Chapter 3824 Vanguard Composition
Now that the Golden Skull Alliance decided to stop remaining passive, the leaders immediately formulated a plan.
Much of it was tentative and general as no one could tell what was on the other side of the portal.
Was it a secret phase whale mansion
Was it a ruined alien city
Was it a wild and undeveloped wilderness
Was it a fractured space pocket that was already beginning to fall apart
No one knew! People could make guesses based on what was pouring out of the portal, but none of them were confident in their answers.
The only way to know for sure was to head inside and confirm the situation on the other side of the portal in person!
There was no other way.
The Larkinsons had already tried to sneak through hundreds of different probes, some of which were microscopic in size, but the dense crowd of fish-whales made it impossible for any of them to survive the journey!
Even the stealth probes dispatched by the Black Cats got taken down.
The fish-whales appeared to be quite sensitive towards what was happening in their immediate surroundings.
The elite variants were even more perceptive than their ordinary white brethren!
The Larkinsons and their allies had no choice but to give up their attempts to scout the enemy\'s terrain.
They needed to push forward and pass through the stabilized portal without any solid idea of what they might face.
The dangers of such a mission could not be understated.
Any mech that passed through the portal might encounter an alien defense mechanism that could instantly wipe them all out upon entry!
The vanguard must be strong enough to push the tide of fish-whales back. Ves stated to General Verle.
However, they must not be important enough that their loss will hurt our overall strength.
I will not approve of any plans to send our expert mechs in the first wave.
Their loss is much harder for us to replace!
It was virtually impossible to poach expert pilots from other organizations.
These strong-willed individuals were usually loyal to a fault.
Ordinary enticements didn\'t work on them, especially when their employers put a lot of effort into keeping them happy!
As such, the only way the Larkinsons could expand their roster of expert pilots was to nurture them from their own ranks.
This was bound to be a slow and gradual process.
In comparison, it was much simpler for the Larkinsons to replenish their regular troops.
The clan lost hundreds if not thousands of mechs and mech pilots in prior battles, but the Larkinson Army always bounced back with relative ease.
The reason for that was that it was easy for the clan to make up for its losses.
The Spirit of Bentheim could easily pump out mech after mech as long as the supply of raw materials was sufficient.
The Larkinson Clan also arrived in the Red Ocean with a surplus of mech pilots, so Ves had plenty of ready and able reservists to call upon to fill the missing positions.
Even if this pool of manpower ran out, it was not a big problem to go on the job market and hire additional batches of mech pilots.
While there weren\'t a lot of mech pilots for hire in a dwarf galaxy where security was in high demand, it was not impossible to hire hundreds of slightly inadequate pilots.
There were probably good reasons why these pilots failed to find satisfactory employment up until now, but if there was one thing the Larkinson Clan was good at, it was training and converting outsiders into loyal and reliable soldiers!
Due to these considerations, the Larkinson Clan, Glory Seekers and Cross Clan all mustered up the necessary troops.
Over a thousand mechs that were still on standby were called up to form the vanguard.
Among the Larkinsons forces, General Verle had decided to tap in the Avatars of Myth, the Flagrant Vandals, the Penitent Sisters as part of the first wave.
The mechs dispatched by these mech legions needed to face the brunt of the fish-whale onslaught.
It was not enough for them to stand their ground.
They needed to push forward and gain more space for the expeditionary forces!
General Verle quickly explained their next moves to Ves.
We do not know what is on the other side of the portal, but if we can control enough space, we can send in our second wave in order to secure a beachhead into enemy territory.
This is just as important as we need to make sure we retain an escape route in case our forward troops encounter too many fish-whales.
The second wave consisted of at least 800 mechs and mostly consisted of defensive mechs and ranged mechs.
The Living Sentinels, the Battle Criers and the Eye of Ylvaine were being tapped to help control the space portal on the other end.
Their job was to do the same as they were doing now, and that was to hold back any fish-whales from going forward!
In order to boost the defenses of the planned bridgehead, General Verle decided to call in the big guns.
A mech company of Transcendent Punishers were on their way to the mining site as their firepower could play an immensely useful role in mowing down hordes of cannon fodder fish-whales!
What about the Swordmaidens Ves asked.
You haven\'t mentioned them before.
Given their inclinations, I am sure they would love to hack their big swords through the flesh of these alien creatures.
The leader of the Larkinson Army frowned.
Their role will be much more limited and specialized in this operation.
The Swordmaidens are strong offensive assets, but their defenses leave much to be desired, sir.
I am sure they can adequately handle individual fish-whales with skill and patience, but the nature of this battle does not allow them to fight on their terms.
Without additional defensive support, the fish-whale horde will rapidly damage and wear down the vulnerable Swordmaiden mechs.
The general was right.
The Swordmaidens could deal a lot of damage but they weren\'t as good at taking it.
The new Second Sword model designed by Ketis only partially addressed this shortcoming, and there weren\'t enough of the newer and stronger mechs in the hands of the Swordmaidens to make a difference!
Ves briefly hummed.
What are your plans for them, then
I only intend to send in a limited amount of Swordmaiden units through the portal.
It is not necessary for them to waste their time on fighting the grunt fishes.
With their skill and offensive power, it is much better to deploy them against the elite fish-whales.
That\'s a good idea.
What of our expert mechs
It is too irresponsible to put them in the first wave, but as long as we have secured a beachhead and confirm that the space portal is fully under our control, I recommend that we send in a limited amount of expert mechs.
Three should be enough.
We still need to retain enough on this side of the portal to defend our fleet from any other surprises that might occur.
There was always the possibility that the fish-whales or another threat might emerge from a different direction.
Leaving the fleet vulnerable to raids and greater attacks was unacceptable to Ves! The starships and capital ships were the foundation of his clan.
He could still afford to lose whatever mechs and personnel he sent through the portal, but once he lost his fleet, it was game over!
Which expert mechs will we send through the portal Ves asked.
Well, you can already count on Patriarch Reginald Cross to lead the vanguard. General Verle answered in an exasperated tone.
With the Bolvos Rage taking the lead into invading fish-whale space, we do not have to dispatch too much firepower.
I am currently thinking about sending in the Minerva to lead our troops, the Dark Zephyr to scout the unknown enemy terrain and the Shield of Samar to help defend the beachhead.
Ves especially liked the decision to send in the Shield of Samar.
With Venerable Jannzi guarding the crucial portal, the chances that the fish-whales could cut off the vanguard\'s escape route were much lower!
Even if an accident took place, he would rather lose Venerable Jannzi than Venerable Joshua!
Still, there were other assets that Ves did not want to lose.
There are too many reasons why she should be a part of this invasion. General Verle replied.
First, we need a leader with enough competence, intelligence, experience and prestige to lead the troops on a seperate battlefield.
It is especially important that the highest commander in the field is strong enough to resist the demands of Patriarch Reginald Cross.
Anyone could guess that the high-tier expert pilot was eager to provoke the biggest fights that he could handle!
This wasn\'t necessarily bad as long as he had the strength to confront his opponents, but what if he miscalculated What if he poked the hornet\'s nest
Someone like Commander Casella Ingvar could counterbalance Reginald\'s influence and make sure that the troops did not do anything excessive.
Though Ves was highly reluctant to risk such a precious asset, the amplification that Casella could provide was too good to pass up.
It was especially useful in operations like these where directly strengthening hundreds of troops was much more useful than bringing in an additional expert mech!
Let\'s do this then.
When will you be able to start
General Verle glanced at the time.
We will be ready to move in one-and-a-half minutes.
Most of our mech units are already in place.
Get ready for a major turnaround.
We plan to make a number of big moves in order to interrupt the fish-whale tide and push them all back.
They did not have to wait long before the expeditionary forces were ready to begin their counterattack.
Even if their preparations weren\'t perfect, General Verle and the other leaders were unwilling to give the fish-whales more time.
Who knew what other fish-whale varieties might show up over time!
Before a possible fourth variety of fish-whale could emerge through the portal, the Golden Skull Alliance finally enacted its plan!
The Everchanger made the first move.
The expert mech moved forward and began to exude more power!
Its green corona grew brighter as Venerable Joshua actively resonated with the Iridescent Mercury integrated in his expert mech!
At the same time, the Everchanger switched its glow to one formed by a familiar combination of design spirits!
The unique influences of Lufa, Zeigra and Qilanxo all combined together in order to form a disorienting glow that characterized the Ferocious Piranha model!
Of course, the fish-whales had already displayed a certain degree of resistance towards its mental effects, but they were not completely immune to the disturbances!
After the Everchanger activated its resonance ability, its glow encompassed the entire battlefield!
Hundreds of fish-whales slowed down as they partially lost their concentration.
The Everchanger not only disrupted their rhythm, but also slowed down their offensive!
After hanging back all this time, the leader of the Cross Clan finally went into action.
The Bolvos Rage had already begun to accumulate power and momentum as it advanced forward.
The shield wall in front of its path automatically parted aside so that the powerful expert mech moved to the front.
Though the nearby fish-whales rabidly attempted to chew through the high-tier expert hybrid mech, its resonance shield was too strong! None of the biting and collisions shook Patriarch\'s Reginald\'s resolve!
Once the Bolvos Rage had reached its peak state, the mech flashed with light and power as it unleashed all of its ranged weapons at full power!
FOR THE GLORY OF THE CROSS CLAN!
Several powerful positron beams seared through the bodies of dozens of grunt fishes!
Their bodies stood no chance against the might of a volley of resonance-enhanced beam attacks!
The beam unleashed by the chest-mounted positron cannon was especially deadly! Its passage had left a clear line of burned and defeated fish-whales in its wake!
Not only that, but a pair of missiles surged forward and split off only to detonate with incredible power at the sides! Their massive blasts tore through the bodies of at least thirty fish-whales while damaging at least twice that amount!
If that wasn\'t enough, the shotgun in the hands of the Bolvos Rage had barked out once, spreading pellets that practically mowed down dozens of fish-whales in an expanding cone in front of the powerful hybrid expert mech!
The Everchanger and the Bolvos Rage had opened the way forward!
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