Chapter 121 – Operation Zedale

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On the battlefield situated at the Inzektor infested planet, multiple fleets from the other solar system were waiting for the arrival of their reinforcements.

From a distance, 5 bright lights illuminated the surroundings, and 5 ships came beaming in a while slowly making little to no movements after their arrival. Warp technology wasn’t widespread, in fact, its one of the classified information that was regulated and produced by the Alliance. If a solar system wanted to have a warp engine they needed to contribute significantly to the Alliance in exchange for one, and the Nexus solar system managed to outfit 2 more on top of the 15 they already have. The solar system they were currently situated at would have taken them 3 months to travel by in space. However, if they were to travel using standard means, then they would be far too late.

“How’s the condition of the ship? Everything all intact?”

Arisa sent her gaze to the other personnel on the bridge as they tapped away at their monitoring devices. Slowly each one of them reported positively.

Arisa let out a sigh of relief. Warp technology was based on spatial transportation magic, and it had some well-known problems during the development phases. Although it has been a century, these mundane tests still persist up to this day as there were still some minor problems.

Arisa lifted a teacup that was still full of warm tea and couldn’t help but admire the warp technology as she takes a quick sip of it. Arisa then said, “Alright then, connect me to the Arnox Fleet.”

A few moments later a holographic projection appeared before Arisa as she reported the result of the warp. Felia nodded in approval as she said, “Good, looks like you’re getting used to the position now. Give the other ships about 10 to 20 more minutes. Out of the 5 of us, only one ship has had a minor problem with the warp. When we are ready, we’ll depart to the designated mission zone.”

“Um, why are you in charge of receiving commands like this? Isn’t Fleet Commander Jim supposed to be in charge?” Arisa asked.

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Felia nodded as she said, “That’s right, he is in charge of the overall situation, but just like how I am training you, he is also training me on how to lead the fleet until we get into combat. Who knows in a few years I might be leading the fleet on operations like this.”

“Congratulations should be accounted for then. Though it might be a bit too early,” Arisa laughed and said.

However, her words prompted a different response. Felia had a small smile as she said, “You think that being promoted is good, but the only way one could get promoted in the first place is when one achieves enough merits. That or when the previous leader dies on the battlefield. Statistically speaking, it’s usually the latter that happens quite often. Enough of the negative talk, if you want you can introduce yourself to the other Fleet Commanders or wait until the mission begins. I’ll see you later.”

Felia cut off communications after lightly wishing Arisa good luck. Arisa pondered for a moment before saying, “Alright, connect me to each ship one by one. I feel obliged to greet my fellow compatriots from the Nexus solar system.”

Besides the old veteran and Felia, Arisa didn’t know what the other two Fleet Commanders were like. One of them was rather indifferent and responded coldly to her greeting and remarks. From the profile that Keyral had conjured up from the Alliance database, she found that this man was also a veteran with 5 years of experience in the battlefield. He wasn’t like those who served the military and had never fought Inzektors before, it said that his fleet had fought a grand total of 23 battlefields.

The last ship, however, made her feel worried about the operation.

Projected on the screen, Zythos appeared beside a beastmen Fleet Commander. After giving them a light greeting with a superficial smile, Arisa cut off the connection and frowned as she recalled his figure.

“Miss, it appears that the Yietela Fleet is also veteran placed in a newly designed ship like us. It seems that most of the works on the ship comes from the Mythos Clan,” Keyral said as she started sifting away at the database.

‘To think that they would be able to solely develop and own another fleet with the ability to warp. How did they get the approval and resources to fund it? There have been some strange rumors going around… their influence is growing everyday…. It’s quite unsettling,’ Arisa thought as she found the situation peculiar.

Before she can ponder any further all of their fleet ships connected with the Flag Ship, the veteran Commander began to lecture Fleet Commanders.

“Operation Zedale, it’s been planned for the last few years, and we were approved because of the recent expansion of two more fleets as we were short on manpower all around. Because this is our first time operating together with two new fleets, I want you all to take it easy now. Try not to die and carefully analyze the battlefield. Each of you is responsible for success in your designated zones. If you cannot handle the situation than please tell me as I will adjust plans to account for any unexpected factors,” The experienced Fleet Commander said.

Everyone nodded in response, looking at the overview plan Arisa couldn’t help but feel strange about their part in the attack. From the angle she was supposed to come in towards, it was arranged so that the Arnox Fleet will fight the enemy’s main forces while the NX Fleet and the Yietela Fleet were to flank them. Their target was one of the 8 Inzektors main ships. The ships weren’t armed with any equipment to take down the thing, so how were they supposed to do it? In the end, she’ll have to ask later when it came time to attack it.

They were soon notified by the Flagship to move to the designated location, Arisa’s heart pounded as she stared at the visual image before her. The first battle, and the first time participating in the war.

The swarms of Inzektors lined up protecting their colonized planet, grotesque creatures varying in sizes stood before the predominantly organized Fleets from the Alliance, and slowly both forces closed in on one anoother.

And then half a heartbeat later, the first shot was fired, signifying the start of the battle.

The shaking got worse, after being transposed to the battleground, Luon, and the others couldn’t help but feel the adrenaline from the battlefield outside. Projected on their screens were the scenes of the Allied forces using their Fleet Cannons to attack the enemies Swarm Host, the classified carrier creature that was the size of 2 fleet ships combined.

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It was quite mysterious that Inzektors were able to travel in space. For some reason, they were able to adjust their bodies to the environment. Luon knew that bugs are an existence that will continue to evolve if one killed it with a pesticide, the others will learn, grow and eventually adapt to it. These Inzektors were at the pinnacle of evolution, unlike humans who had no further form, bugs varied in many different ways.

The enemy fleet carrier was precisely that. A giant alien-like insect creature that had a hard carapace around it along with several tentacle-like sticks protruding from its skin.

Their ships aimed at the tentacles which were flying around the creature as it freely wiggles in space. Luon noticed that when the Swarm Host received damaged on its outer skin, it quickly regenerated with the help of some Inzektors inside of its body. The tentacles, on the other hand, took to long to restore. Once destroyed, it seemed like it would take a few hours to regrow another one.

Luon suspects that the enemy does not have an infinite regeneration ability, especially in space where its void of all elements. It was like battling a vampire in the sun. Eventually, it would die if it were injured unless it managed to suck some blood, or obtained a source of energy to keep it going. The source should be inside the Inzektor carrier itself.

“Most of the tentacles are down, we’re about to enter engage range. Everyone give your machine one last check and make sure that you’re all ready to go. If you aren’t then I’m ordering you to stay behind,” Belle said as she played with a few switches.

“Yes, ma’am!” Everyone replied back with enthusiasm.

“Make sure you use your designated fleet codes…” Belle sighed and said.

“NX2.3 to NX2.0, roger that.” Luon couldn’t help but frown as he said the words.

The idea was supposed to make it easier to identify who was friendly and other details as the pilot information was stored in the database to register who was MIA or KIA in the battle.

The hanger doors opened, and each ship was soon arranged and placed onto the catapult chute which could deploy 5 ships at a time. The first members of their squad to deploy was Belle, Kiri, and Angela. Following them was Gizmo, Bendan, and Opo. Luon got into his elevator chute along with the remaining members of their squad, the four robotic AI’s that he developed and taught. As they entered the chute, Luon gave them several basic commands and arranged it so they would treat his ship as their leader and orient themselves in respective to Luon’s location.

Inside of the catapult chute, Luon checked over the status of the 4 robots and 5 ships against and found that everything was accounted for. He said to the communications officer that they were all ready to go and they were given the okay to launch. It was essential to do these checks as the Alliance had some problems with launching ships before without using them. Like how when the communications officer had them launch out only to be immediately crash into an enemy Inzektor and explode.

“NX2.3 and NXR2 1 to 4 launching now!” Luon bellowed.

The 5 ships were then catapulted out of the ship. Luon maintained the speed that he exited with and begin to turn towards the hazardous battlefield along with the four robots who were flying in formation behind him. He caught up with the others as they flew in formation towards the enemy’s Swarm Host that was void to tentacles.

If that was the only defensive mechanism than the Alliance wouldn’t be struggling with Inzektors. From the massive body, a portion of it opened up releasing an army of Inzektors.

First, they were able to crawl in the dirt, later they were able to swim in the seas, sometime after that the bugs learned to fly in the sky, and now they were in space. This series of evolution was suspected by many scientists, but it was the only thing that they could come up with. There was no logic behind it, only magic alongside strange mutations.

With wings that looked razor sharp and carapace similar to a Xenomorph seen in the movies. A swarm of ant-like Inzektors came flying towards them and everyone else. According to research, they could only last for several hours in space before they needed to retreat back to the Swarm Host, but that short duration was enough to cause havoc to the Alliances ships.

With Luon in the lead, their squad began to fire at these creatures, and while doing so, they retaliated back. The Inzektor grew a green shade as it highlighted its dark carapace. The scanner on his ship pinged him alarms as he quickly evaded the Inzektors range of attack causing the green acidic goo to miss its target.

Before Inzektor could do anything else, one of the robots on Luon’s team shot a laser beam at the target splitting its insides apart.

That Inzektor was the first to die to their squad.

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