniboosters gave them a considerable push in acceleration. This allowed them to arrive just after the Inheritors and wail into the panicking and disintegrating pirate mech swarm. Their group had never shown much coordination beyond charging forward in the same direction, and it showed how every pirate mech fended for themselves against the enormous threat of the Misty Slasher's sharp and heavy swords!
More than ten pirate frontline mechs instantly fell as they possessed no means of defending themselves against melee attacks. The knight mechs and the other pirate mechs that ought to have defended them were busy worrying about themselves!
"Amateurs." Ketis shook her head. "I know exactly what's going on. These pirates here are the leftovers of all the other outfits that have reached up to this point. Who knows how they got here in the first place. They probably followed after the trails of one of the bigger outfits. I'm guessing that the stronger gangs must have had enough of the freeloaders and intimidating them into staying put here."
"So the pirates that are too scared to jump forward lingered in this star system for a while and eventually decided to band together?"
"Yeah. They formed a temporary alliance solely for the purpose of combining their strength against a prey they are reasonably sure are coming at a specific entry zone. I bet there's no real leader or someone with enough fame to command their attention. They're as loose as a pack of rats!"
Like rats, they fell apart easily when the cats came out to hunt. The smallest group of pirate mechs already started to disintegrate after coming under the attack of the Inheritors and the Misty Slashers.
The arrival of the Hellcats smashed them into pieces. The Hellcat hybrid knights didn't even waste their missiles against these trash. They merely fired a single volley of their nail drivers to unbalance their targets before smashing into them with their shields!
Sixty pirate mechs quickly got wiped out with only negligible losses for the Flagrant Swordmaidens!
The reckless fighting style actually caused some overreaching Misty Slashers to sustain heavy damage to the point where two of their pilots had to eject, but that was the extent of their downed mechs.
The other two pirate mech groupings faltered as one of their own got wiped out so fast. They had reached the perimeter of the Flagrant Swordmaiden fleet but couldn't go any further as the defensive lineup of the Vandals and the Swordmaidens resolutely barred their way towards the valuable ships of the allied fleet!
As the Inheritors, Misty Slashers and Hellcats turned around and left behind a debris field of broken pirate mechs, the stoppered pirates started losing more and more heart in this ill-conceived assault.
They already threw a bunch of mines and missiles at the Flagrant Swordmaidens, but their supposed prey sustained no substantial damage. Their fighting capabilities were just as awful as the pirates made no headway at all into threatening the combat carriers before the Vandal Inheritors raced into their midst!
The pirates already saw what happened to their last colleagues. The remaining pirate mechs that stuck around all lost heart and attempted to run away!
This time, their determination to flee was so great that the Inheritors couldn't possibly hinder the escape of hundreds of pirate mechs. They managed to entangle some of the unlucky pirate mechs, which subsequently got sliced into pieces by the Misty Slashers that approached them from the flanks.
Around fifty more pirate mechs met their end within ten minutes of chaotic fighting and fleeing!
Though hundreds of pirate mechs successfully managed to disengage, the Flagrant Swordmaidens managed to smash their spirits so thoroughly that they only thought about running.
They picked the wrong force to ambush!
"Our mech captains wishes to pursue. The Misty Slashers are already racing to run down the stragglers. What are your orders, sir?"
"Halt pursuit. Rein in our melee mechs and have our Akkaras and our other ranged mechs focus down the pirate carriers. Inform the Swordmaidens of our intentions and advise them to pull back their swordsman mechs before they overreach. Eliminating these pirates won't benefit us as much as our possible rivals. Let these bottom feeders scurry back to their holes. We have bigger fish to fry."
Slowly, some order emerged out of the chaotic outburst of combat that began right at the start of their emergence in this star system. Small debris fields already drifted away from the victorious Flagrant Swordmaidens.
Once the remnant pirate alliances dissolved into individual outfits and vessels and split away from each other, the battle finally came to an end.
A couple of search and rescue teams emerged from the ships and started to police the battlefield, prioritizing haste over thoroughness. There wasn't much to salvage from the debris fields anyway, considering most mechs consisted of junk to begin with. The mechs needed to be at least ten times more valuable to start becoming interesting to the discerning salvage connoisseurs of the Vandals.
"The bottom feeders have left, but different insects are about to descend upon the carcasses." Ves remarked.
"What do you expect?" Ketis snorted. "You're letting hundreds of thousands of K-coins worth of salvage drift away. Which pirate would be crazy enough to let them drift off into deep space?"
Of course, one man's trash was another man's treasure. The uninvolved pirates that hung around the periphery already to approach the direction where the debris field drifted to. Since the Flagrant Swordmaidens showed little interest in the junk, the neutral pirates already started feeling bold and approached the furthest reaches of the debris field to begin picking up some bargains.
While the pirates gave in to their scavenging instincts, the search and rescue teams focused on retrieving the ejected cockpits of any of their allies, of which there was mercifully few. They actually spent most of their efforts on capturing the mech pilots stranded inside ejected cockpits of pirate mechs.
The complete rout by the pirate forces left them with very little opportunity to rescue their stranded comrades, which the Vandals ruthlessly took advantage of by capturing scores of prisoners!
In the meantime, the Swordmaidens and the Vandals each took stock of the local situation. This dim star system that was situated so far into the deep frontier hosted a surprising amount of uninvolved people.
It signified a serious breach in the confidentiality of the race to salvage the treasures of the Starlight Megalodon! The CFA might be informed even now and prepared to send out a warfleet possibly!
"Who brought all of these dummies here?" Major Verle grumbled before he barked at his subordinates to hasten the interrogation of their captives. They needed to know as soon as possible where these riff raff came from and what they were after. "And throw the pirates out of the airlock once you're done with them! These scum deserve nothing less and I don't want crowd our brig with useless lowlives!"
Early interrogations already started from the moment the surviving mech pilots got dragged into the shuttles of the Vandals. Through a mixture of coercion and intoxication, an incoherent set of intelligence poured in. They told them less than they liked.
"Most of these pirates have indeed followed the trail of larger fleets, but they don't know what lays ahead. Furthermore, they lack the navigational key that will allow them to jump towards where the other major fleets have gone ahead."
Interrogating the prisoners further about which forces they saw painted a small list of all stars the Flagrant Swordmaidens needed to pay attention to. None of the forces mentioned possessed a simple background.
A small list of outfits and alliances spread among the crew.
"Well, we already know about the Caged and their recent team up with the red Tongs." Ves said as he perused the list. Most of the outfits mentioned in the list held no meaning to Ves. He never heard of these outlandishly named groups before. "Fortunately, there aren't any military units among the listed groups. We can beat the pirates as long as they don't unite."
Due to the navigational restriction required to dial-in the coordinates of the Starlight Megalodon, only five different outfits or alliances actually made the jump. That didn't preclude latecomers from joining in at the party at a later date, but for now these five groupings became the focal point of the Flagrant Swordmaidens.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Major Verle summoned the officers for another conference meeting in an hour. It should be the final one before they made the jump themselves, because the longer they lingered at the gates, the longer they remained vulnerable to another bottom feeder assault.
It took a few more hours for the FTL drives of their supply train to finish cycling. Those slow transports and cargo haulers that carried all of their essential supplies had pretty much slowed them down from the start, allowing the other participants of the game to overtake their progress.
Still, the Vandals remained unconcerned as the extra supplies gave them a lot more depth and lasting power in a long campaign, which the Vandals possessed a lot of familiarity with. Most pirates on the other hand had a tendency to neglect logistics, with the excuse that they could always raid the supplies of another force if they ran out of stuff.
This also happened to make the supply train a juicy target to pirates.