Chapter 884: Aliens, Defeated?

    Chapter 884: Aliens, Defeated?

    With its payload delivered, Heron pulled to the side and arced away from Europa. With its speed and attack power it didn't worry about fighting its way back through the horde. After all, the armada was not far behind. The aliens were under so much pressure they didn't have an opportunity to give chase.

    As Heron tore off to the flank its crew waited with baited breath. They stared at the screens and out of the windows, anxious to see the result of their flyby. If they could do Europa any harm it would open the gates for the other bastions to do the same.

    Kang Hui was a good man, honest and sincere. Heron was chosen to attack the planet for more than just military reasons. Europa was the capitol of the former Western Alliance! Although the people knew it was no longer fit for human habitation, in their hearts - especially those of the Westerners - they still held the planet in high esteem. It would be better for the North to land the first strike, instead of an Eastern vessel, or Poseidon.

    The order was Kang Hui's. He would bear the consequences.

    "Eh?" He snapped out of his ruminations.

    Heron wasn't the only one waiting for signs of reaction! He'd watched the blasts enter the cloud cover, but then... nothing.

    The disturbance in the fog gradually disappeared and the surface looked like nothing had happened. There were no lights or indications of the shots passing behind the planet either. That should mean Heron's attack landed.

    But, why was there no sign of impact? Where did the shots go? The uncertainty immediately set everyone on edge.

    Those were three shots from a bastion's main cannons! Nothing came of them, not even the sounds of an explosion. It was like they just vanished into nothing, like Europa was a black hole.

    "All forces focus your attacks on the enemy soldiers. Fire main cannons at will." Kang Hui directed.

    Europa's situation was too inscrutable. Instead they would focus on weakening the horde, and once they got some breathing room they could find a more effective way to deal with the former human planet.

    Almost before the orders left his lips Middle Heaven was in the thick of it. Where before it'd silently waited behind its defenders, it was now a piercing orb of light that fired rays of amber light in all directions. Together with Poseidon's Soft Water bombs, swaths of alien fighters were destroyed.

    The monsters were like a snake without its head, flailing every which way. They didn't stand a chance against humanity's disciplines forces.

    Heron flew back around and rejoined the battle. After thirty minutes the enemy forces were under threat of collapse. Though the morale of these cruel beasts could not be broken, their lines could. More and more of them fell until the battle had become a one-sided extermination.

    Mankind's warriors could not let up, not when victory was so close at hand and so many vital crystals were up for grabs! These crystals were treasures that were priceless no matter how many of them were passed around. The exuvium process was complete and ready for use to extend human life. The foundation of that process was these vital crystals.

    Humans had killed countless numbers of these monsters already, but there were also planets worth of humans. Everyone wanted a chance to live longer, and the only way to do that was if they got their hands on one of these crystals.

    In addition Skyfire Avenue wasn't the only one who encouraged their soldiers with the promise of a spot on the list to use the exuvium process. The North, and Poseidon Group also had similar plans.

    Now more than ever was the time to gather these crystals. In the eyes of these soldiers it might be their last chance. Mechas, warship crews, drone pilots - everyone wanted to take advantage of this situation. Everyone was fighting their hardest.

    This was, of course, within reason. The soldiers of the allied forces had struggled together for a long time, and none of them were willing to risk the lives of their brothers and sisters in greedy pursuits. There were enough vital crystals for everyone.

    According to Northern and Eastern reports, one average vital crystal was enough to facilitate the exuvium process for ten people. The creatures they were killing now were more than your average fiend, and some were even of the enemy's upper echelons.

    The better the crystal the more often it could be used for the process. The results were also better by orders of magnitude.

    But while the soldiers were celebrating, the officers knew the war wasn't over yet. Heron's attack hadn't done much of anything, so how were they supposed to deal with the planet?

    The horde's numbers thinned but never broke. Although they were cut down in droves there was no indication they would be routed or retreat. The beasts fought back as hard as ever.

    Eventually the wriggling purple bodies disappeared from space. A glittering field of crystals was left behind, quickly gobbled up by the human ships.

    At last the army of monsters that had harassed the human species had been exterminated. Cries of elation rang from the smallest patrol boat to the largest bastion. And it wasn't just the soldiers, either. All throughout the worlds of man people cheered their heroes. They'd watched with bated breath as the fight was broadcast into every home. Win or lose, the people had a right to know. The government could of course shut off the feed whenever they chose, but when it was clear humanity was winning they kept it going, clear as a bell.

    Northern cries were especially loud. Two out of the four bastions were dispatched from their Alliance and the leader of the expedition was one of their own. They proudly congratulated themselves on these facts and through this the people were calmed. In fact the government enjoyed a sharp spike in public approval. Heron proved their leaders were committed to reinforcing the heroes of the front lines. In this they were better than the East. Suddenly the calls for consequences were silenced and the citizens were at peace. Instead there were words of praise and support offered up from all corners of the Alliance.

    Only a handful of people had the inside scoop, and knew that the fight wasn't over. The three home worlds still remained. It was the worst disaster in hundreds of years, but it wasn't over until those hellish planets were destroyed.

    Kang Hui was inundated with commendations. He didn't try to silence the jubilation immediately. The soldiers had fought for so long, witnessed the death of their fellow shoulders and countrymen. They've needed this for a long, long time.

    After a few moments he delivered more commands to the various ship captains. The fight wasn't over yet, he assured them, they had one final enemy to overcome. Now wasn't the time for celebration.

    Soon the vital crystals left behind by their defeated enemies were gathered together. It went without saying that the North won the largest number of crystals, for their two bastions were integral in the fight. Especially Heron and its three thousand drones. They were fierce and flexible, resulting in an impressive haul.

    "Form up, surround Europa." Soldiers were trained to follow orders like the word of god. Still beaming from their victory the soldiers rushed to follow instructions once they were given. The fleets spread out, and the bastions gathered in single file.

    A fire burned behind Kang Hui's eyes. Do you still think yourselves so strong, monsters? With all our ships, bastions and soldiers do you think yourselves invincible?

    All four bastions began recharging their main weapons. Among them was Middle Heaven, smoldering as it prepared the terrible power that was Terminal Ray. Poseidon, though still unable to change shape, still had Soft Water bombs to employ.

    Kang Hui quickly puzzled out the best plan of attack. All bastions would concentrate their fire on a single point, together with the fleet as a whole. If all of their firepower was directed as Europa's core they could destroy the planet outright.

    From what he could tell from outside, none of the alien worlds plastered to Europa's surface were reacting to the horde's destruction. Their life force and consciousness must be completely funneled into the single planet. Thus if Europa was destroyed, the home worlds would die with it.

    This was not the time for mercy and kindheartedness. Kang Hui knew he'd have to face many difficult questions once the campaign was finished, but he didn't hesitate to give the order. Nothing was more important than the survival of the species.

    The allied forces took advantage of the calm before the final storm. Energy stores were replenished and stabilized, guns were charged. Secondary weapons systems were turned down, for they were no longer helpful for what was to come. Only their strongest weapons could harm Europa, especially at a distance.

    Battleship-class vessels and smaller were ordered not to engage. They were told to observe the situation and await further orders. Everyone else had their weapons primed and aimed, waiting for the order to fire from Tyrannosaurus.

    The feeling of it all was thick in the air, everyone could feel it. Their battle was coming to a close, and though their final objective was in view they were not relaxed. They were tense, anxious, excited.

    The four bastions shimmered with light as they pulled into firing range. Tempestuous flows of energy surrounded each of them.
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