Teaming up with Pairixan to kill Pailanon so that the aggressive sacred god gained control over the ancient city of Samar?
It sounded preposterous! Captain Byrd immediately shook her head. "Good work, now get back to the fast transport."
"Are we going to do what is promised, ma'am?"
"No." Byrd immediately replied while pressing her lips together. "We'll just give Pairixan a show, but we need to kill this overgrown lizard as soon as the power generators are ready to blow. I don't trust this fellow anymore than a Vesian. At least we know enough about Pailanon for him to ignore us as long as we don't threaten his power base."
Captain Byrd ordered a company of mechs to walk in to visual range of the sacred gods, but come no closer if they could help it. As the mechs halted within visual range but well outside of hearing range, Pairixan and the other sacred gods started to become befuddled.
The delay irritated the god and the earth started to shake.
The mechs immediately turned around and caused the surrounding earth to shake more violently! Pairixan expended a great amount of energy that completely devastated a wide area around him. The earthquake even affected the mechs, but because they stayed far enough away from the epicenter, the mechs all managed to get away in time.
With their gravitic backpacks active, they moved a lot faster and nimbler than Pairixan expected!
In fact, none of the sacred gods could explain how the outsiders managed to make the machines move so fast. Pairixan gazed at the mechs as they ran with a hungry and greedy expression.
Perhaps it wanted to find out how the mechs moved so fast!
As the mechs finally moved out of sight, leaving the sacred gods alone, Pairixan began to exert his considerable might yet against and smoothed out the terrain in front of him. A straight avenue amidst the broken soil led straight into the direction of the camp.
They resumed their march too fast!
"Where are we on the power generators?!"
"Chief Dakkon reports that he needs fifteen more minutes to bring them to the cargo hold of the flying transport, ma'am! He's prepared three separate power generators!"
Detonating three power generators at the same time should be enough to overwhelm any form of defenses if they blew up at the same time and the same place. The only problem was that if the sacred gods came any closer, the camp would fall within the destructive range!
The Vandals tried a few other tricks. For example, a fast transport deposited a giant candy bar made out of thousands of nutrient packs. Once the sacred gods came across the poisonous gift, the sacred gods looked at it with suspicion.
Despite its appealing smell, the sacred gods weren't following their instincts! In fact, the beast riders pointed at the candy bar and expressed a lot of suspicion towards this strange piece of food that came out of the blue.
Though Pairixan looked as if it grew tempted enough to take a bite, his beast rider always pulled him back at the last second.
"Pairixan's beast rider is sharp enough to know that it's a trap!"
Watching the interaction between the beast riders and the sacred gods indicated that the beasts listened to their riders. However, their instincts still reigned strong as the beasts all showed signs of succumbing to their baser needs.
However, their human partners played vital roles into adding some brains to the equation.
If not for the beast riders, the Vandals could have fooled the sacred gods!
"They're bypassing the candy bar."
"It was worth a try. At least it bought us two minutes of time."
"Resume the attack! If we can't slow them down by using tricks, we can still shell them so hard that they have no choice but to slow down!"
The artillery cannons barked, while hundreds of laser rifles unleashed their hot fury. The brief respite the Vandals bought through their tricks managed to give the cannons and lasers time to cool down while replenishing some of their ammunition or batteries. This didn't sound significant, but the pause allowed them to fire their weapons without worrying about breaking them or running out of ammunition!
The heavy bombardment slowed down the progress of the sacred gods, especially since some of them landed in their path. On the advice of a tactical officer, the heavy cannons began to deform the ground up ahead, causing Pairixan to waste valuable time and energy smoothing out the ground and reinforcing it to withstand the repeated impacts.
All of this only slowed down the sacred gods just a fraction, but that already helped them out a lot!
"The engineers have finished loading the power generators in the transport!"
"Lift off immediately!"
Engineers continued to babysit the power generators as they became increasingly less stable inside the flying transport.
If nothing happened, they would eventually melt down or blow up, causing the entire camp to be engulfed with an instantaneous release of energy!
Therefore, the transport immediately climbed into the air with no hesitation. Though the heavy gravity did its best to pull it down to the ground, the transport had been modified to endure the increased strain. As one of the rare transports modified to deal with the heavy pull of the soil, the transport climbed higher and higher in the air with great diffculty.
The transport moved fast. Faster than any of the legged transports or mechs. The only reason why the Flagrant Swordmaidens relied on landbound transports instead for their ground forces was because the flying transports wouldn't be able to operate as they came within a certain range of the Starlight Megalodon.
For now though, the Flagrant Swordmaidens were only at the start of their journey. They could still receive aid from the fleet.
Everyone held their breaths as the flying transports slowly climbed higher and higher while approaching the location of the sacred gods. The transport slowed down once it hovered over the sacred gods.
It flew high enough in the sky that the sacred gods hadn't noticed the object in the air. The space barrier projected over the exobeasts also blocked their view from what was lurking from above.
As far as any of the natives and sacred gods were concerned, nothing could fly! Their limited worldview didn't incorporate flying objects. In fact, not a single bird made up part of the planet's artificial ecosystem.
"The transport is prepared to drop the power generators onto the projected path of the sacred gods, ma'am. The engineers aboard the transport are awaiting your orders."
Captain Byrd faced a difficult decision. Once they did this, they might suffer unintentional consequences. The sheer energy released from detonating three power generators at a time would deal a lot of damage to the environment.
In addition, losing those three power generators meant that the ground forces wouldn't be able to generate as much energy to replenish their energy. This created an even greater deficit in their energy budget that would be very hard to make up unless they figured out the secrets behind the god crystals that the natives used to call down an energy tornado.
"Is the camp at risk at this point?"
"We'll suffer light damage, ma'am, but the heavy cannons placed at the front of the camp will bear the brunt of the shockwave and emissions released from the simultaneous detonations."
Captain Byrd needed to make up her mind fast. If the sacred gods got any closer, the detonations would inflict increasingly serious damage to the camp!
Everyone feared what the Starlight Megalodon might think, but it was too late for regrets now.
"Drop the power generators in one minute. All mechs, pull back and put as much distance as possible!"
The rifleman mechs stopped firing their lasers and immediately turned tail to run. The melee mechs that had been prepared to face the sacred gods in melee did likewise!
Even the Vandals manning the huge artillery guns placed in the front of the camp all evacuated the weapons and sought out a better form of shelter.
A power generator deliberately induced to blow up at their maximum strength was no joke! The vast majority of cases where power generators malfunctioned only caused a single chamber to be annihilated, with most of the reactants left inert. A simple explosion wouldn't be able to cause these stable reactants to unleash their energy.
However, if manipulated in special circumstances, the reactants could be induced to unleash the majority of their energy at a single instant.
This was exactly what the engineers had done, and that was why every mech tried to get the hell away from the range of the impending detonations!
"Five, four, three, two, one, the power generators are dropping!"
Three objects fell out of the cargo hold in quick succession. The engineers placed each of the power generators into a makeshift aeronynamic shell in order to steer their fall a bit. Right now, they were dropping right into the path of the sacred gods.
Seconds passed as they kept falling and falling. They dropped at such a height to buy the flying transport enough time to escape the area.
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A humongous explosion that combined the fury of three power generators detonated at the same took place in close proximity over the space barrier of the sacred gods.
All of the sensors the Vandals pointed towards the explosion temporarily went blind as a flood of light and heat and other emissions momentarily blinded them. The entire bunker shook horribly as the explosion also shook the surrounding terrain.
The energy released by the explosion was incredibly violent and had certainly scoured the entire area!
The camp wasn't exempt from the damage as most of the artillery cannons slightly became deformed and sustained other forms of damage. They paid for the cheap construction by being susceptible to damage!
The Akkara mechs fared much better as their superior alloys easily endured the repercussions of the explosion. The camp itself consisted of solid prefab structures that were designed to withstand a certain level of shock, so none of the buildings toppled over, though they did sustain some form of damage on the side facing the explosion.
As the worst of the blast slowly faded away, the smoke, heat and debris released from the blast formed into a mushroom cloud.
"What is the status of the targets?!"
"We're unable tell! Our sensors can't penetrate the cloud of heat and smoke!"
They needed to wait several more minutes until all of the debris and smoke and fire in the air finally faded away to allow the Vandals to see the result of their reckless action.
"The space barrier has disappeared! The sacred gods all show visible signs of injury!"
"Pairixan and Qilanxo are still alive and conscious!"
"All of the beast riders are gone! They've likely been burned or vaporized from the blast!"
Both beasts looked terrible. The three smaller sacred gods didn't show any signs of life.
All five beasts bore scorched and broken scales. Some of the damage dug deep into their flesh and charred it extensively.
The most important detail was that none of the beasts were projecting any forms of defense! Their god crystals had grown dim as defending their bodies from the incredibly powerful blast had overcome the formidable defenses of Qilanxo's space barrier and their personal defense fields!
"We're detecting strong seismic activity!"
"Pairixan is expending his final reserves of energy!"
"Don't let the beast pull off his final move! All mechs, get back into range and open fire on Pairixan!"
The Akkara mechs opened fire first. Their artillery shells landed accurately onto Pairixan after being fed targeting data from nearby sensors. The closest rifleman mechs turned back and peppered Pairixan with dozens of lasers.
This time, no space barrier or energy field stood in the way, and their absence made an immediate difference!
"It's just like slaughtering a wild god! Without their energy, they're just giant exobeasts with a lot of meat!"
Pairixan's huge size and strong layers of abnormally strong muscle and fat caused him to hold out for a minute, but the sheer weight of fire sent in his direction inevitably did him in. After some time, the Vandals became sure that Pairixan died.