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Chapter 538: Poison Wasp’s Destruction

    Chapter 538: Poison Wasp's Destruction

    Scar's Discipline was entomological in nature, and his danger sense was keen. This uncomfortable inkling in the back of his mind was a familiar friend to him. He felt like there was suddenly more breathing in their small building. Faint, but enough to make the hairs on his neck stand on end.

    Scar's Discipline was called Golden Beetle. He could use several of the small creature's capabilities to aid him in battle, especially defense. He could also fly short distances. The plan was to hit the alarm and call up the shields. Then in the confusion he could mount a counterattack. This was their home turf, all he had to do was let his compatriots know.

    Unfortunately, that was not to be.

    Something ice-cold, smooth and yet sticky affixed itself to his hand. It was stopped him mere inches from sounding the alarm. The next thing he felt was like being hit with a sledgehammer.

    CRACK! The harsh sound would make you grind your teeth. Scar was hit so hard he hit the ground with bone-jarring force. He grunted as the air was knocked out of him. He couldn't believe it. Him - a sixth level Adept specialized in defense - floored so easily. It didn't just crack his shell, either. He felt like his organs had been rearranged around bits of broken bone.

    He lifted his head to see a very large figure towering over him with a shield in hand. It was bronze, wide on top and narrowing to a tip at the bottom.

    Thunk. The shield fell. Scar's head rolled away.

    Whoosh! The stuff gripping Scar's lifeless hand retracted. It returned to an obscene looking middle-aged man with a dour smirk. "Come on, so violent squad leader. You got his blood all over my tongue."

    "Quit the bull**, Iguana. Check the radar." Stonehammer commanded.

    The other occupants of the radar building had been silenced. With the way they'd been trained and organized, a small group like this didn't even break a sweat. Only Scar had been an enemy of merit, the others were mediocre Adepts. They'd been disposed of with hardly a sound.

    "We've got control of the radar, Squad Leader. Shutting down outside shields and communications." The girl from before who'd smuggled them in hastily reported the news.

    "Good. Send a message to Majesty, let them know it's done. Defensive perimeter." Stonehammer ordered.

    "Sir."

    A shadow spread across the pirate base, silent as a shade. Behind a bunker, a dark figure furiously waved their arms.

    Overhead, a beam of white light soundlessly beamed to the surface. A thousand meters overhead, the air shimmered and rippled unsettlingly.

    Wide-Spectrum Frequency Jammer. Interference would choke every wave-band except their own within the affected area. Outside communication was impossible.

    Afterwards the hum of engines were the only sign as an invisible ship soared up through the small planet's atmosphere. Zeus-1 continued its patrol for errant pirates they might give them away.

    All of the planet's warning systems had gone the way of its radar. Normally, alarms were sounded when their systems were interrupted, but instead everything was silent. A frightening, total silence.

    Next a group of dark silhouettes lifted from the ground and hovered over the pirate base. Their broad chests were painted with a flame insignia. Suddenly they were alive with light as they charged ahead. Dazzling wakes of flame hung in the air, and the night sky was pierced with light from their passage. Their target; the docking port. Below the ground shook as a host of mecha charged in like a hurricane.

    The unnatural silence was suddenly and violently shattered, as this small planet was descended into fiery chaos. The air was filled with blasts and screams. The pirates on guard didn't even have time to realize what was happening before they were torn to shreds.

    The blitz continued for nearly twenty minutes before the bombardment stopped. A contingent of mechs charged in towards the base's center. It was too late by now for the pirates to react. One by one, they fell to the terrible death machines that prowled the night. In five minutes, the base was firmly under their control.

    Poison Wasp himself was tossing and turning in bed when all four walls exploded around him. He scrambled up and brought his Discipline to bear. Stonehammer stood in the ruins of his cabin.

    Poison Wasp's Discipline was much as his name suggested. He possessed the powers of a wasp, giving him speed and attack. His hands could become stingers to be used in battle.

    Unfortunately wasps didn't do so well against boulders, and stingers couldn't pierce mountains. There was nothing he could do to best Stonehammer's defense, and no way to get to a mecha. His met his end at the bloody point of the invader's shield.

    The battle was short, simple, and fierce. The enemy was overwhelmed.

    All four brigades participated. Fourth Brigade's goal had been reconnaissance, first strike, and taking the radar building. First Brigade had provided air strikes and destroyed the most dangerous pirate capabilities with surgical precision. They mopped up those who managed to get into a suit or ship and cut off all escape. Second Brigade handled the main fight, and Third Brigade moved in to mop up and gather up their spoils.

    When all was said and done, the Star Division soldiers milled about, ultimately unsatisfied.

    "Commander, let's find a target with a little more bite next time. What's the point of sending in a force like this for some piddling pirates?" The Driver mumbled in dissatisfaction. He only just was getting ready to join the fray, but it was finished already. The fight was practically over, even before his Second Brigade joined in.He never got the chance to satisfy his itch.

    The Poison Wasp Pirate clan had about two hundred men, whereas Star Division numbered over eight hundred. Crack pilots and strong adepts, with four times the manpower. On top of that, they had two ships for backup. The difference was too great, like an elephant stepping on cockroaches.

    Lan Jue smirked at him. "Don't be hasty. Let them get their bearings first, then we can throw something bigger at them. Sweep the area, then we withdraw."

    The pirates didn't have much for them. There was the radar system, and the booty they had squirreled away from their raids. It seemed to be a trope carried over from the olden days, but it was still a habit for every pirate clan to have a secret treasure stash. Finding them were simpler now, though, with modern technology.

    It was a pretty good cache, all things considered. There wasn't anything in the way of cash, but energy-saving power gems instead. Standard currency for pirates. Altogether they pillaged over a thousand power gems. There were only a handful b-rank or better, all told it was a worthwhile haul. They might not have been exquisite specimens, but the stones would recharge their mechas with a lot to spare. Both Zeus-1 and Majesty could recharge with cosmic radiation, so the stones didn't have much use for them. Any surplus could be sold. So in the end, it was a good harvest.

    An hour later all the goods were boxed up and shipped out. Majesty approached and landed, now that the base was liberated from pirate control. Star Division boarded and soared off to their next objective with Zeus-1 as its entourage. The pirate base lay silent behind them - a ghost town. In the center was burned the image of a swirling flame, and a skull in its center.

    The insignia of the Star Pirate Clan.

    Lan Jue was looking for a place to commence the joining process with the Godblades, but the Poison Wasp's relationship with the Moonfiend Pirate Clan made him uncomfortable. They were likely to check in sooner rather than later. How long the joining process took, Lan Jue had no idea. It least it would be important to find a place that was safe and peaceful.

    The debriefing was quick. Destroying this small band of criminals was nothing to boast about. Lan Jue praised them for their victory and adherence to command. He pointed out Stonehammer and his team in particular for taking the radar building and killing Poison Wasp.

    Their feats were recorded.

    On to their next objective.

    While the fight had seemed simple and straightforward, the results were unique. There was something more in the eyes of every soldier. Excitement. They had no remorse for the killing of these monsters, to them they were performing a service. Cleaning cancer from humanity. Repaying these scoundrels for their misdeeds and getting paid for it felt pretty damn good.

    Everything they earned through the raid was distributed to the Division. This had been part of Lan Jue's agreement with the Avenue. No matter what they found out here among the asteroids would be used to make them stronger. Everyone would get a piece for the work they were doing, determined by individual merit.

    A system of rewards and punishments was integral for effective command. This was especially true for an organization like theirs, which enjoyed a unique sort of freedom for its soldiers. They didn't have the same restrictions here that an official army might face. How else were they going to pay their people? No high-level Adept was hard-up for cash, so wealth had little meaning to these men and women. Other than the exuviation process, they were only interested in getting stronger. For Adepts, strength meant a good life and a bright future.

    But building a powerhouse took resources. Where did they come from? Your own effort!
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