Chapter 576: Pitched Fighting

    Chapter 576: Pitched Fighting

    The Pharmacist was in her preferred garb, an old-style qipao. Aside from when necessary under Lan Jue's command, she preferred comfortable civilian clothes.

    The stopped in her advance, fixing her eyes on the hangar's watchtower.

    Within the airship hangar.

    "Ey? Who's this lady? She looks like she'd be a good time!" The scene was revealed two a couple pirates, looking over the security monitors. They stared in curiosity.

    "Should we tell the boss? It's weird for a woman to show up in the middle of the night like this." A somewhat older pirate asked.

    "Ah, why should we. What do we get from telling them anything? Look, it's early, no one's around. I'm sure we could find a quiet place to show the lady around, you know what I'm saying? Would having a good time be such a bad thing? Then we get rid of her - what the boss doesn't know won't hurt him."

    The pirate who was trying to coerce them was an obscene, evil man. Rotten thoughts swam through his head when suddenly, much to his surprise, the woman became the center of a blazing light. Then their screens went dark.

    "An attack... ? Attack!" The few napping pirates in the surveillance room were sharply awakened by his cries. Alarms began to screech across the whole hangar. The sides of the watchtower nearby fell away, spewing dazzling waterfalls of sparks.

    As the alarms rang, the Pharmacist was on the move. She rose into the air as though she were treading on clouds. In a few long strides she was inside the hangar.

    Twinkling lights set stark shadows as seven brilliant stars blinked into existence. Radiantly they burned, an enormous sword appeared in their midst. Woosh! One of the patrol boats nearest to the weapon was sliced cleanly in two. As the pirates looked on in terror, the massive sword fractured into hundreds of copies. Deadly whirlwinds of steel lashed out in every direction.

    Staff in the monitoring room had engaged all of the small hangar's defenses. Curtains of light flashes as the systems reacted to the incursion. Shields crackled to life around the remaining ships. The Pharmacist soared into the dark sky and vanished from view. Yet the light she discharged, and the army of blades at her command, descended upon the hangar like the apocalypse.

    Spears of light pierced everything, buffeting the hangar's interior with raging tides of energy. Many pirates were caught up and thrown hundreds of meters away from the force. None had an opportunity to get into the warehouse's mecha suits.

    The shields proved to be worth their cost. Not all of the ships were immediately destroyed when the Pharmacist's swords made contact. At least, so it went for their initial contact. When the second wave of swords arrived the ships were reduced to strips of metal. Then the swords were headed for the battleship.

    The first sword struck the shield. It flickered, but held. The second hit, then the third, and the fourth. Every single one struck in precisely the same spot. In the blink of an eye a hundred of them overwhelmed the shield.


    An explosion ripped through the battleship, sending burning debris everywhere. A hundred more of the Pharmacist's frightening weapon carved at the beleaguered hull. By the time mecha reinforcements arrived, their battleship was an unrecognizable hunk of scrap metal.

    Altogether, the small airfield was around a hundred square meters. The Pharmacist turned it into a junk heap with a flick of her wrist. Every living thing was summarily silence. Their tomb was the jagged husks of their ships and mechas.

    She didn't have the same restrictions that bound the Gourmet. She wasn't a Paragon who had to adhere to protogenia's morals. Besides, her Discipline was rooted in righteousness. It was her path to Paragon, something she discovered with the help of her Banishing Blade.

    Her conscience was clear. Let this be a massacre. Have these wicked men purged. Their work was good in a place consumed by evil!

    She gave them no quarter. Every cutting sword was an extension of her will, going where she commanded. The hangar's defenses might as well have been turned off.

    Fifteen minutes later the Pharmacist calmly walked from a silent air field. She looked like an old painting, a maiden taking a summer stroll through a courtyard. She dialed a number into her communicator.

    "It's done. They've been exterminated."


    "Prepare for battle!" Mika's fierce voice shouted through the bridge of Zeus-1. Engines roared as the ship took off from planet Moonfiend. Stealth was engaged the moment they were airborne.

    There was a considerable gulf between the battle capabilities of Majesty and Zeus-1. They were different classes of ship, after all. However, Zeus-1 did have its advantages, and that was agility. It excelled for infiltration, evasion and combat on a planet's surface.

    Majesty couldn't fight in confined quarters, for the fact that their weapons were too destructive. In such close proximity, there was a danger it could destroy itself. Majesty was better suited for orbital bombardment, or interstellar combat.

    Lan Jue determined Zeus-1 was better for the job of laying waste to an airship hangar. In fact, Zeus-1 had the most important mission. Not only was it crew responsible for the base, they had to run support for the whole Division and support logistics as well. When the main assault began, Zeus-1 would be needed even more.

    Their target was fast approaching.

    "Charging is complete. Weapons are primed and ready!" Xiuxiu's sweet voice gave the report. Weapons systems were her and Ke'er's responsibility. Lin Guoguo, the Psychic Tide, was their intelligence and communications expert. Mika had the master controls.

    Zeus-1 soared through the air like a nightingale, a silent breeze. No radar would see them through the Blinding Stone. Hidden away from view were the crackling barrels of the ship's primary and secondary weapons.

    After the Keeper and Bookkeeper got their hands on it, Zeus-1 was a whole new ship. Calling it an upgrade wasn't going far enough.

    "All weapons, prepare to fire." Lin Guoguo sat in Lan Jue's usual chair. The familiar metal helmet was fitted on her head. Channeling her psychic powers through the ship, there was nothing in the airfield hidden from her sight.

    Beeps chirped through the bridge, confirming locks on the pirate ships below. The unshielded battleship was in the center of their crosshairs.


    Beams of radiant blue light erupted from Zeus-1's weapons, turning the dim cannons into fountains of death. Sixteen turrets and its main gun released their payload all at once on the unsuspecting pirates.

    Lin Guoguo set the targeting; five smaller turrets per patrol boat, and the main guns right on their battleship. In total, thirteen pirate ships were removed from action after the initial barrage.

    Star Division prided itself on unconventional tactics. One could argue it was the key to their continued success. What enemy would expect to have the skies over their airfield open up and rain destruction on them, without any warning from their radar?

    Cloaking was taxing for the ship's energy reserves, so it was mostly used to evade enemies during attack. However, there were circumstances when it could be used offensively. The suddenness and the violence of their entrance knocked the pirates off guard. The enemy ships were struck by the light-based weapons so fast their ships couldn't switch on in time.

    The scene below Zeus-1's bridge was a vision of blooming fireballs. Explosions rolled like thunder. An afterimage of the main cannon's payload burned a path all the way to the remains of a battleships. One pirate battleship remained.

    If this had been in space with the pirate battleship's shields in place, a direct hit like that would have caused some damage. One could imagine what happens when Zeus-1 catches a ship unprepared.

    Ke'er, her eyes ablaze, began charging the weapons for a second volley. Her hands gripped the table, and through it she poured her Discipline into the ship's systems. No ninth level Adept could match the destructive power of a battleship, but they could use their Discipline with one for tremendous results. Aside from piloting mechas, strong Adepts were also well suited for battleship weapons control. The technology in weapon systems for Command ships or better far outstripped what one or even two Adepts could conjure together.

    Mika scowled. "It's like they're made of paper. No push-back whatsoever."

    Xiuxiu smirked. "They're not weak, we're too strong! Too much for them to handle."

    "Yeah," Mika nodded, accepting her sister's determination.

    Previously, they'd been so careful to use their full strength during training. Their soldiers were still green, so they'd held back against the smaller foes. Typically, their earlier missions could have been finished in a matter of minutes.

    This time was different. Everyone was involved, even the Gourmet. The full might of Star Division was on display. When Lan Jue said this would be a test of the Division, this is what he meant.

    The campaign was in full swing. IT was time to show the Starfields was Star Division could do.
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