The Mech Touch Chapter 489 Last Stand
They never intended to stick around after initiating the riots. When the Vesian reinforcements came in force and started to scour the planet, most of their hideouts would doubtlessly be found. Instead, they already prepared to escape in space and rely on the Vesian Revolutionary Front to shelter them far away from their homes.
Since they only prepared a limited amount of ships, they couldn't bring everything they owned with them. The ships would only be enough to carry their core members along with some basic supplies and trade goods that they intended to barter for survival in the stars.
As much as they wanted to bring along the hovertanks and other vehicles, they simply didn't have the space to accommodate them all. The local rebels never valued them too much for this reason.
Letting them serve a use by driving them into the Loquacious Raphael was already generous enough.
In the aftermath of the collisions and subsequent self-destruction of the hovertanks, everyone tried to scan through the dust and interference. As the smoke and debris drifted away, the spectators came across an astonishing sight.
"The Raphael still stands!"
The mech lost its rifle arm, and its other limbs sustained moderate damage as well. Its chest looked mostly intact, but a handful of deformities left behind a couple of rents in its armor coverage.
Though the Vandals and the rebels felt disappointed that the Raphael survived the succession of collisions, it at least managed to create a handful of weak points on the mech. The rents in the chest armor and the exposed socket that formerly connected to the rifle arm both represented major vulnerabilities.
Captain Orfan grinned as she witnessed the damage through her damaged spearman mech's sensors. "What are you waiting for, men? We cracked it open! Finish it off!"
The Vandal mechs surged forth with renewed enthusiasm. The one thing they hated most about their opponent was that the Loquacious Raphael possessed a virtually impervious shell. None of their weapons managed to leave more than a shallow dent on its armor.
Yet the collisions changed everything. The sheer kinetic power behind the blows along with the subsequent explosions at point-blank range had finally managed to overwhelm the Raphael's amazing armor system.
The Vandal mechs only needed to deal some damage through these openings to damage the Raphael's much less resilient internals.
"We've got him on the ropes! Press on!"
The Raphael backed off continuously as its damaged and unbalanced state couldn't keep it at a stable footing. Mechs poured into the bottleneck and physically pushed every mech in a line along until the Raphael finally got pushed out of the narrow corridor it used as a bottleneck.
The Vandal mech pilots cheered as they entered a small clearing where they had much more room to maneuver. Some of the honor guard mechs finally managed to shrug off their opponents and repositioned themselves to back the Raphael up.
"Do you think we're finished? Hah! Think again!" Lord Javier broadcasted. "Ridding me of my rifle only allows me to concentrate on my swordplay!"
Just as the Vandals moved to deliver the coup de grace, the Raphael turned into a nimble fencer. Lord Javier completely disregarded the absence of one of its arms and put his full attention on retaliating against his opponents.
Kenneth's knight mech was the first to go down. The Vandal mech pilot had become a little complacent after witnessing the damaged state of the Raphael. However, he completely misjudged the damaged mech's state.
Far from being crippled, the Raphael still retained much of its strength. Besides missing its rifle, it still proved to be a deadly mech up close. After exchanging a couple of blows with the Vandal knight mech, the Raphael surged its legs forth and flanked the knight mech before stabbing its sword into its lower back.
The Raphael's sword arm pushed its sword through the rear armor of the knight mech and punctured its engine. This instantly caused the knight to lose its motive power and freeze in place.
Lord Javier huffed in frustration as he controlled his mech to pull out its sword and turn around to parry another sword strike. He felt frustrated at being unable to finish off the knight mech.
Moments later, Kenneth ejected from the immobilized knight mech. With its engine out of operation, he would only be a target for the Vesian mechs that stubbornly kept up the fight.
"These guys just won't give up." Addy muttered in the rebel base.
Around them, the rebels started packing up their gear and supplies. The Detemen League expended all of their hovertanks in Neron City while their infantry couldn't contend against the power of elite mechs. Commander Breskin already retreated from the battlefield and ordered the rebels to evacuate their base in advance.
"Is it alright to move out when the fight isn't over?" Ves carefully asked.
Addie smirked at him. "Your worries are unfounded, Mr. Larkinson. The fight is already over. What we're witnessing is the death throes of a delusional brat who doesn't know the game is up."
Pretty much every rebel believed the fight would soon be over. Though the Loquacious Raphael put up a valiant fight, its vulnerable state meant that it was only a matter of time before a Vandal dealt a lucky hit. Even with the absence of long-ranged fire support from the hovertanks, the Vandals all believed that victory was near.
Captain Orfan smelled blood. She turned her damaged mech away from the rampaging Raphael and assisted a handful of other mechs in taking down the tiger mechs. Besides Lord Javier's mech, the tiger mechs inflicted the most damage to their forces.
Though they performed well in confined spaces, they lost none of their power when they fight in slightly more open terrain. They constantly circled around, building up speed for a powerful charge that could knock down any humanoid mech in their way.
A handful of Vandals braced their mechs too late, causing the tiger mechs to shove them onto their backs. Once they fell prone onto the ground, the tiger mechs savaged them with their claws or bit off their limbs with their powerful jaws.
One mech got demolished entirely, while the other two made it off with heavy damage after some of the Vandal ranged mechs forced the tiger mechs to back away.
Still, these mechs had already accumulated a lot of damage. The constant laser beams and shells that impacted against their thick armor started to chip away at their integrity.
Captain Orfan recognized their vulnerable state and pounced forth. Two Vandal light mechs at her sides supported her offensive and darted ahead to occupy their target. The tiger mech desperately swung its paws to smack aside their attacks, but this was where one of their inherent weaknesses expressed itself.
Ves witnessed it all through the live feeds that continued to be relayed to the base even as it slowly emptied out. He nodded at the tiger mech's frantic state.
"One of the biggest reasons why the bestial supremacy movement failed to convince the galaxy to switch over entirely is because these animal shapes lack too much versatility."
Versatility meant many things. In the context of bestial mechs, they lacked this strength in two key aspects.
First, their rejection of articulated limbs meant that they would be stuck with a single loadout. They wouldn't be able to change their weapon types at all.
Many humanoid mech pilots loved the fact that they could change between different models of weapons whenever they wanted without any compatibility issues. This did not mean that a mech designed to wield swords would be able to wield spears with the same level of performance.
Merely having the ability to use different swords was enough of an advantage. In one deployment, they might want to use a short sword, in case they fought in confined spaces. In another deployment, they might wish to switch to a long and hefty two-handed sword for maximum reach and leverage.
Bestial mechs didn't possess that sort of luxury. For tiger mechs, even exchanging their claws for a different model was a huge pain, because it wouldn't be a given that the newer model would pair up as well with the limbs.
"Another area their versatility falls short is their shortcoming in defense."
Most bestial mechs fared well in a single mode of combat, and most of the time this consisted of offensive attacks. For example, most felinid mechs excelled in pouncing on their targets, which the tiger mechs of the honor guard had pulled off successfully multiple times.
Yet when it came to fending off attacks, the limited range of motion of their limbs revealed their deficiency in this area. The tiger mech in question currently faced the harassment of two flanking light skirmishers, but already it fell into a tough situation as its limbs flailed around with dubious effectiveness.
At that moment, the tiger mech fell under so much pressure that its mech pilot unconsciously disregarded the heavily wounded spearman mech piloted by Captain Orfan.
The captain's mech charged forward and slammed the tip of its spear into the head of the tiger mech, piercing through and dealing catastrophic damage to the entire appendage. The honor guard mech reared back in shock, but the Vandal skirmisher mechs took the opportunity to close in and deliver deep stabs into its abdomen.
If the tiger mech was still in peak condition, it would have been able to shrug of these attacks and even deliver a counterattack with its intact claws. Yet the tiger mech jerked a bit as previous battle damage hampered its previously smooth movements.
Captain Orfan waited for this moment. Her mech janked out its spear and jabbed it forward, pushing the spear straight into the exposed neck and jamming the tip through the softer internals.
The tiger mech tried to shake off the spear, but it was too late. The spearman mech possessed enough power to continue to push through the neck until it hit the power reactor.
The bestial mech lasted for an admirable amount of time, but even it couldn't persist without a working power reactor.
The Vandals finally downed the first honor guard mech!
"One down, eight more to go!"
The downing of the tiger mech delivered a firm impact on the remaining honor guard pilots. Far from losing heart, they only grew more fanatical in their mission to safeguard their liege. They fought on twice as ferociously, but this only accelerated their eventual downfall.
With Captain Orfan taking the initiative, she helped down all the other tiger mechs. Other Vandals freed up from these takedowns proceeded to gang up on the honor guard that remained.
One by one they fell, until Lord Javier lost all of his guards.
The Loquacious Raphael was the last mech standing. A semi-circle of Vandal mechs stood opposite of its dirtied and damaged form. There was nothing left of its formerly pristine heroic form. If anything, it looked as ragged as a beggar.
Even then, Lord Javier lost none of his heroic bearing. The Loquacious Raphael maintained a straight-backed posture as it pointed its sword against the Vandal mechs arrayed against it like a knight sworn to fight to the death.
"It's over, Javier." Captain Orfan spoke with a tired voice as her mech stepped forth with its spear at the ready. "Your guards have put up a good fight, but the outcome was never in doubt. You're outnumbered and your mech won't hold up for long. Do the sensible thing and surrender."
The Raphael swept its head from side to side, as if it was contemplating its chances.
"You're wrong, Brighter."
"My mech. It's not at the end of its rope!"
Before anyone could process Javier's words, the eyes of the mech started to glow in red and gold.
"TWIN SUPERNOVA RELEASE!"