Chapter 827: Sacrifice?
Middle Heaven held nothing back. The moment its drones were dispatched they shook the heavens with their offensive response.
Fifteen thousand drones flooded the battlefield like wasps from the hive. All four of their laser cannons were blazing from the outset, forcing lesser creatures back before they ever got close. The spread of their guns was so ubiquitous and intense they could rival four interstellar fleets.
Five such fleets surrounded Middle Heaven now, but for now their cannons were dark. It seemed like they were waiting for something. Likewise Middle Heaven’s honeycomb of cannons were on full display, but were not firing. The saffron yellow energy that twinkled in the depths of its guns could be seen, but no one knew when they would explode into action.
One of Monarch’s avatars was the commander of the enemy forces. It lifted it arm overhead and in response the crocodile-like monsters picked up speed. Once more they roared a challenge at the human ships, but the shockwave they produced was aimed at the drones instead of the bastion.
Your bastion may be able to withstand our shockwave, it must have thought, but can your paltry drones?
It went without saying that shockwave was a restrictive force of the drones. The wide-spread attack limited their actions. But Middle Heaven had an answer.
The drones broke off and scattered in all directions to try and avoid the blast. Meanwhile the barrels at the rear of Middle Heavens fired all together, hurling the bastion forward like an enormous cannon ball. In the same moment the myriad of guns on its surface began to radiate with yellow light.
Lan Qing’s earlier surprise attack, Solar Flare, was fresh in the enemy’s mind. It’d served as a profound lesson for them.
The titans broke off their charge and the avatars that rode them swelled. In an instant they were a thousand meters tall, evil giants in human flesh surrounded by a stifling aura. They didn’t attack right away, waiting for the perfect moment. When the opportunity presented itself they would strike and destroy this bastion that had caused them so much suffering.
The titans themselves were no less commanding than sovereign-class Capital ships. The avatars that commanded them were equivalent to Nirvana-level Paragons. They were confident in their overwhelming force, assured in the inevitable destruction of their prey. Although bastions were a danger, their technology-based attacks were limited by resources.
As they’d learned, Solar Flare was terrifyingly destructive but only within a certain scope. The avatars had the advantage of speed and knew Middle Heaven’s plans, so the humans could not lure them close enough for the attack to do them harm.
For the moment the battle was at a stalemate, but the aliens had the advantage of numbers.
Middle Heaven launched ahead alone. Saffron light flickered against the purple skin of the beasts as the distance between them closed.
Suddenly the frontal cannons on Middle Heaven lit up. Just as Monarch’s avatar thought a frontal attack was incoming, the whole bastion flared with blinding light. Its rear thrusters opened wide and the ship blazed ahead like an indomitable comet.
The sheer power radiating from the bastion was enough to strike fear in the hearts of the avatars. Almost automatically they tried to avoid where they thought the attack would come from but Middle Heaven didn’t stop. On the contrary it continued to pick up speed, and all the while the bright yellow energy encasing it grew brighter. It looked like preparation for Solar Flare.
More surprising to the fragment of Monarch was the erratic, almost unstable pulses of energy it felt from the bastion. The faster it went the more precarious it felt, like the entire ship could detonate at any moment.
Was it planning…?
After a moment of surprise the avatar understood what Middle Heaven was going to do. Middle Heaven wasn’t moving in to attack them, it was heading right for Europa. It was a blazing comet on a collision course with the Western capital.
Monarch’s doppelganger was bewildered. The alien forces were confident they could repel the humans, even destroy them. However, it had never occurred to them that Middle Heaven would throw itself into one of the humans own planets.
Middle Heaven, remember, was a planet that was remolded into a ship. The sheer catastrophic force of two planets colliding was terrifying to ponder. What’s more, the fluctuating waves of power radiating from the ship far surpassed what the aliens imagined it was capable of. It was comparable to the energy of an exploding star!
Even if the alien home worlds completed their evolution, the explosion like that might be enough to destroy them.
Unthinkable! Monarch’s avatar released an ear-piercing shriek, calling the titans back. They swung around and charged toward Middle Heaven, desperate to stop it at all costs. They could not allow the bastion to collide with Europa.
Pressure on the remaining ships eased as the avatars were pulled from the battlefield. Though Middle Heaven was no longer in play, the five fleets it left behind and its drones were able to hold the line together with the other two bastions.
Their long-ranged advantage continued to serve the humans as the battle progressed, substantially increased by the addition of the drones. The containment strategies and sheer number of the smaller ships made up for their lack of close-range combat ability.
Much to the surprise of commanders on Poseidon and Tyrannosaurus, Middle Heaven’s drones stayed in the fight despite its bastion leaving. Their stores of energy were far superior to the others even employing double the number of laser guns per ship. One drone packed the punch of a battleship.
If it were a few ships it wouldn’t mean much, but fifteen thousand such vessels was unheard of! One salvo cleared out a huge area of foes, and the attacks were perfectly executed. Clearly their training and cooperation were also superior. After evading the enemy shockwave, they quickly became the main force for front line. Under their protection the five interstellar fleets continued to tear through the enemy with their own weapons, while reducing their own losses.