The Mech Touch Chapter 822
820 Talkative Jimmy
Losing the three power generators seriously affected the energy budget of the Vandals over time. The projections became so bad that the Swordmaidens temporarily lent one of theirs to them until the fleet shipped over a spare power generator they cobbled up out of spare parts and materials.
All of the power released in the form of heat, pressure, electromagnetic radiation and etcetera could have been employed to feed their mechs and transports of their voracious hunger for juice.
Still, it was for a good cause. If the Flagrant Swordmaidens sent their melee mechs against Pairixan, then the result would have been no different than throwing an egg against a rock.
The Vandals still suffered from the lingering trauma from the battle against the Frosty Meteors. When a raiding regiment like the Flagrant Vandals directly attacked a detachment of the heavy assault regiment of the Frosty Meteors in a desperate head-on clash, the side with the lighter and less resilient mechs lost seriously!
The only reason why they won the battle against the Frosty Meteors was because they underestimated the determination of the Vandals and engaged with too few mechs.
Still, the sheer quality and resilience of their medium and heavy mechs had unavoidably exacted a painful price to the Vandals, who heavily relied on mobility to avoid the strong points of the enemy and exploit their weak points.
After the battle ended, the recovery began. Support personnel buzzed about as they took care of multiple tasks. The camp sustained some damage that caused several pieces of equipment to fail.
A lot of mechs also sustained light damage. To some mechs, the damage remained cosmetic, but some other mechs needed another round of servicing in order to work out their kinks.
Right now, the focus of the ground forces lay in taking in their spoils. A raft of science officers, doctors, exobiologists, engineers and other experts descended upon ground zero. Everyone either participated in the study of the sacred god carcasses or performed preliminary scans on their only live prisoner.
A modest amount of Vandal and Swordmaiden melee mechs stood guard next to the unconscious form of Qilanxo, the Shield of Samar. The best doctors and exobiologists collaborated to prop up her life and prevent her many serious injuries from joining the rest of the Eastern Samar Pantheon into death.
Withstanding the combined explosions of three power generators at ground zero was no joke!
Still, the fact that she didn't immediately succumb to the powerful explosion impressed the men and women. In their dreams, they imagined taming this powerful sacred god and leverage her powers for their own benefit.
There wasn't a single Vandal or Swordmaiden who wasn't impressed by the strength of her space barrier!
It withstood so much shelling and laser fire without unduly straining Qilanxo's energy reserves. While energy screens existed which offered a comparable amount of shielding, heavy damage quickly drained their capacitors, causing them to run dry as soon as they endured a single salvo of explosive shells!
Therefore, true value in Qilanxo's space barrier lay in the fact that she could potentially keep it up for an hour, if not more!
If employed in the right circumstances, she could protect a position long enough from enemy enemy fire and increase their options in battle.
It went without saying that trying to subdue and tame Qilanxo became one of their highest priorities!
Of course, studying the other sacred gods also needed to be done. The other sacred gods were too young and weak to be of importance, so the exobiologists quickly performed deeply invasive studies on their carcasses now that they could still be called fresh.
The only carcass worth building a freezer chamber around was the one that belonged to Pairixan. The extremely powerful sacred god was considerably old and powerful and certainly deserved more care. The engineers in particular wanted to decipher how Pairixan managed to draw power from his plentiful god crystals and if they could somehow replicate this ability.
In the meantime, the Flagrant Swordmaidens kept a wary eye on the ancient city of Samar. Fortunately, it appeared Pailanon mainly preoccupied himself with taking over the eastern side of the city. Now that his younger brother bit off more than he could chew, the older brother had the entire city for himself!
"Pailanon isn't showing any signs of taking revenge." A well-informed Vandal told him one day during mealtime. Talkative Jimmy earned himself a reputation among the Vandals for being a well-informed gossip, though he had an unfortunate habit of embellishing his stories sometimes. "All talk of going out to confront us in battle is being stifled by Pailanon's supplicants. Half the city is afraid of us, while the other half is afraid of the only remaining heir to the Great Father."
"I imagine that our continued presence here next to the city is giving Pailanon a lot of pressure." Ves remarked as he consumed a simple meal reconstituted out of nutrient packs.
Despite all the demands, the cooks weren't allowed to process the sacred god meat yet. The meat had been laced with too much radiation. All the anti-radiation treatments they had on hand was being spent on helping Qilanxo recover. The doctors had no spare anti-rads left to clean up the carcasses to satisfy the men's voracious hunger for sacred god meat.
The allure of eating the flesh that many natives worshipped as gods still held a perverse attraction to the Vandals and Swordmaidens.
If they wanted to eat more god meat, they'd just have to hunt down another wild god.
Talkative Jimmy smiled in a lazy manner. "Now that we bagged ourselves some sacred gods, we don't need to trade with Samar anymore. We've harvested so many god crystals that there's no use trying to trade for more. In fact, I heard that Captain Byrd intends to ignore all the ancient cities from now on. As soon as we finish our repairs and rein in Qilanxo, she intends for us to head straight to the Starlight Megalodon."
The Flagrant Swordmaidens lingered long enough near their starting point. A long trek awaited the ground expedition. It would take months or a year to reach the Starlight Megalodon, but they weren't alone. If they didn't move out soon enough, their rivals might reach the battleship first!
The only reasons why Ves didn't worry about getting overtaken by others was because the race to the Starlight Megalodon was a marathon, not a sprint. The incredible distance and the difficult circumstances strained the logistical capabilities of any mech force on the ground.
Ves predicted that the pirates may not have been as well-prepared as they thought. Perhaps only the Vesians brought sufficient supplies to make it all the way to the battleship on their own.
As for the rest? The underprepared pirates and other scum would probably resort to the only solution they always fell back on. Ves figured they would attempt to plunder others to get what they needed, be it the ancient cities or their rivals.
"What do the Vandals think of Captain Byrd's leadership so far?"
"She's okay for a commanding officer. Captain Byrd is kind of like Colonel Lowenfield, in a way." Jimmy carefully said. Obviously, he didn't want to say anything about about the captain. "They're both meticulous to the point of slowing us all down, but they both do right by us. Still, not everyone is satisfied with how she's taking her time with matters."
"Is Captain Orfan agitating the men?"
"Oh, she grumbles all the time, but everyone is used to her. She always runs her mouth when she isn't satisfied, but she has no chance of changing anything as long as Captain Byrd is calling the shots."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Then who else is dissatisfied?"
Talkative Jimmy gazed at Ves with a shifty expression. He leaned in to whisper, which was completely useless as the auditory sensors in the mess hall recorded every possible sound no matter how soft they spoke.
Ves could have activated his signal jammer to ensure privacy, but he didn't bother as they were just engaging in idle gossip right now.
"A few mech pilots are beginning to hang out with Venerable Xie." Jimmy whispered. Did he even know that he might as well talk normally? "Our new expert pilot isn't a big of a snob as Venerable O'Callahan. Our old expert pilot never mingled with the rank-and-file, but it's completely different with Venerable Xie. He's welcomed a small number of mech pilots in his circle."
Hearing this made his stomach drop. Ves suddenly lost his appetite. He hadn't put his likely failed attempt at brainwashing the expert pilot on his mind lately due to recent events, but the matter with the foreigner-turned-Vandal continued to tick like a bomb in their very midst.
"What is Venerable Xie doing with these mech pilots?"
"I heard he's taking them under his wing. That man can pilot almost any mech and is good at a lot of different things. There's not a single mech pilot who he can't help. Venerable Xie only started his tutoring very recently and he already earned a rabid fanbase. Even the Swordmaidens want a piece of the action!"
What Talkative Jimmy described to Ves sounded like a prelude to building up his own faction. The problem was that expert pilots enjoyed such a high status and their piloting skills were so good that almost no mech pilot would be able to resist the temptation!
This was an opportunity to receive tutoring from an expert pilot! Compared to Venerable O'Callahan's unfriendliness and disdain towards the Vandals, the new expert pilot uncharacteristically engaged with lowly mortals.
"That's not normal." Ves stated. "An expert's time is precious. They're always training or preparing for the next battle to come. While it's not unusual for experts to offer some tips to mech pilots, it's not an efficient use of their time."
This especially went for Karol Xie who long stalled in his growth to greater heights. As someone who had entered the realm of experts long ago and only made it up to eight laveres of resonance strength, he had a long way to go.
Instead of trying to work hard to improve his somewhat meager strength among experts, he bewilderingly opted to act as a nanny to other mech pilots.
There was no other reason to do so except to gain a deeper foothold within the Vandals.
It might not sound like much right now, but if he continued to draw in others, then Captain Byrd's authority would be undermined!
Worst of all, Captain Byrd lacked the power and standing to prevent Venerable Xie from doing whatever he wanted. Even if she was aware of what the expert pilot might be up to, she could not go against the will of the mech pilots in this regard.
Not many expert pilots actually chose to exercise their authority. The few that did often became extremely powerful.
Among Larkinson's own family, his uncle Ark who presided over Citadel Havensworth was one of the most brilliant examples of this. As demigods, they naturally commanded respect, which empowered their leadership abilities!
Talkative Jimmy kept glancing at Ves as if he anticipated some reaction. "You don't much like Venerable Xie, do you?"
Ves tried to figure out Jimmy's motives. Who's camp was he in? His intuition told him that while Jimmy showed some hero worship towards the expert pilot, it hadn't reached a point of no return.
Perhaps he could make use of Jimmy. He'd have to be careful though. Ves did not want to draw any ire upon himself.
"Expert pilots are expert pilots. Yet they are humans as well. We barely know him and he's still too new to the Vandals and the Mech Corps. It's not unusual for the mech pilots to become his fans, but they shouldn't forget their duties. We serve the Republic, not a single individual. That is the Vesian way."
Talkative Jimmy grinned at Ves. "Spoken like a true Brighter."
"Someone needs to retain their clarity through all of the madness that happened recently."
As if Ves was any better.