The Mech Touch Chapter 391 Rallying Cry
Commander Husaan eagerly pulled back all of his surviving mechs. In their place, the Avatars of Myth finally committed to the battle.
Although the defensive line instantly stabilized at their arrival, neither Ves nor Melkor smiled, because according to their plans, they should have kept the Avatars in reserve for a longer time.
Still, the Avatars fought valiantly, proving that Melkor did an excellent job in hiring the initial cadre. Led by Melkor himself, their ranged mechs laid down accurate support fire from an elevated position on the walls. They mainly trained their firepower on the frontline mechs hanging back from the melee.
"Knights, pin down that incoming heavy mech! Don't let it shoulder its way inside!"
The melee mechs led by the two gold label Blackbeaks crashed against the Vesian mech with uncharacteristic fury. The two mech pilots of the Blackbeak got caught up in the fervor and fought back with ferocity. They pushed aside the enemy medium mechs and approach the sole surviving heavy knight from two different directions.
"Out of the way, you puny mechs!" The brash and angry mech pilot of the heavy knight broadcasted.
The Blackbeaks purposefully ignored the warning and began their awe-inspiring clash with the heavy knight. While the Blackbeaks quickly showed that they couldn't withstand a frontal clash against the heavy knight, their superior mobility allowed them to circle around their lumbering opponent and pressure its vulnerable back.
This forcefully halted the forward momentum of the heavy knight, because it could ill afford to let an enemy pester its slightly weaker rear armor!
"Annoying gnats! Stand still for me!"
The heavy knight continued make wide horizontal sweeps with its large broadsword, only for the nimble Blackbeaks to jump back well before the blade reached their former position.
The two elegantly-styled mechs continued their dance around the heavy knight. The red vapor leaking from their red-dyed relief-studded shoulder pauldrons caused the area around the heavy knight to be partially obscured in bloody mist.
Ves estimated the cost of the heavy mech to be around 300 million credits. To be held back by a pair of mechs with a fair market price of around 100 million credits was very impressive.
As the heavy mech become more flustered, Ves became more familiar with its design. He opened a channel to the two pilots of the Blackbeak and issued some advice.
"The knight you're facing is very top-heavy! Its legs look sturdy, but they're actually strained to their limits! Focus on the rear knee joints, it's the weakest part of its legs!"
"The sword its wielding is large and heavy, but the arms are burdened by an excessive amount of armor! Forget about trying to chip away at the arms, it's actually a trap!"
"It's left side is its former shield side. The heavy knight is balanced only when it wields its tower shield. Now that it's gone, its balance is out of whack. Press its left side to further destabilize its footing!"
The vulnerabilities he pointed out did not lead to an instant defeat, but they successfully enabled the pilots of the Blackbeaks to keep the heavy knight on its back footing.
Not even the Vesians expected for their heavy knight to be pinned down by a pair of knights. The rest of the Chasseurs began to move to help out their beleaguered comrade, only to be stalled by the rest of the Avatars and Sanyal-Ablin mechs.
The front line fell into a momentary stalemate, but that would only last ten minutes as most. The mechs from Sanyal-Ablin had the edge in quality, but they were hard-pressed to hold back the superior numbers of the Chasseurs, especially since they didn't attack as a horde but instead utilized rigid coordination.
Ves knew that grueling grinds like these tested each side's resolve and depth. On both accounts, he favored the Vesians over the defenders. None of them besides the Avatars truly wished to stand their ground. The LMC was just a client to them. Once the battle turned ugly for them, Ves had no doubt their will to battle would plummet.
Every minute, another mech succumbed, mostly on the defending side. A couple of pilots died or sustained heavy wounds, but most decided to eject early rather than risk their lives. This hastened the attrition of the defending side, and despite the valiant efforts of the Avatars of Myth, they could not halt the overall trend.
"Damnit, where is Dietrich and his mechs?" Ves wondered.
Due to all of the enemy jamming, Ves lost contact with the Whalers stationed outside of Freslin.
On the flanks, the situation didn't look much better. The Meandering Monkeys took advantage of the Mech Nursery's lack of numbers to defend its perimeter and spread out to pressure the walls from multiple directions.
The turrets that survived the previous artillery bombardment suppressed them from climbing over the walls for now, but the Monkeys constantly whittled them down with their ranged weapons. They jumped and ran around with such fleeting grace that the turret operators hardly managed to land any hits.
The situation on the flanks alleviated a little bit when the surviving Mudrider mechs moved to face the flanking Monkeys. This curbed their daring actions, but only for a limited time. The Mudriders were outnumbered at least two-to-one and the turrets would only last long against the full might of the light mech company.
As Ves bit his lips, a crackling comm channel came to life. "Ves!"
"Dietrich, you're here!" Ves responded with a much-relieved tone.
This entire battle revealed the precarious nature of the defenders. With any help, Ves predicted that the Vesians would have no trouble breaking through the perimeter.
The timely arrival of thirty friendly mechs breathed a lot of life into Ves. "Where are you right now? Are you in a position to hit the Vesians?"
"We're two minutes out. We can already see the flashes and hear the noise from here! Fadah and I are leading our rookies forward as we speak, but don't put your hopes up on our mechs! They're rookies for a reason!"
"You don't have to hammer the Vesians. As long as you can divert their attention and split them up, it's enough!"
Ves filled Dietrich in on the current tactical situation. While Dietrich wanted to turn the Whalers towards the 1st Meandering Monkeys, Ves argued otherwise.
"The Monkeys are a distraction! Defeating them while they're all dispersed will take too much time. By then, the 5th Vavulan Chasseurs will have succeeded in breaking through. We can't let that happen!"
As long as they stalled the Chasseurs and inflicted increasingly severe losses, the Vesians would finally begin to realize it wasn't so easy to break into the Mech Nursery. At that point, their commander had no choice but consider the gains and losses of continuing the raid.
However, in order to reach that point, the combined defensive force had to inflict enough casualties to make the Vesians second-guess their actions.
Ves proceeded to watch on as the loose collection of Whaler mechs approached the sides of the main engagement. They met a couple of scouts from the Monkeys, which lost them the element of surprise, not that they counted upon it in the first place.
Instantly, the Vesians adjusted their maneuvers. Some of the flanking Monkeys pulled back from trading potshots at the Mudriders and moved in the direction of the incoming reinforcements. As for the Chasseurs, they did not let up their forward assault, but instead turned most of their frontline mechs around to face the Whalers.
"Damnit, careful Dietrich! They're sending out all of their frontline mechs along with a number of light mechs in your direction!"
Those frontline mechs might not be clad in a lot of armor, but they possessed a lot of firepower and could run at a decent speed as well.
As the two sides clashed, the Whaler mechs instantly became entangled in a messy firefight. Although they utilized much better mechs than before, their young mech pilots proved incapable of drawing out their strengths.
Compared to the old guard who largely perished in the Glowing Planet campaign, the fresh-faced recruits lacked a lot of hands-on battle experience. Facing an even number of light and frontline mechs, the mechs commanded by Dietrich couldn't help but falter in their steps.
Dietrich, Fadah and the handful of veteran pilots did all they could to shepherd the rookies, but they already had their hands full trying to resist the elites among the Vesian mechs.
Even though the arrival of the reinforcements from Walter's Whalers failed to make a big of an impact as Ves had hoped, at least they successfully diverted a large portion of the enemy mechs.
The main engagement at the gap of the walls still proceeded frigidly. Sanyal-Ablin failed to persist when they still drew the attention of an entire company of Chausseurs. A handful of their mechs fell had steadily fallen in the last couple of minutes. With each single casualty, the battle turned further and further out of their favor.
To be frank, even with the successful diversion of the frontline mechs, the remaining defenders still fell into an awkward situation.
Just as Ves contemplated doing something drastic, the battle between the three knights finally came to a conclusion.
One of the Blackbeaks retracted the sword that had punched through the ragged-looking rear armor of the heavy knight. The weighty mech quickly collapsed while the two Blackbeaks banged their swords against their battered shields before raising them into the sky.
"Avatars!" They shouted into the open.
The pure exultation in their voice along with their dramatic victory couldn't help but lessen the inevitable air of victory around the Chasseurs. The Vesians grew indignant, and quickly diverted some of their mechs to take out the Blackbeaks.
"Come! Let us see if you have what it takes to take down a Myth!"
The two knight pilots brazenly taunted the Chasseurs. If Ves didn't suspect them of doing so spontaneously, he would have thought it was a deliberate ploy to lower the morale of their opponents.
In any case, their actions succeeded in changing the overall pattern of the most crucial portion of the battle. The battle at the gap in the walls turned into a muddled mess as the Chasseurs tried to vent their fury on the two Blackbeaks.
However, the gold label mechs proved difficult to pin down. Unlike the lumbering heavy mech, their lighter and more balanced construction allowed them to dance aside most attacks. Those that landed on their shield or armor only dented them a bit or created shallow cuts. Compressed armor was no joke, and without exerting enough force, the mechs of the Chasseurs wouldn't have much success in punching through the layers.
"We can do it!" Ves faintly hoped.
The valor displayed by the two Blackbeaks astounded everyone. Much of that came from the skilled handling of their mech pilots. Melkor had indeed picked up a pair of treasures on Bentheim.
However, these pilots only felt free to act this way because they piloted an excellent pair of mechs. These two particular gold label mechs had been the latest copies of their line. Ves improved much in recent times, and he managed to pass on some of these benefits to his latest handcrafted mechs.
Although the physical performance of the mechs hadn't received much of a bump, they still boasted superior agility due to the gems that Ves had secretly implanted in them. In addition, their X-Factor came out a bit stronger than before, as Ves invested a substantial amount of mind energy into their construction.
Both of these factors boosted the performance of the Blackbeaks to an unheard of level.
Just as Ves thought that he battle had taken a turn for the better, another mech from the Chasseurs appeared from the rear.
Ves instantly felt his joy bleeding away at the sight of the incoming mech. The quality of this mech stood out starkly. This must be the commander of the raiding force, and by the looks of his fancy mech, he must be a noble as well.