Chapter 3827 Beaten Back
The battle to secure a stable beachhead inside the mysterious phase whale enclave turned into a grueling and grinding affair.
Though it did not drag on for hours, the battle nonetheless tested many mech pilots as they constantly had to stay on their toes while fighting a high-intensity battle against fearless and relentless biomonsters.
Thousands of fish-whales were already in the area when the Bolvos Rage initially arrived in the unknown phase whale enclave.
Many more poured in from the surroundings as they became attracted by the expanding violence.
In the end, over 13,000 fish-whales swarmed towards the portal site in order to slaughter the foreign intruders!
The battle turned into a hard-fought affair.
Though the human mech forces were no longer constrained in numbers due to fighting in a cramped mining tunnel, the downside of fighting in an open environment was that they had to defend against attacks from multiple directions.
The fish-whales arrived from every direction except below!
This meant that the Larkinson mechs had to form an all-around defensive perimeter that limited how much the mechs could cover for each other.
Ranged mechs that were providing firing support towards the front were unable to lend the same assistance to the sides or rear!
The only solution to this problem was to deploy more and more mechs until there were enough to suppress all of the converging fish-whales!
Snipe the assassin fishes! Do not let them get close enough to perform their teleportation strikes!
Our tower shields are getting battered to pieces! Where are the replacements!
The sergeant fishes are charging from three directions! We can\'t eliminate all of them before they pull off their attack runs!
The expeditionary forces eventually succeeded in establishing a beachhead, but not without paying a considerable price.
Hundreds of mechs had fallen and plenty of their pilots had fallen as well.
The human and material cost of this hastily-planned offensive was considerable, but none of the soldiers thought about that for the moment.
Even after the invaders had apparently wiped out all of the fish-whales in the immediate area, there were probably many more in the mysterious phase enclave.
This pocket space is huge! It\'s a lot larger than the so-called Royal Tomb! Our preliminary estimates suggest that it is as large as a modest-sized moon!
With this much space, the fish-whales occupying the area surrounding the spatial portal probably amounted to a miniscule proportion of the total population of native inhabitants in this isolated habitat!
Don\'t get cocky, kids! These bastards may have been much, but do you really think this is their home Do you see any places where they nest or where they rear their kids I bet you haven\'t! The real core territory of the fish-whales must be somewhere deeper inside this pocket space.
Until we get a good idea of how many enemies are residing in this place, we should stay put and make sure we can repel any subsequent fish-whale attacks.
Fortunately for the exhausted mech pilots, no large-scale attacks ensued.
The mech units that had arrived in the pocket space did not dare to move too far away from their hard-earned beachhead and expose their existence to other fish-whales.
More and more sensor data poured in from the Light Hunters that discreetly scouted the surrounding terrain from a distance.
Though they were not true stealth mechs, their low profile and minimal emissions still allowed them to get a good peek at the ignorant fish-whales in the distance.
It had already become apparent that the fish-whales weren\'t the most united or sophisticated of races.
The ones in the surrounding areas all looked feral as their behavior was solely dictated by their instincts.
The analysts guessed that the fish-whales relaxing in the distance never got involved because they were too far away to notice all of the commission at the portal site!
The fish-monsters are truly feral and stupid.
While they are aggressive to a fault, they lack a guiding intelligence.
They could have reinforced their attacking brethren but didn\'t because they don\'t know any better!
Don\'t make the mistake of underestimating these fish-whales.
They might be the local version of peasants or vermin.
This place is definitely bigger than we think.
Many mech pilots began to unwind and speculate about the depth of this new pocket space.
In the meantime, the construction teams arrived with resources and prefab structures in tow.
Due to the hostile and dangerous conditions on this side of the portal, the main construction units consisted of Worker Bee mechs that had been repurposed into industrial mechs.
It wasn\'t that difficult for them to put down their mining tools and pick up their construction equipment.
With the help of shuttles, small cargo transports and other help, they quickly pieced together a star-shaped wall around the gate.
The lower-than-normal gravity on the barren rock surface made it easy for the Worker Bees to put everything into place.
Once the basic walls were set up, numerous turrets appeared as well.
These compact but efficient laser turrets provided additional ranged support at cheap and affordable prices.
Though their effectiveness against the fish-whales was not that good, they were better than nothing.
Other structures emerged as well.
The construction teams erected bunkers for the Transcendent Punishers, underground warehouses to store supplies, sensor arrays to observe the surrounding areas and mech workshops to service damaged machines.
The invaders became a lot more confident in their ability to defend the beachhead.
Though certain threats such as the assassin fish could still inflict a lot of damage if they teleported straight past the walls, the new garrison troops were more than capable of sniping them before they got into range.
With no apparent response from the fish-whales, the expeditionary forces slowly wound down.
The mech pilots that took part in the initial invasion all received a much-needed opportunity to rest while their mechs were being checked.
Those with light damage were repaired on the spot while those with heavier damage were sent back through the portal.
Still, despite the temporary break, the arriving humans did not intend to stop and take it slow.
None of them forgot that they were the intruders here! If the native alien groups eventually caught on to the invasion, they would definitely try to push the human forces back!
This was why the Golden Skull Alliance had to be proactive in this operation.
Now that the construction work was done, the leaders of the invasion force had to plan their next steps.
Few leaders were present on this side of the portal.
This was still a hostile location and no one knew whether the spatial portal would go out all of a sudden.
People like Ves, General Verle, Marshal Ariadne Wodin and many more remained behind for safety considerations.
They had already agreed to allow the leaders on the field to take charge of the ongoing operation.
Right now, most of them happened to be mech pilots, so each of their mechs gathered together in order to formulate their next steps now that they secured their crucial beachhead.
According to Director Ranya, most of these fish-whales are worthless. Commander Casella Ingvar began.
The exobiologists have studied the grunt fish carcasses and found nothing of value.
Their bodies only consist of cheap and abundant bulk materials.
Killing them won\'t give us any returns, so we shouldn\'t try to provoke them except if we wish to raise our security.
Her message was clear.
Though there were still a lot of white fish-whales in their surroundings, killing them was a thankless job, so they might as well leave the ignorant monsters alone.
What of the elite fish-whales Patriarch Reginald asked.
They\'re stronger and their bodies are obviously reinforced.
The sergeant fishes are a bit more interesting because their bodies are reinforced by stronger and more valuable exotics.
However, the sergeant fishes are only a step up from cannon fodder.
Their total value still doesn\'t make it worthwhile to hunt them down.
As for the red fish-whales…
The assassin fish bodies definitely contain phasewater, right
Commander Casella slowly nodded.
They do, but the quantity is small.
We need to kill hundreds of them in order to obtain a few grams.
It is unrealistic for us to hunt them all down so that we can return with a bit more phasewater in our pockets.
This is a large pocket space and they can be anywhere.
What we need to do instead is to find the source and plunder as much phasewater as we can before we leave.
We are not here to occupy this strange territory.
We are not here to commit genocide either.
If the analysts are right that there may be millions of fish-whales living in this pocket space, it would take forever for us to kill them all.
We simply don\'t have the numbers to take care of them quickly.
That is a shame. Patriarch Reginald frowned.
Are you certain you want to leave this place after we fought so hard to get in Just look at the device responsible for bringing us here! If we can master its functioning and controls, won\'t we be able to open a portal from here to Violet Ridge whenever we wish This is an excellent opportunity to build a secret base!
I would advise against that, patriarch. Melkor said.
As my fellow legion commander has said, we have probably done the equivalent of raiding one of the interior provinces of a powerful state.
If the occupants of this pocket space truly pays attention to us, we will not be able to hold our ground.
It is better to be psychologically prepared to cut our losses and run.
Commander Casella shook her head.
We cannot make any far-reaching decisions before we can scout this unfamiliar space.
Our first task after fortifying our beachhead is to scout our neighbors and find out more about the native organisms and the power structure in this pocket space.
There may be multiple species of hybridized aliens in this pocket space.
We need to take a look at every corner of this abnormal space before we can be assured our plans will work.
Any anomalies and unexpected occurrences could disrupt their entire arrangements.
Casella also had a feeling she hadn\'t seen a fraction of the diversity of fish-whales.
The scouting mission therefore served a crucial purpose to the invasion force!
Tusa. The Sentinel Commander contacted the expert pilot.
You already know what to do.
We need your Dark Zephyr to survey the environment and record all of the fish-whales in sight.
Information is power and you are the only one that can make us stronger at this time.
The light mech specialist smiled in his cockpit.
I have been waiting to hear this.
I will be setting off, then.
I will maintain radio silence in order to remain as undetected as possible.
The fish-whales don\'t seem to react as long as they cannot spot my Dark Zephyr.
The Dark Zephyr soon set off at a subtle pace.
Due to the nature of its opponents, it was quite hard for the expert mech\'s twin knives to deal massive damage to the fish-whales.
That didn\'t mean the Dark Zephyr was weak, though.
The expert mech was much faster than the average fish-whale and could easily outrun the creature.
With its excellent mobility and evasion characteristics, the Larkinsons were confident that the Dark Zephyr would not get hit by an enemy attack during this scouting mission!
With that taken care of, Commander Casella took another look at the massive portal device that had apparently stabilized the spatial phenomenon generated by the Larkinsons.
It was a scratched and organic bronze-like construction that looked like a miniaturized beyonder gate!
Although the scale, the design style, the tech base and many other parameters were different, Commander Casella had to admit that the impressive device indeed looked like a small, landbound beyonder gate!
The value of such an alien relic could not be overstated.
This was an impressive piece of alien biotech that still held up after many years had passed!
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