219 – Standing By Until Total Suppression
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“That’s not going to work.”
“So it’s no good huh.”
“Don’t you and I have equipment that’s able to fend off that kind of method as well? Of course the other party should have prepared similar equipment.”
It’s certainly true that the helmet Commander Serena is wearing and the universal mask I have on both are capable of protecting us from such biochemical attacks. But in my case, my mask isn’t the type that covers the entire head. It only covers my face, so it can’t protect me from certain biochemical weapons that have the property of penetrating through one’s skin.
Should I actually buy a set of combat armor similar to what Commander Serena is wearing in preparation for future events like this? But I was already thinking of buying a lightweight power armor, so wouldn’t that be enough……? Well, a workshop that deals with power armor should also be able to handle regular combat armor as well, so I’ll just think about it when the time comes.
“How’s the progress?”
“Some of our forces are already rushing inside to secure a bridgehead. The enemy forces outside of their nest should soon be swept clean as well.”
As she said that, Commander Serena was running her finger toward empty air. I can’t see it myself, but she’s probably manipulating the interface on her helmet’s HUD to issue commands to the combat bots and soldiers. She does so seemingly without effort as she carries a conversation with me. As I thought, Commander Serena truly was an exemplary Noble.
“Or rather, if we’re going to go with something so drastic, then why not blow up the entire place with orbital bombardment instead?”
“That’s true. But we need to capture the guy alive, right? Ah, damn. How troublesome.”
“You’re saying your thoughts out loud you know. Well, at worst, we need to confirm Geritz’ death and get solid proof that it really is Geritz himself that died.”
“We’re not going to take his head as a trophy or something, are we?”
“Trophy……? What kind of barbarian do you think I am?”
Commander Serena’s expression clouded over when I mentioned taking a trophy. Uh, someone who unhesitatingly swings her sword at her enemies saying taking trophies from defeated opponents is uncool doesn’t sound so convincing you know. Or rather, you just decapitated a Grappler earlier, right?
“Let’s leave the talk about decapitation aside then. Just what did Geritz escape here for anyway?”
“He might just be buying time. I think he forced a siege battle here in order to wait until help from Earl Ixthermal arrives.”
“Hm, I wonder……”
It just didn’t click with me for some reason. I don’t think they’ve managed to prepare an escape route within that massive construct, and it feels like a bad spot to engage in a protracted siege battle against invading forces. If he gets cornered here, he won’t have any way out. Well, I guess a siege is something like that, to begin with.
And come to think of it, the moment the enemy decided to land here on Comatt IV, they’ve effectively cut off their escape routes anyway. Now that the Imperial Space Navy and Earl Dareinwald’s forces have surrounded the planet’s satellite orbit, they’d immediately get apprehended the moment they attempt to break through the atmosphere.
“Maybe they have a machine that can drill through and move underground at high speed and have already made their escape?”
“I haven’t heard of such a machine existing though? Have you?”
“I’ve never heard of something like that too.”
Judging from the technological development of this dimension, maybe something like that really does exist, but I’m not really sure.
“I think it’s ridiculous to assume the usage of something that we don’t even know exists in the first place.”
“Yeah, you’re right. So let’s think about other possible motives…… Hey, maybe they went here to get rid of evidence?”
“Getting rid of evidence?”
“Hear me out. Our target knows he needs to avoid being captured alive or having his body recovered to prove he really is Geritz Ixthermal and that he has something to do with the Twisteds. So he purposely had himself get devoured by the Twisteds so his body won’t be found and make himself get treated as ‘missing’ instead.”
“……Well, that’s certainly the most disgusting pattern that could happen. If we really do need to search for his remains after he’s been eaten, we’ll need to cut open the guts of every hostile creature in this place. But if his goal is only to get rid of himself and any of his traces completely, then why didn’t he just plunge the suppression ship directly into a star or something to that effect?”
“……That’s true as well.”
If he plunged himself along with the ship into a star, then he’d be able to cleanly get rid of any evidence. If he’s really willing to forego his life in order to get rid of all evidence, then a method like that would be more foolproof. In other words, the target’s goal actually being the destruction of evidence was unlikely.
“Judging from the movements of the Twisted, the other party is unmistakably unsettled. It looks like the current situation is outside of his expectations as well.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. He most likely didn’t expect you guys would be able to track him down after he escaped all the way to Comatt IV. He probably expected to shake you guys off with the suppression ship’s speed but ended up getting followed all the way to their hideout instead. Then our recon team managed to find the dangerous lifeform nest that serves as their main base as well. Furthermore, the ground forces that were supposed to be in Comatt III were sent here and easily gained dominance over the battlefield.”
“Yeah, he’s completely cornered. But he still isn’t planning to stop his resistance and surrender huh……”
I have no idea what kind of person this Geritz guy is. However, he’s a guy who managed to get through the Imperial Military’s net and run all the way to Comatt IV. I imagine he’s the type who’s pretty stubborn and doesn’t give up easily.
“In that case, maybe he really is waiting for others to rescue him……”
“That’s my assumption, at least. Nonetheless, Comatt IV is still a planet being terraformed at the behest of the Dareinwald House and Earl Dareinwald. On top of that, we of the Imperial Military have also moved to apprehend Geritz. No matter what pretenses he spouts, I don’t think there would be any room for Earl Ixthermal to interfere in this situation.”
“So that means we’ve really cornered the target huh.”
“This situation is most likely just Geritz being stubborn. And I have no intention of playing along as he puts up useless resistance. Mobilizing the military like this isn’t that simple you know.”
“Well, that’s true…… I see?”
Maybe this is just plain harassment. Since he’s already pretty much a goner, he just wants to take down as many as he could and cause as much trouble to the Dareinwald House as possible. The Dareinwald House will most likely cover a significant portion of the expenses for this time’s military operation after all.
“And what exactly did you understand just now?”
“Uh, it’s about our current situation. Since he doesn’t have any hope of getting through this anymore, I think he just wants to harass us and cause as much damage as he can before he croaks.”
“……That does sound like something the Ixthermal House would come up with.”
After hearing my thoughts, Commander Serena’s expression clouded over as she let out an exasperated sigh.
Just how rampant is that Noble House anyway? To think the scenario I came up with would really be something up their alley. Anyway, it sure sounds complicated. But it’s not really any of my business anyway. I better not get any more involved in the mess with the Ixthermal House. I’ll make sure to keep that in mind.
Despite our misgivings, the clean-up of the enemy structure was proceeding steadily. They breached the enemy structure, quickly built a bridgehead, and proceeded to mop up the enemies lurking within. There were some combat bots that received some damage in the middle of the clean-up operation, but it’s not like they could be stopped with just that level of damage anyway. They pushed forward using their overwhelming defense and firepower, and finally managed to infiltrate the innermost area of the enemy base – an underground section.
“So the upper layers are a bust huh.”
“We couldn’t leave anything to chance after all. We needed to perform a thorough mop-up either way.”
It won’t be funny if we end up getting ambushed from behind after all. So sweeping the upper layers clear wasn’t actually pointless.
“Did you find something?”
“The combat bots searching the underground section of the structure managed to discover a hidden facility. It looks like we hit the jackpot.”
But I wonder what they managed to find anyway? Maybe it’s the production plant that produces the Twisteds. But a production plant capable of birthing those monstrosities in seemingly endless numbers without requiring raw materials sounds quite farfetched, even with the advanced tech of this dimension. So the question is, just where were they getting their raw materials?
“Maybe it’s something that was made possible due to this planet still being in the middle of terraforming…… Or rather, it would be really troublesome if bases like this one are actually littered all over the surface of the planet.”
“If that’s the case, then it would be better to blow all the bases to kingdom come with orbital bombardment.”
“Whoah? I didn’t expect something like that coming from you.”
“It’s the most efficient solution after all. Purposely securing the bases one by one is just a waste of time and money.”
That certainly is true, but aren’t you worried about stuff like environmental destruction and whatnot? Oh, right. This planet’s still being terraformed so that’s a moot point huh. Even if we blew away the environment along with the Twisteds, they can just restore it later on. It certainly seems like the most efficient solution.
“Geritz probably moved underground already. Let’s head over there as well.”
“Aye, aye, ma’am.”
Wouldn’t it be better to leave it all to the combat bots though? Well, she did say we need to capture the guy alive as much as possible. I still don’t feel like going, but I suppose I need to go down there anyway.
It would be nice if that place is finally going to be our last stop. I sure hope it is.