The battle against the Caged Tongs and its auxiliaries ended in a decisive victory for the Flagrant Swordmaidens. While it took more than a day of pursuit, none of the routing mechs of the aggressors made it away, mostly because they eventually ran out of energy.
Perhaps the most tiresome aspect about the Caged Tongs was the sheer amount of random dwarf tribesmen they enthralled. The crazed dwarves continued to charge at the mechs of the Flagrant Swordmaidens without any iota of sense or fear.
The mechs didn't bother to waste their energy on firing their laser rifles or swinging their weapons at the insane dwarves. They merely walked among the dwarves and stomped thousands of them beneath the feet of their mechs.
The Flagrant Swordmaidens casually committed mass dwarficide in order to stop the idiotic dwarves from hammering the legs of their mechs and transports with their bone clubs.
The bonded wild gods also knew no fear. They fought back with incredible ferocity, and each had to be lasered to death from a distance.
The only exception was the teleporting wild god. Qilanxo managed to get the upper hand in the brawl and managed to subdue this special wild god without killing her and her dwarf rider.
Still, the wild god sustained such heavy wounds that the exobiologists weighed the cost of saving her life.
"It's not worth it." Dr. Tillman said. "We'll have to expend too much medical supplies in order to save her life."
Hours later, the stench of blood, guts and other unpleasant smells suffused the entire battlefield. After making sure that no existing threat remained, rescue parties started to descend on the wrecks.
They ignored the pitiful cries of the surviving dwarves and instead prioritized the rescue of their own mech pilots first. Only after that did the rescue parties recover the mech pilots of the Caged Tongs trapped in their wrecked mechs or ejected cockpits.
A detachment of Vandal and Swordmaiden mechs also ranged out and found the meager supply train of the Caged Tongs. They easily overwhelmed the token mech escorts and secured the badly-built pirate transports, for all the good it did, because a cursory inspection of their assets revealed they were practically running dry of many essential goods.
The battle hadn't been worth it in the standpoint of the Flagrant Swordmaidens. Over eighty mechs sustained varying amounts of battle damage, and half of them either got wrecked or sustained such severe damage that the mech technicians needed to rebuild them from the ground up.
Ves already foresaw a massive pile of work awaiting the mech maintenance department.
At this moment, many Vandals and Swordmaidens started interrogating every member of the Caged and the Tongs they managed to capture alive. They particularly screwed the thumbs of the mech pilots who emerged the well-maintained pirate mechs.
In the meantime, a horde of mech technicians and other personnel started scouring the battlefield to recover any repairable wrecks or identify any notable salvage among the remains.
They walked past flattened and heavily-injured dwarves, casually shooting any approaching dwarf who managed to survive the massacre with their laser pistols.
"Ugh. These dwarves are everywhere." A mech technician muttered in the comm channel as he kept his grip on his smoking laser pistol. Right now, the stench of dead dwarves and the fumes released from wrecked mechs forced everyone who stepped on the battlefield to keep their helmets closed. "What do you reckoned is wrong with these stupid dwarves?"
Another mech technician grinned in his closed hazard suit. "I heard from someone who interrogated the first Red Tong captives that they slipped something into their food. Their exobiologists cooked up something devious. It made the dwarves pliable and drove them in a frenzy when commanded to. They even formulated something special for the wild gods."
Teams of mech technicians inspected the mechs belonging to their own force first and marked them out according to their state. Some mechs only needed a couple of replacements to get back into shape, while others required far too much time in the workshop to be worth the effort of restoring them to their former glory.
The Flagrant Vandals mostly avoided incurring major damage to their mechs. Ves was pleased to hear that only a handful of Vandal mechs would be scrapped for parts.
The Swordmaidens on the other hand sustained more severe damage. Many of the mechs that got caught up in the bewildering abilities of the wild gods couldn't be used anymore and needed to be scrapped as well.
They kind of got what they deserved by deviating from the plan, yet the Swordmaidens didn't seem to mind it. They already started claiming the bulk of the salvageable wrecks from the Caged Tongs to provide new rides for the ejected Swordmaiden mech pilots.
In general, both the Vandals and Swordmaidens lost relatively few mech pilots as both had been commanded to eject early rather than go down with their mechs.
The Flagrant Swordmaidens valued every mech pilot. As long as they retained their pilots, they could always provide them with new mechs, especially if they retained control of the battlefield after the battle.
Ves currently stood with Mayra as they overlooked the sprawling field of wrecks and flattened dwarves. He had recently concluded a division of salvage. While the Swordmaidens claimed most of the intact mechs, he made sure the Vandals got their fair share as well.
Even if they didn't plan to restore the pirate mechs, they could still strip the wrecks of their most valuable parts or rare materials.
As the Caged Tongs already demonstrated, a severe lack of maintenance and supplies resulted in dire implications for the effective strength of a deprived mech force!
"I've got a question." Ves said. "Why did you Swordmaidens decided to charge all of a sudden? I don't believe Commander Lydia and your Swordmaiden officers are blind to the strategic implications of deviating from the plan."
While Ves already developed a couple of notions why, he wanted to hear the reasons from Mayra herself, as he might be wrong.
The pirate designer pressed her lips. "Lydia's Swordmaidens are different from the Flagrant Vandals. A military mech regiment like yours carries several responsibilities. You fight on behalf of your Bright Republic. We fight on behalf of ourselves."
"What difference does that make? Don't you value your lives?"
"Not as high as you Vandals value your own lives. You have to consider that in the frontier, life is very cheap. Anyone can get killed at any time for no reason at all. Retirement is a luxury that many sons and daughters of the frontier don't get to enjoy. The frontier mindset is to live in the present and make the best of your time while you're still alive and capable of pursuing your dreams. For the Swordmaiden mech pilots, there is nothing more desirable than to participate in a worthy battle. Even if they die, the glory and valor associated with a grand battle is more than worth the price."
"Carpe diem. Seize the day."
"Exactly." Mayra nodded.
The martial tradition of Lydia's Swordmaidens oriented completely around fostering elite pirate mech pilots. While Ves admired Commander Lydia for successfully raising a somewhat competent elite force, the Swordmaidens themselves sacrificed much of their individuality and humanity to become the ferocious fighting force that tore apart the frontlines of the Caged Tongs in short order.
"Isn't it wasteful to drive the Swordmaidens to their deaths?"
Mayra shrugged. "We take bold but calculated risks. We recognize reality when it stares us in the face and we avoid unwinnable battles whenever we can. However, according to Commander Lydia, too much calculation breeds doubt and cowardice. There are times when you want to avoid pulling the trigger due to various concerns. The Swordmaidens are trained to just pull the trigger instead of giving in to their doubts."
Such traditions didn't make sense in civilized space, yet it was a way to survive in the anarchic frontier. Only by showing that they were willing and capable to fight back did the Swordmaidens managed to deter any evil designs on them. Their impulsiveness may have landed them in trouble numerous times, but the trigger-happy reputation they acquired deterred many more threats.
"What do you think about the Red Tongs?" Ves asked, changing the topic.
"It's clear that they've been driven to desperation. From what we've gathered, the lack of support from the fleet along with dwindling supplies forced them to go on the warpath. Incidents like this happens much more often than you think. Poor planning and operating in an area with very few space stations and supply points has defeated more pirate gangs than direct battles."
The people that pursued a career in piracy never tended to be the brightest bulb in the shed in the first place. Among the spectrum of pirates, the cannibalistic Red Tongs ranked near the bottom in terms of long-term planning.
It was a wonder they made it to the Aeon Corona System at all.
In any case, the interrogations still went on. Once the Vandals and the Swordmaidens wrung every bit of intelligence from their tortured bodies, they planned to dispose each of them without mercy.
The Caged Tongs had no value as prisoners.
The Caged already opposed the Flagrant Swordmaidens in multiple occasions. From partnering up with the Masters of Combat, to participating in the orbital bombardment that threatened to wipe out the ground expedition, the Roppongan gang more than lost their chances at redemption.
As for the Red Tongs, their peripheral connection to the powerful Ravienne Alliance deterred the Flagrant Swordmaidens only briefly. These utter bastards that liked to munch on human flesh had not only drugged and enslaved the native dwarves, they also replaced their rations with raw dwarf meat!
Even if the Flagrant Swordmaidens stopped caring about the dwarves, the reprehensible behavior of the Red Tongs earned them a swift laser beam in the head before being dumped on a pile of bodies. The victors were too lazy to dig a mass grave or cremate the remains for the brutal pirates.
None of that concerned Ves and Mayra right now. They calmly ignored the death and suffering and toured the battlefield as well as the captured supply train of the Caged Tongs.
Just like the Flagrant Swordmaidens, the pirates opted to cobble up a cheap legged transport together. They only built around twenty heavy transports because they didn't need more room for supplies.
Most of their cargo holds no longer held any cargo except for miscellaneous junk. As Ves and Mayra inspected each of the cargo holds, it became clear that the Caged Tongs did not have long before their mechs lost combat effectiveness.
"There's nothing of value here." Ves grimaced as he glanced over the mobile workshop. The rusted tools and the broken 3D printers showed that the Caged Tongs had neared their limits in terms of repair capability. "All of this equipment isn't worth taking. You're free to take them if you want, Mayra."
"No thanks. The Swordmaidens have no need for them either."
Ves turned to a security officer who escorted him around the battlefield. "I'd like to have a chat with the boss here. Who is the highest-ranking mech designer or chief technician around here?"
The security officer briefly spoke to his commanding officer over the comm before he replied to Ves. "We've captured a number of chief technicians. Our men are interrogating them right now in an adjacent room. Do you wish to have access to them, Mr. Larkinson?"Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
"Why not? Take me to the most senior chief technician among the bunch. I'd like to have a chat with the fellow if you'll allow me." He said.
They reached an area repurposed as temporary holding cells and interrogation rooms to process the non-combat personnel from the enemy supply train. When the mechs of the Flagrant Swordmaidens rolled in, they instantly surrendered without any hesitation.
It wasn't as if they had any choice. How could they possibly resist the mechs without any of their own?
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