Ravens of Eternity -
Chapter 442 - 442 Ragnarök, Pt 7
442 Ragnar?k, Pt While Sin engaged the Discordians on the near right flank, Colviss and Orsethii’s fleets engaged them right down the center. Every Imperial Einherjar drove right into the middle of the Discordians without slowing down even the slightest.
Just like Sin, they were vastly outnumbered and outgunned. And the only thing they had over the Discordians was technological superiority.
All manner of weapon systems were shot at them, of course. Thermal beams and plasma lances and cannons and rail slugs. The works. But they weathered most of the incoming damage from their enemies with grace.
The Discordians scratched and scarred and marred and chipped their ships’ robust omnitronium-laced chitin. Although the lances and beams did the least amount, the shells and slugs and missiles certainly did their fair share.
Though each hit amounted to very little, the sheer amount caused their chitin plating to crack and splinter and shatter further with every impact.
Colviss stood in the middle of her flagship’s bridge, with all of her reports projected all around her. As with Thanatos’ bridge, her techs and analysts and tacticians sat in concentric trenches set in rings around her. Each one frantically worked on their terminals and projected their reports up to the holoprojectors above their heads.
The albino Fleetmatron looked marginally concerned at the enemy. Or perhaps more accurately, at the damage reports. She glanced over at the holoprojection with damage numbers fleetwide, and noted that they had suffered minimally under fire.
“I was under the impression that these Discordians would be better armed,” Colviss mused.
“They’re still just ap… humans after all,” Orsethii replied. The Dreadmother’s holoprojection did, anyway. She glanced idly at a report near her off to the side. “Easy prey, humans. Always have been, always will be.”
“I’m sure our upgrades from Yggdrasil Station had nothing to do with it, either.”
Colviss’ tail swayed from side to side, amused that it took the brute some time to reply. Though Orsethii was certainly sharp, she always seemed dull in comparison to the albino. Which certainly made a whole lot of sense – one was an elite operative while the other was a killing machine.
Truth was, all her smarts were devoted to that violent act.
“Better tech’s just how we keep our talons sharp,” Orsethii eventually said. “Everything we’ve got is tuned to tear their ships apart, easy as a knife through flesh. Been that way since we ran into the first of ‘em.”
“And they do the same to us,” Colviss replied. “They develop all sorts of weapons to counter us. Then we counter those counters, and so on. Or in other words, our species are equally deadly, equally ferocious. Both of us chase better technologies in order to kill, to maim, to conquer.
“Can’t claim superiority over them, especially if your yardstick’s lethality. They have just as much knowledge and strength to eviscerate either of us. Take Freya as an example.”
Orsethii harrumphed and lashed her tail in irritation.
“She’s an outlier,” she moaned.
“So are you,” Colviss retorted, to which Orsethii sighed deeply.
“Can we please just get back to killing these humans? There’s still a whole lot of ‘em in front of us.”
Colviss turned back towards her reports, then glanced at the live feeds along the wraparound screen around her. Eris was constantly shifting her lines, which made a direct assault on their strongest ships difficult. It was clear that she was moving from one formation to another fluidly.
The albino reasoned that it allowed her tactical flexibility the moment the Einherjar formed their own battle lines. It frustrated her to some degree, as the Discordians simply had the numbers to dictate the battlefield.
But Colviss never liked to play games defined by others. If she couldn’t form her own battle line, then her only choice was to break theirs.
“Imperial devastators – overcharge bow armor and brace for ramming,” Colviss ordered. “The rest of you respond to their counter. Orsethii’s dreadfleet at the ready. I want these pirates down to three devastators in short order.”
“May as well soften ‘em up on the way there,” Orsethii advised, to which Colviss nodded.
“And send them a hearty welcome,” Colviss followed up. “Beams and mortars to start with. Let’s see how well they hold up before we send ‘em the rest. Focus fire on my marks.”
The two devastators in the Imperial Einherjar did exactly as they were ordered and strengthened their front side chitin. At the same time, they poured excess power into their energy weapons and charged them up even as they closed the distance.
“Fire at will,” commanded Colviss.
Each of the advancing Imperial Einherjar opened up their weapon systems and cut deeply into the Discordians. They peppered the enemy with hundreds of mortars and thousands of beams, specifically at two of the five Discordian devastators.
Because the Discordians were constantly moving and adjusting, almost a quarter of the mortars simply passed on by. Most smashed onto random spots all over the two ships, where the mortars’ orange energies pulsed outward on impact.
The energies dug deep into the circuits below and hampered the energy shielding protecting the ships’ inner systems. However, they were quickly repelled by the Discordians’ hyperionization submodules. These were, of course, Raijin-designed and top of the line.
They easily neutralized the mortars’ energy waves, which hampered the devourer nanites from carving out too much of the armor itself.
Not only that, but the Discordians deployed antibody submodules in their repair system. These pumped out swarms of nanites that countered the devourer nanites themselves. They clashed within the armor plating, between its molecular structures, and neutralized each other.
Colviss exhaled at length as she read the reports scroll by.
They were certainly doing some damage, just not as much as they usually would. Still, they softened up their targets as best they could. Entire sections of their plating had been carved up and weakened significantly, even if they weren’t able to get all the way through.
At the same time, both Thanatos and Colviss’ flagship cruised towards their targets with unerring precision. Both adjusted their flight paths with small movements as they each zeroed in on their moving targets.
Everyone watched with absolute trepidation the closer they got. Their blood began to pump heavily in their veins as they felt their bodies tense up.
“Brace yourselves!” Colviss ordered.
Everyone on the bridge tightened their straps and gripped their terminals tightly even as their two devastators closed the remaining distance.
They each smashed into their targets with violent power. Their reinforced chitin cracked and shattered at the point of impact, but the damage they suffered was nowhere near the damage they inflicted.
A terrible wrenching and crunching and warping sound emanated up and down the passageways on all four ships. The sound of them colliding with each other echoed through the structure and exoframe.
Every crewmember that hadn’t strapped themselves down were thrown violently off their feet. Many engineers and mechanics on the Discordian ships were caught completely unaware and were tossed into their own machinery. Hard.
The impact was so great that their bones were shattered on impact. A few snapped their necks or heads on whatever they struck and died right then and there. Others had their broken arms or legs or ribs punch through their skin painfully.
Outside, the two Discordian devastators were flung back from the force of the blow. Their structures had clearly warped around the points of impact, and their lengths were now slightly bent and twisted.
Some of the plating was mangled beyond repair and were wrenched free from their mounts. A few revealed the guns beneath, or various systems and modules under the ship’s structural layer. Whatever they were also looked heavily damaged – one of the gun barrels had been warped and bent in such a way that made it useless.
Numerous modules and systems had been completely crushed. Their housing had crumpled and burst open, which let random broken parts from inside to float out.
Both of the Einherjar’s devastators’ front bow armor was also heavily cracked and damaged from the impact, but their exoframes were still in good shape. The omnitronium laced in them certainly increased their defensiveness an incredible amount.
Without Yggdrasil’s optimizations, they would have likely crumpled inward and taken real damage from the hit.
The moment that their two ships lost all momentum from the crash and had almost come to a standstill, the Discordians opened fire all around them.
As Colviss had predicted, the Discordians maneuvered the rest of their ships to respond to their assault. They did their best to envelop the two of them, and immediately peppered them with their weapons fire. All chipped and wore away at their armor minimally, but steadily.
Though it didn’t take long for the rest of the Imperial Einherjar to support them and fire back at the Discordians, the enemy maintained their focus on the two devastators. They continued to shave off the chitin with as much ferocity as they could muster.
And then, the Discordian devastators moved.
They adjusted their bearing and revealed their bottom side guns to the Einherjar. More specifically, their battleship-sized rail cannons. Each of them glowed brightly as they charged up to full, then with bright flashes of energy, they shot massive tungsten impact pillars into the two Einherjar devastators.
Both were thrown around as they were struck – the sheer force of every blow was more than enough to fling them out of position. They were violently spun and shoved and twisted as the pillars smashed against them.
It didn’t matter how hard their thrusters attempted to counteract the forces, there was simply too much energy to deal with at a single time.
Even worse, each impact was so devastating that whatever chitin they struck was absolutely shattered to pieces. Massive cracks spread out with every hit, and large chunks of the armor flaked and splintered and broke apart.
The tungsten impact pillars themselves bent or shattered or crumpled severely, a testament to their awesome power, and to the devastators’ armor plating. They spun chaotically near the two out-of-control devastators, their kinetic energy all but spent.
Colviss herself was thrown from the center of the bridge and toppled off to the side. With a grunt and an infusion of her own personal strength, she leapt back onto her feet even though her footing was extremely unstable.
“Devastators! Activate defensive field!” she ordered.
Once the initial barrage of tungsten impact pillars ceased, the Einherjar devastators only took seconds to comply with her order.
Red pulses of energy emanated from both of the devastators. They swept outward and caught all of the debris surrounding them, then pulled them inward to some degree.
And in doing so, wrapped each of the devastators with a thin layer of debris made from their shattered chitin and broken tungsten pillars or blunted cannon shells and flattened slugs and bullets.
Even better, the antigrav fields all but stopped any further Discordian weapons from hitting their chitin. The fields caught whatever ballistics were flung in their direction and added them to the defensive layer. It only took moments for the Discordians to cease firing – there was no point.
That time was more than enough to allow both devastators to reorient themselves. They maneuvered back into a less compromising position and re-angled their heavy broadsides against their enemies.
Or at least, as best as they could manage.
“See? These humans can fight,” Colviss said to Orsethii. “Not quite as easy prey as you made ‘em out to be, hm?”
Orsethii merely harrumphed in response.
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