Chapter 4329 Plundering The Fridaymen
Chapter 4329 Plundering The Fridaymen
Now that Operation Saturday Market had progressed past its most dangerous and risky phase, Ves and many Larkinsons in the fleet no longer remained on high alert.
That did not mean that they let loose every precaution and treated this trip to Pima Prime like a holiday, but at least no one needed to act as if the Fridaymen could start a fight at any second.
The intelligence operatives dispatched by the Hexers and the Larkinsons gained an excellent grasp of enemy movements and activity. The defeat of the Sundered Phalanx in orbit combined with the chaos and disruption that took place on the surface opened up a lot of vulnerabilities that agents took advantage of in the last few days.
The local Fridaymen didn’t even know that a part of their command centers had already been bugged!
This was why Ves possessed a high degree of confidence that nothing on the surface could threaten his main fleet at this stage.
The only serious danger that he needed to take into account was the possibility that a large mech army was quickly heading towards Pima Prime V under warp travel.
However, the Hex Army already took that possibility into account. They had seeded every corner of the star system with probes and listening devices whose sole job was to track warp travel activity.
Every warp drive and minidrive worked by bending the surrounding space to form so-called warp bubbles that allowed mechs and starships to reach their destinations faster.
The disturbances and fluctuations generated by these powerful drives were as obvious as observing the ripples of a lake.
Even if the fast-acting reinforcements dispatched by the Fridaymen managed to avoid the detection of all of these warp detectors, the Hex Army already deployed a web of warp inhibitors in every direction.
This prevented the newcomers from dropping their ships and mechs right on top of the invading fleet!
With all of these precautions and more in place, Ves decided to relax and enjoy the good news that his troops regularly transmitted from the surface.
He moved back to the main design lab and began to study the abundance of data generated by the battle in orbit.
There was so much interesting footage and data that Ves felt as if he had entered a paradise!
He casually waved his hand and activated a projection that showed a globe representing Pima Prime V.
The augmented map not only showed the fantastic terraformed landscape of a colony that the Gauge Dynasty once regarded as one of its crown jewels, but also tracked the activities taking place in different settlements.
The city of Ardam turned into a particularly busy hotspot as at least a half of the mechs that landed on the surface had infested the place!
“It’s beautiful.” Gloriana remarked as she held a dozing Marvaine in her arms. She had taken her eyes away from the battle footage of the Mars to observe the globe as well. “Look at all the cities that are burning. The Hex Army is as decisive as ever.”
The Hexers specifically brought out striker mechs armed with flamethrowers and artillery mechs capable of firing flammable shells to burn as much construction as possible.
Though engulfing the cities in flames took quite a lot of effort that the Hexers could have spent on breaking open more fortified areas, the Hexers eagerly wanted to make Pima Prime V as unlivable as possible.
The main reason for the Hexers to spread so many fires wasn’t even centered around setting back development or trying to destroy as much value as possible.
The Hexers wanted to spread fear and apprehension in the hearts of the Fridaymen. By wiping out their homes and workplaces, the Hexers sent their archenemies a clear and open message.
It was conceivable that it would become a lot less popular for the Fridaymen in the old galaxy to immigrate to the new frontier!
After all, the Fridaymen recently gained control over an entire star sector. The Friday Coalition reigned over Komodo Star Sector and did not have to worry about getting attacked by hostile neighbors.
The Friday Colonies were in a different situation. Not only were the colonies a lot less developed than any population center back in the old galaxy, but the colonists also had to take into account that the Hexers might drop by and ruin the party at any time!
Ves shook his head in disapproval. “Don’t talk like that in front of our kids. Our conflict against the Friday Coalition is old news. The two of us might still harbor hard feelings against the Fridaymen, but I don’t want children to get caught up in a spiral of revenge.”
He directed a loving gaze at his suited daughters who were sitting on a mat while playing with their cats.
“Miaow~” Clixie purred as Aurelia scratched the cat behind the ears.
“Meow.” Lucky jumped up in the air and caught the ball that Andraste had flicked above her head.
Both girls noticed their father’s attention and beamed in his direction.
Ves’ heart melted a bit. He didn’t want his girls to take over the obsessions of the Hexers. The Red Ocean was bigger than the Fridaymen. It was much more productive for the Larkinson Clan to interact with other groups that were much more relevant in the future rather than remain stuck in the past.
As Ves tracked the incoming news about the developments on the surface, he briefly raised his eyebrows when he heard that his troops successfully made a few gains in the academic districts of Ardam.
The Larkinson Clan was the only visiting group that bothered to raid the academic district at all. The rest simply weren’t interested in plundering boring data and obscure lab equipment that the Fridaymen hadn’t managed to destroy.
Ves was different. He wanted to enrich his understanding of advanced technologies and wanted to obtain glimpses of what others were working on. Who knows whether the works of other researchers and developers might end up improving the performance of the next batch of Larkinson mechs.
His wife found his priorities rather amusing. “You truly want to get a peek at other people’s work, don’t you? You have a rather interesting habit of stealing other people’s work and ideas.”
“I’m not a thief, Gloriana. I take inspiration from the work of other mech designers. There is a difference.” Ves emphatically defended himself. “My design solutions might share a resemblance of what I have seen before, but I have always applied my own interpretation to them. Every mech designer stands on the shoulders of giants. None of us would ever be able to design mechs as great as ours if we didn’t have a huge body of existing mechs and knowledge to bring us up. I’m just taking a few more liberties than usual.”
His wife clearly didn’t buy it. “If you say so, Ves. Personally, I think you should set your expectations straight. The research data that you can obtain from those research institutions and development companies won’t be usable to us unless we employ a team of highly competent phasewater specialists. Unless you can gain a controlling interest in a company such as Melmen Advanced Systems, there shouldn’t be any way we can make good use of specialized phasewater research files.”
He sighed. “You might have a point, but it is still worth a try. Phasewater technology is the future of human warfare. The battle that we have just fought clearly taught us that. Personally, I’m hoping to see data on how they efficiently increased the penetration capabilities of the Space Piercer mech model. We already developed a handful of spearman mechs and lancer mechs that would definitely benefit from this application.”
“We can develop this application ourselves, you know. You don’t have to insist on stealing someone else’s homework to lace the tips of our spears and lances with phasewater.”
Ves shook his head in disagreement. “I don’t think it is as simple as letting a drop of phasewater fall onto the tips of the weapons. It takes special production processes to maximize their toughness and penetration power. There are also many possible alloys that you can use to make the speartips. The Fridaymen should have invested a lot of research into finding out the most optimal alloys out of all of the possible metals that they can obtain in the Red Ocean. Besides, there should be other interesting pieces of tech available as well. I’m particularly looking forward to stealing the Viper’s corrosive fluid formulas.”
“Didn’t you just state that you don’t engage in theft?”
“Ahem, I meant that it might be useful for us to diversify our offensive options by developing our own powerful acid solution that is laced with phasewater.” Ves coughed.
“Why would you possibly resort to such an unconventional weapon solution?” Gloriana frowned. “We have never worked with it before and it isn’t our style to dabble with them. It’s too dangerous and we don’t have the expertise to minimize accidents. Do you know that a lot of mech designers end up creating accidents by playing around with dangerous substances?”
“It’s not as bad as you think. Most of those accidents occurred because of negligence, not because the tech is inherently volatile.”
His wife grew tired of him. “There are good reasons why such a dangerous payload is almost entirely absent in mech combat. It only takes a strong wind for a mech to take itself out. If I were you, I would stick to those luminar crystal weapons that you are so good at. Didn’t the MTA turn you into a contributor of restricted technology because of your expertise in this alien tech?”
“I’m aware of that, honey, but I already have an idea on how to handle that. I think these corrosive fluids pair best with organic mechs. In fact, it might even be possible to design a biomech that contains an organ that can automatically produce a specific formula as long as it is fed with the right materials!”
Ves didn’t know why, but he felt the strange urge to design a scorpion-based mech.
Perhaps it was because one of his proudest and strongest works got destroyed by the Skorpion Kommando.
Even though the circumstances behind the Shield of Samar were unconventional to say the least, a defeat was a defeat.
Perhaps a normal person would have developed an animosity towards the Skorpion Kommando for killing off such a powerful and valuable living mech, but Ves was different.
As a mech designer, he respected and admired any mech that was strong enough to beat his own work.
Ves even wanted to call the Viper and hold a constructive exchange with her in order to understand the design of the Skorpion Kommando.
It was unfortunate that he probably wasn’t on speaking terms with the Masters of the Gauge Dynasty. Many of them probably hated his guts for defeating so many of their works!
“How is the Mars doing, by the way?” Ves asked.
“Shouldn’t you be asking this question to the Crossers?”
“Master Benedict probably wants to deepen your involvement in its development. I haven’t received any news about the Mars lately. Did he invite you to tweak the Mars further?”
“In fact, he did.” Gloriana unabashedly grinned. “The Mars revealed so much about itself during its duel against the Neo Amadeus. It also evolved so much over the course of the fight that we need to survey all of the changes and understand how elements such as the Endex System and the god body system will continue to affect its performance. I already have a few follow-up ideas in mind to optimize its configuration as a second skin mech as opposed to a traditional living mech.”
Ves was not jealous. Seriously. He was just happy that his wife continued to receive further opportunities to participate in the ongoing development of the only ace mech in the Golden Skull Alliance.
It might even be for the best that Ves didn’t waste his time on a mech that no longer had much to do with him anymore. He gained so many new ideas from the recent battle that he could easily pack his schedule with lots of interesting design projects.