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Chapter 772: Winning the Initial Battle

    Chapter 772: Winning the Initial Battle

    According to Lan Qing's battle plan, the human forces would remain together through the whole fight, amassing at a single point. The bastions would give them support.

    Although it was appearing more and more likely that the aliens were in the process of their evolution, Lan Qing was still preparing for the eventuality that they would join the better. Perhaps they completed their evolution quickly, or this whole thing had been a set-up. No bastion would survive being surrounded by the alien home worlds, their only shot was if they stuck together and faced the enemy as a unified front.

    Of course, this was the worst case scenario. Lan Qing was trying to stick to the simplest strategy; stay together and punch through the enemy line. Head right for their heart.

    The plan was hinged on many objectives that each needed to be successively achieved. Their first order of business was rather like life fire scouting, though on a much higher scale than when Lan Jue did it.

    Before long a withered purple orb swung into view of the bastions. The poisoned planet was a shocking sight, as was the horde of aliens in the space surrounding it waiting for a fight.

    Obviously they had predicted the bastions' arrival. There were three times as many now as when Lan Jue had come knocking, probably gathered from the other planets. Judging just by looks, the aliens seemed just as numerous as humanity's twelve fleets, perhaps even more. Meanwhile the purple planet hung in the background, still and silent.

    At least as far as they could tell, nothing looked different from when Lan Jue left.

    The three bastions advanced in a V-formation, with Middle Heaven in the lead. 1 On the left, Poseidon. Tyrannosaurus was on the right. Their support ships fanned out around them with Capital ships at the fore and the weaker ships behind.

    The two sides maintained a safe distance and eyed one another across a swath of empty space - what was soon to become their battleground.

    The humans could see more alien forces approaching from far away to shore up their defenses. Now that they knew where the humans intended to attack, they concentrated their power to try and repel them. That was one of the differences between human and alien - they weren't afraid to use everything at their disposal, any method no matter how costly or cruel, to achieve their ends.

    In the Shattered Starfields, they had used asteroids to pummel their ships. In the North they had turned planets into time bombs. This time they looked ready to face the human head-on, without aid. They were confident in their numbers and ability.

    Lan Qing's voice resounded through all the ships. "Proceed with on-sight preparations. Do a final system's check. Get ready to execute the first part of the plan." It was wise to check that everything was in top condition after a long flight, especially before a battle. It was standard practice in interstellar battles.

    The armada dimmed suddenly as ships conserved energy for the battle to come.

    All of a sudden, twelve large ships launched forward. They were fast, and charged ahead at full speed almost immediately. No one spacecraft followed.

    These twelve ships were some of the strongest in the armada. They were their fleet's flagships, each of them sovereign-class Capital ships. Although there was only a dozen of them, each ship was over ten kilometers long, and they burned toward the planet with an indomitable will. 2

    Meanwhile Middle Heaven pressed forward. The front-facing section of its lithosphere actually split apart, revealing a honeycomb of densely packed cannons. One thousand and eighty altogether, their muzzles three hundred meters in diameter. Already an ominous light was growing in their depths.

    Forget the aliens. The humans looked on in disbelief at what they were witnessing. Weren't they just told to hold and check their equipment? Why the sudden attack? Where they just going to start shooting?

    The Capital ships themselves already had their cannons extended. The space around them crackled and they burned with energy, ready to rain destruction upon the alien forces at a moment' notice.

    "Fire!"

    "Fire!"

    "Fire!"

    "Fire!"

    "Fire!"

    ...

    The command was repeated through every ship, and in response their cannons released a bone-jarring barrage into the enemy. They had just come into range of their weapons, and their reactions were markedly sluggish. In fact they had hardly reacted until the Capital ships had begun to pick up speed.

    The space before them was covered in a hundred beasts about a thousand meters long. They looked like silk worms, dumbly wriggling in space, blocking passage forward. Their disgusting writhing became more frantic and they stretched themselves out into fleshy cakes.

    But they were too slow. The salvo from the human ships smashed into them before they had a chance to completely transform.

    Capital ships were equipped with anti-matter cannons that could only be employed in space. Aside from a bastion's main cannon, they were some of the strongest weapons in mankind's arsenal. The flash from their cannon fire briefly turned the universe white with burning power.

    But a strange scene was revealed when their attack reached the oval-shaped beasts. They caved in as the beams of light reached them, but did not break. Instead the borders of the oval creatures lit up and spat out the diffused cannon fire. It seemed as destructive as before, but spread out in horizontal waves.

    If they hadn't seen it with their own eyes, no one would have believed it. However this wasn't a complete rebuke of the Capital ship's power. The closest line of them couldn't resist the antimatter energy and were slowly dissolved into nothing. Still, their defenses served to greatly reduce the destructive power of the volley.

    It was to the humans' advantage that these creatures were also slow. Gaped still remained in their defensive line. Where the cannon fire slipped through, all the aliens behind were burned away.

    Screeches and sizzles filled the battlefield. The Capital ship's attack was lick kicking a hornet's nest, serving to send the aliens into a violent frenzy.

    Their main cannons spent, the Capital ships swung around and blasted back the way they had come. Their secondary weapons systems lit up as they fired into the encroaching alien forces to cover their escape.

    Even lesser weapons on a Capital ship were a sight to behold. They weren't called the strongest fleet ships for no reason. Likewise their defensive were strong, and protected them valiantly as the ships fled from the field.

    The front line of the alien attack was comprised of the shuttle-aliens, which specialized in explosive speed. Although there were a myriad of breeds in the alien species, each with different abilities, size always seemed to indicate strength. This was the same for the shuttle aliens, whose front line were all a thousand meters long or more. In a blink they were on the Capital ships, smashing themselves into their shields.

    Even dreadnaughts, mighty as they were, would have fallen to this assault. But these were Capital ships, and their might was more than the aliens could overcome. Their shields rippled as the aliens flung themselves against it but did not break. What's more, since they attacked from the limit of where their guns could reach, only a small numbers of the enemy were fast enough to catch them.

    Suddenly the twelve Capital ships split, tearing off to either side. The beasts chasing them did not follow, for they were caught off guard by the enormous thing that had been waiting just behind.

    Middle Heaven!

    The array of cannons lit up, an angry red. Just the energy that radiated from it was terrifying. So terrifying in fact that the aliens giving chase broke off and scattered.

    For a bastion like Middle Heaven, what sort of destruction could it achieve?

    The slower aliens making their way closer reacted the same and fled for their lives. The aliens were in disarray. Even those creatures thousands of meters across heaved their lumbering bulks away, desperate to avoid what was coming!

    Without their home worlds there were no aliens that could withstand the guns of a bastion ships. Instead, their only plan of attack was to overwhelm the humans with superior numbers. However they had been drawn in before they realized what was happening, and the glowing barrels of Middle Heaven's cannons proved it way already too late.

    As Middle Heaven inched forward the light from its cannons brightened. The promise of immediately destruction stopped the alien retaliation and sent them running.

    1. This is called  formation. You can see how the character is a pretty spot-on representation of three death stars.

    2. TJSS calls them 'big mac-class' in size.
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