Editor: Thor’s Stone
Four angular fighter models and six regular multi-role fighters were quickly heading to their target destination.
Approaching Fortress Areas and Defense Domes unannounced was prohibited up to a certain range.
The satellite cannons administered by Okeanos might judge such acts as unprovoked attacks on human settlements. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if the approaching party gets subjected to an attack from the satellites as well.
The satellite array also served the purpose of an effective countermeasure against large Murder forces descending from space to mount invasions. The super-advanced defense network that had transferred humanity from Earth and protected the planet from giant meteorites was still going strong.
「Interceptor Keres are launching out and heading straight for us!」
「Just like the report from the recon aircraft said. And they’re Dragonfly-types. That’s new. It looks like our enemy is also starting to place more importance on air power.」
The skies were finally turning into battlefields as well.
If the Dragonfly-types were capable of the same stunts as biological dragonflies, their mobility should be considerably high.
「12 Dragonfly-types confirmed. Begin aerial power extermination.」
Humans were piloting the angular fighters and Familiars were onboard the multi-role fighters.
The larger fighters were operating through the Silhouette’s sense augmentation system.
「We will hit the anti-aircraft units of the Keres on the ground.」
「Roger that. We’ll engage the Dragonfly-types.」
The Familiar-controlled aircraft that were capable of air-to-ground attacks broke formation and headed for the Keres down below.
They were welcomed by anti-air laser and railgun fire. Both sides still employed the weapons capable of launching supersonic attacks that once managed to erase air power from the Nemesis warfront.
The enemy machines finally got in range for a lock. The Metal Iris fighters proceeded to fire their medium-range air-to-air missiles. Their range was about 150 km.
The Dragonfly-types were destroyed one after another.
「They’re weaker than expected. –We have far more firepower huh.」
As Jenny surmised, the enemy Dragonfly-types were only battery-powered models.
They were probably meant to overwhelm opponents through sheer numbers just like the Ant Workers.
However, an alarm rang out within Jenny’s MCS.
Three other Dragonfly-types suddenly climbed further up the sky rapidly.
「Those maneuvers are impossible for regular fighters!」
The Dragonfly-types managed to take Jenny’s rear and proceeded to launch their anti-air missiles.
「So they’re even equipped with anti-aircraft missiles!」
No matter what flashy evasive maneuver one performed, it was fundamentally difficult to dodge incoming missiles.
And so, Jenny decided to activate the electromagnetic armor of her machine. Her machine’s fuselage was quickly clad in a layer of plasma.
The plasma layer induced the approaching missiles to explode. The barrier was not as effective against railgun rounds and other live ammo specialized in penetrating power, but it served as an efficient defense measure against lasers and missiles.
The drawback was that if there were people around the machine activating it, they would definitely die once the plasma layer went up. That’s why one had to be careful with handling it when operating on the ground.
「Did you underestimate our new machines too much, you monsters?」
While muttering provocations, Jenny performed an evasive maneuver and launched air-to-air missiles of her own.
The air-to-air missiles were capable of enemy tracking and omnidirectional flight through the use of thrust vectoring nozzles. They locked on to the enemy machines behind and below Jenny’s unit and successfully destroyed them.
The no escape zone of Jenny’s missiles was pretty wide.
The remaining Dragonfly-types were also brought down one after another.
Before long, there were no longer any remaining enemy aerial units.
「We’ve secured air superiority. Switching to alert mode. The Thunderstorm squadron and the supply unit are approaching from behind.」
「Roger that. We’ll head to the ground first and wait for them.」
Jenny and the rest went into formation. Then, their fighters transformed one after another.
The fighter’s bodies were actually huge variable backpacks. Silhouettes appeared from below the fighter plane’s bodies, and the fighters themselves transformed into large backpacks.
They were almost as large as the Silhouettes they were attached to. Although their transformation had shrunk them down, the backpacks still managed to almost reach the Silhouette’s feet.
These Silhouettes were the successors to the Pheasant that Kelly had made for Jenny.
The machine was even more beautiful, climbed even higher, and flew even faster — the SAR-F 12 Tachycineta.
It was a highly maneuverable transformable Silhouette capable of serving multiple roles all thanks to its specialized backpack.
The bodies of the Silhouettes are enveloped by their backpacks when they are in fighter mode. When they transform to Silhouette mode, the backpacks turn into large vectoring thruster packs.
One after another, transport aircraft and Thunderstorms brought over Silhouettes to the front.
There were a total of 12 Silhouettes and 8 tanks. 20 Quattro Silhouettes also sprinted over. The Silhouette cavalry piloted by the Therianthropes were very capable of traversing rough terrain and easily joined up with the rest of the Metal Iris forces.
「It looks like we’re all here. The rest is up to the drills.」
「They’ll probably turn up soon.」
「The second transport unit team has also made it. Well then, shall we? –Commence the second phase of the Second Asia Rescue Operation. All troops, advance!」
Jenny had caught sight of approaching Murders.
The roaring of the tank corp’s guns signaled the start of the battle.
The number of the enemy units they faced was nearly ten times their own. But the quality of the Metal Iris forces was overwhelmingly superior.
The number of Keres was heavily reduced in the blink of an eye due to the fierce attacks conducted by the Thunderstorms from above.
「Control Center, where are the reinforcements?」
『Three Enyo units have been sortied. There are also 50 Telkhines units. They are anticipated to arrive in five hours.』
「That’s too slow! Have them arrive here within two hours!」
『There are no reinforcements physically capable of arriving in that time frame.』
The nearest ally forces were displayed on a screen.
It displayed the Fortress Areas that have sent out reinforcements as well.
「Dammit. Everyone’s only covering their own behinds. Don’t they realize that if this place falls, Asia will be taken away……?」
A man leaned on a rack and cursed his supposed comrades.
He was one of the demigods — the Hemitheos. He was responsible for managing Fortress Area F811 and was called Paulos.
He was highly prejudiced toward humans and hardly recognized the free will of the ones residing in the Fortress Area’s residential block.
He merely tamed them for the sake of maintaining the Murders.
In other words, he had no mercenaries at his disposal.
He only made do with a force of Mantis-types and Telkhines. They numbered about 200 units. The Ant-types under his command were over a thousand.
However, even though the number of the enemies attacking was small, they appeared to employ considerably high-performance machines. In particular, Paulos had never heard of mercenaries who employed such strong air power.
And since the Ant Workers didn’t come equipped with high-dimensional projection armor, they wouldn’t even serve as effective hindrances.
In fact, more than 200 of them were destroyed in an instant, and there was no damage dealt to the enemy troops. It was a truly impressive force. They were most likely attacking for the purpose of retrieving Asia.
By taking over this base, a human-controlled stronghold will be created right in the middle of Stones-controlled territory.
Normally, they could just quickly take it back, but since the enemy has Asia on their side, their combat strength should be quite high. Hence, recapturing the Fortress Area from them wouldn’t be easy.
But then, Paulos noticed something as he gazed intently at the screen.
「Hm? What’s that? That Silhouette…… Its body is shaped like a horse. It’s a quadrupedal model! Hey! I thought quadrupedal Silhouettes weren’t possible to be piloted!?」
『Affirmative. It should be impossible.』
「But they’re right over there dammit! Those things didn’t even exist during the Interplanetary War era!」
『Unable to analyze. Even if a Silhouette of that shape is successfully produced, humans will be unable to pilot it.』
「So it’s those damned Telema AI!」
『Familiars don’t have the authority to operate humanoid limbs.』
「So what race has the most potential to pilot those things?」
『You do not have enough authority to access such information.』
「Ugh. This is merely a C-Class Development Engineer’s body after all. Dammit.」
His position in the council was relatively high. Hence, when he applied for a Development Engineer’s body, it was approved.
However, it wasn’t the body of a B-Class Engineer like he wanted, but a C-Class one instead.
The differences between the authorities of B and C-Class engineers were quite big. Paulos was highly dissatisfied with how things turned out.
「Dammit. Just why? Why did something as absurd as this happen when it was my turn to manage this place……?」
Paulos spat without hiding his irritation.
「I can already predict the enemy’s plan. They’ll probably dig a hole like a mole and invade from underground again. If so, then the countermeasure is clear. Let’s whack that damned mole. We’ve already confirmed the enemy numbers. Crush them with more overwhelming numbers!」
Paulos yelled at the control center’s AI.
「I’ll be the last line of defense. I’m heading out in the Antique!」
Paulos decided to sortie personally.
Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!