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Chapter 682: Asteroid Storm

    Chapter 682: Asteroid Storm

    On Tyrannosaurus, Kang Hui's face had also gone pale. The ship's radar was even clearer on the Bastion, revealing in high-definition quality the torrent of asteroids spat from the alien planet. Thousands of tons of rock were hurdling toward them, too fast and too widespread for them to avoid.

    "Fleets Three, Six, Eleven, and Thirteen are in formation. First Fleet hasn't gotten into position yet." An officer called.

    Kang Hui's face darkened. "All Capital ships engage full shields. Commander Ying will lead his own fleet's defenses. Prepare weapons for fire, wait on my command. Secondary weapons systems live, and make sure these asteroids don't get close. Tell me the moment Tyrannosaurs' main gun is ready to fire. Find out where Heron and Arachnid are and get that information to me right away."

    Lan Jue's eyes were fixed to the screen. His breathing came fast, stunned by the suddenness of this asteroid attack. They were everywhere, far as the eye could see. The thin layer of the asteroid belt that remained between them and the alien planet wasn't going to help. On the contrary, they would likely join in the oncoming attack.

    A burst of energy swept toward them, an oppressive force that seemed poised to swallow up everything in its path. The asteroids from the planet crashed into the belt, resulting in dramatic explosions and detritus moving at thousands of kilometers a second. The Asteroid belt gave away and joined the tide of stone as it headed toward the human ships.

    Without question, the aliens knew the humans were coming, and from where. They had prepared all of this, even down to the limited alien patrols to limit casualties. The Violet Prince, the asteroids, avoiding Tyrannosaurus...

    All of it planned perfectly. The aliens knew much more about humans and their reactions than anyone would have guessed. They even know particulars about Capital ship weaponry, not to mention a Bastion's main guns!

    The nightmare they faced now was a result of underestimation. Even after repelling the Violet Prince and preparing for the asteroid attack, humanity was in a dangerously inferior position.

    What could they do in a situation as desperate as this?

    It didn't matter how strong Skyfire Avenue's people were, this was a full-fledged space battle. A single person, even a Paragon, couldn't sway the tide. Even something as frightening as the Violet Prince wouldn't dare reveal itself to Bastion and Capital ship fire for any stretch of time.

    Victory or defeat was in the hands of Kang Hui and his army, now.

    The Asteroid Storm was here! They barely had time to prepare. The smallest were the size of mountains, and the bigger ones could be mistaken for moons. Simple as they were, they made brutally efficient weapons.

    Tyrannosaurus had taken the first shot, but the alien planet aimed to finish the fight before it really got under way.

    "Fire!" Kang Hui gave the order.

    Tyrannosaurus lit up with thousands of flashes as its secondary weapons systems let loose. Sizzling beams of energy crashed into the asteroids. There was no way the ship would survive relying on shields alone, not to mention the amount of energy it would take to protect a ship of its size. Guns were turned on the space rocks to reduce their numbers as much as possible before they struck.

    For the moment it seemed to work. The overpowering munitions from the ship obliterated the asteroids, turning one after the other into space dust.

    From the bridge windows they could hardly see passed the flashes of muzzle fire. The asteroids were many, but once within the kill zone of Tyrannosaurus' weapons they were destroyed. The ship slowly spun around as the guns - jutting from the surface like so many bamboo shoots - continued to fire.

    The weapons issuing from Tyrannosaurus' surface were its Beta- and Gamma-class railguns. They were strong enough to mar planets! The ship rotated to give the weapons times to vent heat and recharge for another volley while another sector took charge. This way it kept up continuous fire.

    Like a well-oiled machine, the North's Tyrannosaurus-class Bastion ship spun and fired, and not a single asteroid was able to penetrate the crossfire. The four Capital ships from the four fleets were only responsible for the furthest outliers. It meant they could conserve energy and focus fire on where it was needed most. Now it was clear why Kang Hui ordered them to move in. The smaller their surface area, the less energy was needed in defense and the harder they were to hit.

    Kang Hui's skillful command played an important role in their continued survival.

    The only problem was First Fleet. They'd dragged their feet and missed their opportunity. It's Capital ship and dreadnaughts desperately fired into the encroaching wall of stone to protect themselves.

    Smaller ships could play no role here. If they were unfortunate enough to get caught by even the smallest asteroid, they would be reduced to slag.

    Countless beams of light lit up space. From a distance it looked like the most incredible light show in the galaxy.

    Lan Jue was secretly impressed. Despite all he knew about Bastion ships, this was the first time he'd seen one in full combat. Now he understood just how incredible they were. It was the first time he'd seen this tactic of continuous railgun fire as well. It was especially effective against asteroids since they had no shields or armor.

    The stream of asteroids from the alien planet seemed endless. The ships fired back with just as much tenacity.

    "Admiral, we're losing energy quickly. We're down thirty percent already."

    "Pay no mind," Kang Hui muttered. "Continue at full power. Don't you want to go home to your families? We cannot lose this battle. Give the order to Third and Sixth fleet to prepare their cannons. Tell them to target the enemy planet."

    "Admiral, the asteroids are still too thick. We can't get a lock."

    "Then hold the attack," he replied. "Focus on the asteroids. All Capital ships and dreadnaughts go weapons hot. Get ready to switch targets on my command."

    The Skyfire delegation stood to one side of the office, silently nodding. This Kang Hui was a credit to his Chinese ancestry, with a big heart and a sharp eye for making the right decision. His direction might just get them through this definitive battle.

    Judging by the planet's reaction, it was afraid of the Bastion's lethal main cannon. It was trying to destroy them before they could get another shot off. If this was not the case, a counter-attack like the one they used to destroy the Seventh Fleet would have been more suitable.

    Their first priority had to be defending themselves from the flood of deadly rock. Once that threat was dealt with they would engage. If they succeeded, not only would the damage to the enemy be great, but it would show humanity they stood a chance.

    Explosions ripped through space as the railguns detonated asteroids, causing the ships to rattle continuously. A shiver went down the spines of all who witnessed the pure destructive capabilities of the Bastion ship. This was the apex of humanity's capacity for annihilation.

    "Where are Arachnid and Heron," Kang Hui calmly asked.

    "Sir, they're headed our way at full speed. They'll be here in three hours!"

    "Stream our engagement to them in real-time so they know what to expect. Tell them to expect an ambush."

    "Aye, aye!"

    There were three of these evil planets out there, but only one had shown its ugly surface. As for the other two? No one knew where they might be lurking. If the aliens knew about Tyrannosaurus, then it was more than likely they also knew about Heron and Arachnid. Judging by how strong just this one planet was, they would need two Bastions to stand on equal footing.

    A strange light flit across Kang Hui's eyes perpetually as he watched the battle. His attention flashed from one screen to another, informing his constant stream of commands. While it looked like micro-managing, each order was precise and correct.

    Under his direction Tyrannosaurus and four of its fleets had drifted sideways toward First Fleet. Meanwhile the two reserve fleets had turned them weapons to the flank to aid the errant fleet, saving it from destruction and sharing its defensive burden.

    Ying Tianlong stood on the bridge of his Capital ship, his face red with rage!

    "Get me Admiral Hui on the line!" He roared, then took several deep breaths to try and bring himself under control.

    "This is Kang Hui." After a moment the commander's face flickered into view on a screen.
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