Chapter 844: Control

    Chapter 844: Control

    The information sent back by Lan Jue confirmed all of Lan Qing's suspicions. The alien home worlds were nearing the end of their evolution process. Destroying Europa would not only prevent their evolution, but may also fatally wound or even destroy them.

    Before the battle Lan Qing ordered everyone off the bastion, leaving only a skeleton crew.

    Most of the soldiers abandoned the bastion aboard its drones. Those who could pilot mechas were already out among the fleet. Normal mecha pilots weren't very effective against the aliens, but in a battle like this even the smallest advantage could earn the humans victory.

    The Violet Prince's face was a scowling mask as he watched Tyrannosaurus' attack and Middle Heaven heading his way. It wasn't that he didn't want to avoid them, he couldn't.

    He and the other elite aliens were able to intercept human messages through psionic waves. Through the consumption of human genetic material he could understand their language, even how they thought.

    In the process of commanding the humans, their admiral Lan Qing had used the most direct methods of communication with his subordinate, Kang Hui. The alien leader was able to uncover their plans without much effort at all, even the condition of Middle Heaven and its molinite core.

    Then Lan Qing ordered his troops off the bastion. The Violet Prince knew only a few souls were left, the bare minimum needed to pilot the war machine. It was open tactics, equivalent to Lan Qing looking them in the eye and saying 'this is my plan, what do you plan to do about it?'

    The Violet Prince couldn't afford any risks, for he knew the power contained in Middle Heaven. If it were allowed to approach Europa, the damage to the home worlds would be horrific. He couldn't be sure it would destroy his masters outright, but at the very least it would ruin their plans for evolution.

    The aliens had prepared this moment for hundreds of years. Centuries of planning and gathering resources. At last final victory was within their grasp.

    If their evolution failed it would be nothing short of a disaster. Who knew how long it would take for them to acquire the resources necessary to try again, or whether the home worlds could continue to hide away from the cruel lash of universal protogenia.

    Humans were not the only ones fighting for survival. For the aliens, this moment would also define the future of their species.

    The Prince realized that dodging Tyrannosaurus' blast left the way open for Middle Heaven. He had no choice, he had to face the enemy head on.

    The beast upon which the Prince road belched a roar that shook the pillars of heaven [1. Yes.]. It's hideous, thirty-thousand meter long body lurched forward while the Prince, Princess, and three Infinite-level home world avatars were surrounded by an aura of purple.

    Five shimmering orbs of light fused into one, forming an enormous void of black that blocked the bastion's path forward. The beast that had conveyed the Violet Prince was ripped into countless chunks of bloody meat, which subsequently became orbs of crackling dark energy. They coalesced into a single orb which was then fired at Middle Heaven.

    The war was underway.

    The alien leadership feared no sacrifice. The Prince readily forfeit a near-Infinite level creature to attack the human bastion and warded its progress with his own body. Potential fatal were the attacks from Tyrannosaurus and Middle Heaven, but he stood in their path regardless.

    The Violet Prince was wise, and he knew the humans let their plans slip on purpose. It was all in order to let that planet-sized bastion through. Yet for all his intelligence he was left with no options. Protecting the home worlds was his primary objective, and nothing could threaten their evolution. What if this machine-planet hybrid - which had already surprised them on numerous occasions - actually managed to succeed?

    He knew this was their plan all along, yet he had to face it on their terms. However he was confident the humans wouldn't expect him to sacrifice one of his own top warriors to contend with the threat of Middle Heaven. He knew how important this one bastion was to the human defense forces, and destroying it would weaken his prey by at least half.

    Everything happened quickly, almost too fast to keep track of.

    First was the blast from Tyrannosaurus' main cannon. , a column of searing light that pierced the center of the alien's Domain. As the power of the bastion's gun came crashing onto them all of the alien leaders - including the Prince and Princess - scowled in dismay.

    They were powerful, yes, but the main cannon from a bastion ship was unparalleled in the world of human weaponry! It possessed enough destructive energy to easily obliterate a planet.

    Crackling sparks of power snakes across the surface of the aliens' power as it struggled to ward off the attack. It threatened to collapse at any moment. The five powerful aliens poured all of their strength into maintaining the vortex. Tyrannosaurus was capable of sustaining continuous fire from its cannon for a full minute. Its targets would have to hold out for at least that hold.

    Meanwhile the remains of the titan were closing in on Middle Heaven. A figure appeared in space outside of the ship, followed shortly after by a gateway of pink light. The portal was as lofty as it was sudden, but vanished the moment the aliens' attack passed through it. Another portal appeared and spat the attack back out, only this time it was aimed back at the enemy forces.

    The bastion's defender was none other than the Photographer, master of space-time - Luo Xianni.

    Long before becoming a Paragon of the Infinite, Luo Xianni had perfected her art. Her gateways were capable of absorbing and redirecting all sorts of energy - even living creatures - at a whim. As her power grew, she was capable of altering ever more powerful flows. By now she could transfer the entire fleet if she pushed herself.

    Of course the larger her target, the shorter the distance she could move it and the more likely problems were to arise. This time the two sides were close, so her biggest struggle was the sheer amount of energy she was trying to redirect.

    When the orbs reappeared they were struck by arcs of copper light. Although they emerged from Luo Xianni's portal intact, the blow from the golden cudgel made them unstable. The orbs erupted into violent bursts of dark energy.

    Sacrificing the life of a thirty-thousand meter long beast produced a staggering amount of energy. Not only was it replete with the Birth and Destruction Discipline of its race, but also tremendous destructive power. As it grew unstable and erupted, huge swaths of space became bogs of sticky, corrosive energy.

    All aliens caught in the 'mire', no matter how strong, were quickly dissolved.

    Luo Xianni was artful in her manipulation. The orbs appeared directly in front of one wing of the alien horde, thus turning a potential threat against Middle Heaven into a screen that prevented the aliens from assaulting it.

    The aliens had raced ahead with their whole strength, and the counterattack was too sudden for them to stop. Scores of the monsters raced headlong into caustic cloud that stretched tens of thousands of meters across. Their death strengthened the mire and caused it to grow.

    Luo Xianni appeared before Middle Heaven, her face pale. Errant bolts of pink energy crackled around her, dangerous and unstable. Creating and manipulating that portal had been debilitating and for the time being she was too weak to continue. She observed her handiwork for a moment, then returned to the bastion to recover.

    The explosion, and the deadly cloud it created, barred a third of the alien horde from joining the fray. Most had stopped before rushing headlong to their death, but it would take them a few moments to circumvent the deadly area. Suddenly the alien formation and their defensive plans were thrown into chaos.

    Who was Lan Qing, but the lauded God of Wisdom? He would not let such a fine opportunity go to waste. Once he saw his mother's achievement he began to shout a string of orders.

    Twelve fleets let their weapons go hot, firing into the flank that wasn't barred by the corrosive cloud. Capital ships kept up a hail of fire with total disregard of energy stores. In the space of a breath, a barrage of punishing laser fire was bearing down on their enemy.

    Lan Qing had warned Kang Hui and the other commanders against being conservative in the final fight. Now was not the time to be economical with their weaponry. They had to execute the alien menace with extreme prejudice, hit them with everything they had. That was the path to victory.

    The smallest patrol boat to the largest Capital ship, all of them needed a cooldown period after continuous fire. It came down to frequency, so the earlier in the fight they depleted their payload, the sooner they could recover for a second volley.

    For this reason Lan Qing held nothing back, not for this battle. Tyrannosaurus' guns proved more than effective, not by eliminating enemy forces but by keeping the alien elite out of the fight.
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