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31 An Uncertain Future

    After removing the corpses within the [Devil Tigers], Tian Xing Jian entered into one of the Battle Mechas of the Myth Legion's small team. Very soon, he discovered the communication signal machine somewhere on the control platform. This was meant to coordinate with the battle Sky Network System specially installed within it. Its purpose was to continuously send signals to the Sky Network System, reporting their current location before acknowledging their safety. Usually, after Battle Mechas left their base of operation, they would activate this system. Whenever they encountered danger or went missing, the Sky Network System would be able to record their last seen location and dispatch reinforcements to help them.

    Other than affirming their safety, the Signal Emitting System was able to guide missiles operated by the Sky Network System through the usage of a laser. Once the Battle Mecha discovered their target objective and have used the laser to lock down the position of the target, the Sky Network System would calculate based on this target before inputting the accurate location into the guided system installed within the missile. This sort of laser-guided missile launching system could be fired from well over 100,000 kilometers away. If there was no air interference or signal interference, the missile would be able to accurately hit its target.

    During large-scale wars, once all the Battle Mechas have sent a signal to the Sky Network System, the system would be able to use information provided by the Battle Mechas about their current situation, the enemy's military power, moving direction, their own losses, and the enemy troop deployment to calculate the final outcome of the battle. This outcome would be quite close to what had happened in reality. Most of the time, it could give the command department precious information and data to be used as reference before deciding the deployment and deduction of the battle.

    Nevertheless, the computer system was programmed according to a certain algorithm, and there would usually be situations where the systems were misled. Currently, Tian Xing Jian was prepared to mislead Gyaca Woods Empire's Sky Network System.

    Since this small Battle Mecha team had already reached their position, the Sky Network System would be able to declare that this team had gone MIA within tens of minutes after having switched off the signal emitting machine, causing even more soldiers to come and pursue them.

    How far could a team of soldiers who depended on their legs move in just tens of minutes? Even he could answer it using his butt. Thus, Tian Xing Jian decided to simply take action - he would retrieve the Signal Emitting System and deceive the Sky Network System while using it to obtain some benefits at the same time. This way, if the deceit worked, the location where this small team was at would be determined to be a search location. The Sky Network would absolutely not send another search team into this region again. Only when it was done manually would more teams be dispatched to their location, yet without receiving a more detailed report from this small team or more intelligence regarding this location, who would even give such orders to send more people here?

    Originally, the greatest problem Tian Xing Jian had was how to deceive the Sky Network.

    As the signal transmittance could possibly be cut due to geomagnetism, obstruction due to being in the mountainous region, or even as a result of malfunctioning system, the Sky Network System would treat the signals received from the team as one single group. For a small team of ten Battle Mechas, the time between their signals could not exceed one hour. If they exceeded that time period, the Sky Network would immediately report to the command department before using other means to contact and ask this team what had happened. If communication failed three consecutive times over a 15 minute time period, another team would be sent out.

    As for the other circumstance where a search team would be dispatched to this location, it would only happen when the overall signal transmittance rate from this small team went below 60 percent. That was classified as an unnatural signal, and the Sky Network System would increase the alertness level of this region to red, reporting upwards to the command department before allowing them to continue their investigation of what happened over here.

    Whatever the case, it would spell doom for this group of escapees.

    As long as there was a single Signal Emitting System intact, Tian Xing Jian had the confidence to modify it and turn it into several repeaters that would mimic ten different signals which would be used to deceive the Sky Network.

    Right now, within the six Battle Mechas that were fortunately intact, only five of them had a working Signal Emitting System. Tian Xing Jian was originally worried that breaking down the signal into ten different pieces would be deemed as abnormal by the Sky Network System. But now, it was all fine and dandy since he only had to modify the five intact Signal Emitting System slightly, changing each one of them into two separate sections by simply modifying the characteristics of the signals before overlapping them. That way, the Sky Network System would absolutely not be able to discover anything amiss here.

    Tian Xing Jian dismantled the various signal emitting machine as fast as he could before gathering the parts together. He then searched for the circuit and electronic parts before peeling off the signal component. Ten minutes later, there were five signal emitting machine packaged in its original shape, giving off a green light which represented that "they" were safe. After having installed the signal emitting machines onto the five [Devil Tigers], Tian Xing Jing gradually deactivated the [Antenna]'s electromagnetic interference so as to simulate the effect of strong geomagnetism interference. The signal emitting machine started reconnecting with the Sky Network System.

    The following few minutes felt as if a few centuries had passed. Once the signal emitting machine started beeping with a green acknowledgement signal from the Sky Network, each and every one of the Federation soldiers started to jump with joy.

    This vice company commander with the background of Battle Mecha engineer had brought them plenty of joy. Without him, solely depending on these special scouts would not allow them to reach this stage at all. They would only be able to depend on their mecha manoeuvrability and firepower to force their way out. Of course, the Federation prisoners-of-war who were walking on foot could only be sacrificed helplessly as a result.

    The Federation Battle Mechas began carrying the few [Devil Tigers], the remaining parts, and the two Pioneers with damaged movement system before catching up to the team that had long advanced.

    Half an hour later, in a canyon within the northern mountain ranges, the Federation Battle Mechas successfully regrouped with the deeply worried advance party. The moment they saw the few [Devil Tigers] being brought along, these special scouts were surrounded by those joyful people. This hard-earned victory represented a greater chance of survival after escaping the clutches of those pursuing soldiers. Furthermore, this victory represented a deep meaning for them towards any future battles.

    After Tian Xing Jian had a discussion with Peter, they decided to station themselves within the canyon as the sky was getting dark. Furthermore, some time was required for them to repair the Battle Mechas that had lost their ability to move.

    Two of the six [Devil Tigers] had their movement system dismantled. They could simply be fixed by just installing the movement system once again. Another had a damaged sensory system on its head. This was another simple job as he could just replace the sensory system. Furthermore, they were not lacking in materials for the repair. However, the movement of the mecha was not as nimble as before, though its movement and firepower systems were free of issues.

    The only problematic Battle Mechas were the other three that had their movement system destroyed. The areas where these Battle Mechas had been damaged were all on their mechanical legs. This type of [Devil Tiger] Battle Mecha had a very unique beast-style movement system. Their legs were all made with joints so as to imitate an actual tiger. The movement of its legs and design were all very functional; from its hind legs, which had an extremely explosive power, to its front claws, it was not merely built using an auxiliary power unit and a rotation system - it was truly a weapon made for close-combat.

    Due to the Battle Mechas being different in type, they could not find any spare parts for the Battle Mechas from their mechanical toolbox which the Federation had for the sole purpose of repairing human-style Battle Mechas. Furthermore, [Antenna] and [Fury Fire] were both considered as multi-operated Battle Mecha and had an even bigger exoframe, thus there was no way they could find suitable parts for the [Devil Tiger].

    In the end, one of the three Battle Mechas was dismantled for the purpose of completely repairing the other two. The front and back claws had been given an extra touch by Tian Xing Jian as he barely increased it to eight claws. The main frame of the dismantled [Devil Tiger] along with the other two damaged [Pioneers] were cut into suitable sizes and remodeled into a big cabin that could fit six people. This mecha was repaired with the movement and controlling system operational, using four of the [Pioneer]'s mechanical legs as the main limbs. The four mechanical arms had similarly been placed on the lower part of the Battle Mecha so as to become an aid to the movement system during climbs. In the end, a Battle Mecha with a weird model was completed. This Battle Mecha was not equipped with any weapon or combat systems; it only had the ability to move. Its main purpose was seating passengers who did not have enough energy to continue walking.

    At two past midnight, the computer within the [Devil Tiger] Battle Mecha received an intelligence report from the Gyaca Woods Empire Sky Network System regarding news of a huge Federation fighter aircraft moving eastwards of coordinates (1213, 2230). All ground forces of the Empire must maintain their alertness and take precautions against the assault by the Federation's air force.

    This news roused everyone's spirit. The given coordinates were less than 30 kilometers away from their current location. As long as they reached the Empire's logistic base that was about 20 kilometers away, under the support of the air force, this team would definitely be able to escape smoothly from the regions controlled by the enemy.

    Originally, there was another piece of good news. [Antenna] had finally recovered connection with Rashid. This Albert-encrypted communication system was the only point-to-point communication channel they previously had with the Federation.

    However, the news thereafter was enough to shock the entire special scouts section. Asking why they could not contact them these two days, Rashid replied saying that the moment the special scouts first company returned to their base to report of their actions, the higher-ups suddenly sent orders for the next mission for the first company to undertake. This mission involved travelling by air to an enemy controlled region at about 600 kilometers away and assaulting an airbase. This mission had almost caused the entire first company to have been wiped out. Other than the deaths of those in the newly-replaced [Antenna], two [Fury Fires], and the first platoon commander Ballack along with 30 other warrior-class Pioneer operators, the remaining soldiers of the company returned to the base with full of injuries.

    If it was not for the special scouts battalion, Battalion Commander Nadal's personal support, and the other aviation battalion of armored fighter aircraft and two medium-sized transport ships that had been dispatched, the first company would have all died in the mission.

    Only after they had returned to the base did Rashid find out that three hours after they had left the base, the command team had sent the orders for them to reorganize and rest within the base while maintaining communication with Vice Company Commander Tian Xing Jian for the purpose of providing support and bringing back the prisoners-of-war. However, the previous command team that had sent the order to Rashid did not know of this. After realizing that the first company had been dispatched for a mission, the entire command team was shocked. They immediately sent down new orders for the transport ship that had received the mission to return, yet their descent from air had already been completed. Thus, the command team could only investigate who had sent the previous orders, while at the same time, sending another team to support first company. Finally, only then was the first company saved at the brink of annihilation. As for the one who had given the previous orders, the traces pointed to a certain lieutenant colonel in a combat planning department. This lieutenant colonel who was suspected of purposely sending the wrong orders and being a spy committed suicide to evade punishment.

    This news had truly caused Tian Xing Jian and all the soldiers from the Second Platoon, First Section to feel alarmed and indignant. Ever since the start of the battle, there had been many spies appearing within the Federation. These spies had permeated throughout the entire army. Even before "Operation Lightning", there had been spies found in the combat divisions, the logistic department, equipment department, research units, and other departments. Sixteen of them had been caught, of which were all senior military officers or officials in government ministries. Over a hundred colonels had been investigated, 39 of which had participated in the selling of military secrets. Amongst these people, some had been people sent over by the Gyaca Woods Empire and had been promoted through bribery, occupying senior positions before the war had even started. Some had even betrayed their nation after the start of war due to bribery or threats. And the worst and most disgraceful ones had decided to sell the information to the Gyaca Woods Empire military division after simply having seen the Federation lose battle after battle in hopes to provide themselves with a way out.

    Two space fleets worth more than hundreds of billions of Federation yuan had been completely annihilated. Two galaxies and five human-migrated planets had been lost, causing a total of billions of people to lose their homes due to war. Their cities had been destroyed, and those who put up a resistance or had a different opinion regarding the government were shot to death. Close to 80 of their resource planets had been occupied and more than a million underground resistance fighters had died from battle or became prisoners. These had been partly due to those despicable people betraying their own nation. How many of such traitors were still hiding in the dark? And how many people would die because of their betrayal?

    Right now, for the sake of hiding the matter of having a concentration camp, one of the spies hiding within the military divisions came jumping out. He was even a lieutenant colonel and could even pass through the strict checks and had sent a fake order that almost sent the entire special scouts company to their deaths. How many people had given him the green light during the entire process of forming this order? And how many of them had neglected their duties as a result? How many people decided to just close one eye or both their eyes over such matters?

    Tian Xing Jian was afraid - afraid for their future journey, the condition of the team, and his own deduction of the war. Would all these truly be handled by a real Federation soldier? In the process of reporting upwards, how many of those handling the matter were traitors, and how many would neglect their duty even after holding a senior officer position?

    The Federation was a glorious nation that had its military and governance riddled full of problems. Since that's the case, would they be the final victor of this war?
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