Chapter 4605 218 Seconds
As the Unrelenting utilized its superior mobility to rapidly close in on the alien battleship, Saint Neville paid close attention to the state of his father's fleet.
After getting caught by surprise, the different fleet carriers, combat carriers and support vessels had all turned around and tried their best to distance themselves from the advancing alien battleship.
Since the latter could only travel in one direction at the same time, the human starships tried their best to shift their course to ensure they kept moving away from the powerful threat.
Even so, carrier vessels still failed to escape the effective range of the warp interdiction field!
Saint Neville had heard that the aliens mastered powerful warp travel blocking capabilities in order to prevent their targets from escaping all of the time, but this was ridiculous!
It was difficult to believe that an alien warship that was only 1.7 kilometers long was able to block warp travel to this extent.
He soon figured out why the ships of his father's fleet failed to overcome the blockade.
"Their warp drives are too weak!"
Whether it was the warp drives mounted inside the more important ships of the fleet or the expensive superdrive installed inside the Seeker of Wealth, each of them were actually limited in strength.
The strength of the warp bubbles they could produce around a starship was dependent on many factors, but energy, phasewater and distance were definitely the key variables!
A first-class warp drive that used up a lot more energy or leveraged a larger quantity of phasewater should have been able to wrench free from the alien battleship's blockade.
It was too bad that Otrus Magrin had opted to go for quantity instead of quality. Most of his starships were only equipped with relatively basic warp drives that could provide respectable speed boosts but did not perform that well under these kinds of circumstances.
The only possible exception was the Seeker of Wealth. Otrus Magrin invested a lot more in the strength of his flagship, and her superdrive should be able to escape sooner under normal circumstances.
This wasn't a normal circumstance, though! As the alien battleship kept advancing forward, it became clear that she was closing in on a specific human starship.
"The enemy battleship is on a direct intercept course to the Seeker of Wealth! The aliens have identified our flagship!"
"It's not that difficult to determine…"
That was true. While Otrus Magrin was content with equipping his starships with relatively ordinary parts and modules, he had concentrated a considerable amount of advanced technology onto the Seeker of Wealth.
While that made the flagship a lot stronger and more adept at survival, it also turned it into an obvious priority target!
"You will not have my father!" Saint Neville roared as his eyes went red.
The thought of his father getting hunted down and butchered like a dog sent him over the edge!
The Unrelenting's Saint Kingdom glowed brighter in orange as Neville's desperation boosted his resonance strength to another record!
The ace hybrid mech's long-ranged weapon systems weren't particularly powerful, but they could still pack a punch.
Neville concentrated on the Unrelenting's shoulder-mounted gauss cannons and fired a powerful pair of rounds that soared across space and struck one of the segmented energy shields of the alien vessel with great force!
The attack failed to inflict any real damage!
The alien battleship's forward energy shield had only twenty percent or so of its integrity at most, but the orven shield generator responsible for producing it had rapidly shifted it to the side.
This allowed another orven shield generator to plug the gap with another fully intact energy shield.
As the Unrelenting fired multiple rounds that were powerful enough to strip open the defenses of the Seeker of Wealth, Saint Neville noted to his dismay that repeated hits only struck segmented energy shields that shifted away as soon as they incurred damage.
This meant that it would take forever to overcome this powerful barrier.
The only way to defeat this persistent energy-based defensive measure was to attack with a single overwhelming attack!
It just so happened that the Unrelenting possessed a powerful means of attack. The ace mech gripped its lance tighter as Neville already decided to build up enough momentum to strike the alien battleship with the most powerful possible blow.
"Help me calculate how much power I need to breach the alien battleship's energy shield defenses!" Neville asked his staff that was stationed within the Seeker of Wealth.
No ace pilot should have to rely completely on himself in battle. It was customary to provide lots of support in the rear. The right information could easily turn defeat into victory, and Neville already understood that he needed to make use of every possible advantage against an opponent as strong as the alien battleship.
It only took a short moment for his staff to call up the information from a group of engineers and starship experts.
"We have completed our calculations." A staff officer reported. "According to our estimates, the alien battleship can project two or possibly three layers of energy shields at most. We are certain about this conclusion because her hull is not large or broad enough to accommodate more capital ship-grade shield generators. If you want to punch through all three layers of energy shields in an instant, then you will need to accelerate at your maximum rate for at least 218 seconds in order to build up sufficient momentum. We recommend you add a few more seconds just to be sure. You should also mind that we have performed these calculations with the assumption that you will charge into the warship head-on. You will need to spend more time on building up your charge attack if you attack from the sides or rear."
218 seconds was a relatively short time as far as space battles went, but an ace mech as fast as the Unrelenting could build up a horrible amount of momentum in that time.
By the time the ace mech finally reached the alien battleship, it could easily destroy itself or incur heavy damage if Saint Neville wasn't careful enough!
The Unrelenting actually had to circle around in order to make sure it did not approach the alien battleship too soon.
Neville tried his best to distract and put more pressure on the powerful enemy vessel by launching gauss round after gauss round at the metal monstrosity, but his target did not show any sign of taking the ace mech seriously!
"Come on, you alien murderers!" The ace pilot roared as his blood ran hotter than before! "Fire at me with your guns! My gauss cannons are more powerful than that of any other mech! My Unrelenting will soon be ready to inflict a hammer blow on your defenses! If you don't attack me soon enough, it will be too late for you to stop my assault!"
Perhaps the aliens heard his cries, because some of the massive guns of the alien battleship started to shift their aim towards the approaching ace mech!
Saint Neville easily sensed when a powerful primary kinetic gun battery was about to open fire. He jerked his Unrelenting to the side with the help of her maneuvering thrusters and easily evaded the massive transphasic kinetic rounds that could overpenetrate combat carriers.
Just because a warship cannon was enormous didn't mean it was the right tool for every job!
The alien ship captain must have realized this as well because the other kinetic gun batteries no longer bothered to track the fast and elusive Unrelenting.
Instead, the singular alien battleship no longer fired her comparatively weaker but more nimble secondary laser cannons at the combat carriers, but instead began to fire a withering barrage of laser beams at the ace mech.
Saint Neville had a much harder time with blocking and mitigating incoming attacks!
The targeting systems of the alien battleship were top-notch and were able to reach a 30 percent hit rate, which was quite respectable at this distance.
The Unrelenting's Saint Kingdom had to expend a considerable amount of strength to weaken and soften the transphasic laser beams that threatened to strike the ace mech.
Even then, whatever power the domain field hadn't been able to wear out eventually struck the round shield held by the ace mech's other arm.
The shield was incurring a horrible amount of damage. Though it was somewhat tolerable by ace mech standards, Saint Neville knew that he couldn't keep this up forever!
As the seconds went by, more and more human ships succumbed to the overwhelming firepower of a single battleship.
The powerful vessel only needed a single cannon to destroy a ship in a short amount of time. Saint Neville could sense the massive and continuous loss of human life, but could do nothing about it aside from attracting as many laser beams as possible.
The number of fleet carriers and combat carriers rapidly dropped. While their downfall didn't affect the mechs in the field, the crews who served aboard them didn't even have time to hop into their escape pods due to how rapidly the hulls folded under fire.
The worst part of it all was that the battleship hadn't even shown any noticeable drop in combat power!
Her powerful transphasic energy shields possessed enough capacity and redundancy to resist the firepower of thousands of mechs with ease.
While the comparably tiny kinetic and energy attacks were definitely having an effect, their collective damage potential was simply too low, especially when hardly any of them were augmented with phasewater.
The battleship's defenses essentially acted like an umbrella against the rain!
This was why Saint Neville knew it was crucial for him to wait until his Unrelenting was ready to unleash a devastating charge attack. His mech still wasn't fast enough to deal the necessary amount of damage, and that infuriated him. The longer he delayed, the more people got killed!
As the distance between the alien battleship and the Seeker of Wealth rapidly started to shrink, the former activated another measure that expressly targeted the latter!
The Seeker of Wealth actually started to slow down despite the fact that her thrusters were burning hotter than ever!
"Ah!" Otrus Magrin released a frustrated noise. "My people are telling me that my flagship is caught in some sort of spatial depression generated by the enemy ship. Why are the aliens so insistent on targeting my ship in particular?!"
That suddenly caused Saint Neville to connect a few dots.
"Father! I think these aliens aren't targeting us, but rather the ship wreckage that we have retrieved! I suggest you order your men to dump them out into space as quickly as possible so that we can divert their attention!"
"That… might work, but it may also be the only reason that the aliens have scruples about blowing up my flagship."
"The Seeker of Wealth will get intercepted by the alien battleship if this situation persists." Neville quickly told his father. "The spatial depression can even block shuttles and escape shuttles from moving away from your flagship. The only way to buy you a chance to make it out alive is if you give them what they seek."
In a situation of life and death, Otrus Magrin did not hesitate and immediately made the correct decision. It took less than thirty seconds later for one of the cargo bay hatches of the Seeker of Wealth to slide open.
Two different pieces of alien ship wreckage were soon tossed into open space.
For a moment, the battlefield entered into a brief lull.
Many human soldiers hoped that the aliens would restrain their firepower now that their true goals became exposed.
It seemed that even the alien ship wreckage agreed as the latest one that the pioneering fleet picked up earlier started to produce a shadow of a phase whale.
However, the phase whale barely showed up to 'greet' the incoming alien battleship before it broke apart.
The alien artifact locked inside the broken wreck seemed to have lost all of its strength and turned into a regular piece of alien artwork.
Saint Neville widened his eyes as he realized how the aliens might interpret this sequence of events.
Before he could put his Unrelenting in the right path, one of the primary kinetic cannon batteries had shifted its aim towards the Seeker of Wealth and opened fire!
The flagship bearing his father immediately suffered a massive blow!