Chapter 1978 Level Up
Battle ensued quickly. The Mech Corps stationed a lot of mech regiments at the flanks. The generals did so not just to cover every direction, but also keep the forces in reserve.
Now, the Flagrant Vandals and the other mech regiments stationed in flanks were suddenly forced to sortie sooner than anticipated because the sandmen defied their expectations yet again!
Where is their sandman planet? Why have they broken themselves up again?!
Shut up! Just shoot them! This monolith isn't going down as easily as before!
What the hell?! Is that an energy shield?! Since when were the sandmen capable of projecting shields!?
Where do they get all of the technology from? Did they engulf an MTA mech or CFA warship?
Ahh! That's not a laser beam! That's a positron beam!
The opening stages of the Battle for Bentheim started off explosively as the dispersed elements of the Mech Corps started to clash against the nearest sandman monoliths!
Soon, they discovered that their enemies weren't as exploitable as before. Somehow, their opponents had level up! Each and every monolith began to exhibit a lot of tricks the defenders had never encountered before!
In many cases, these surprises proved fatal as the upgraded sandman monoliths exterminated the mechs dispatched to halt their advance!
Where are the starfighters?! We need their help! The monoliths are firing too many energy beams!
They're on their way! Hold on!
What?! You're only sending a single starfighter regiment? That's not enough? We've already lost a quarter of our mechs to take down a single monolith, and there's another one following right behind!
The might and numbers that allowed the sandmen to pressure a huge amount of star systems at the same time finally converged on a single star system!
Not only that, but their upgraded monoliths immediately resulted in thousands of casualties in the opening minute as the defending mechs and starfighters were completely caught off guard!
Their enemy had evolved, but the human forces hardly changed!
The worst part about it was that both the Mech Corps and the Starfighter Corps spread out their regiments at the flanks. They still devoted over half of their best units at the suspected front in anticipating the arrival of a sandman planet that would come!
Fall back! Don't fight the monoliths head-on! They're too deadly and accurate at closer ranges!
Damnit! What is the MTA doing?! We need the help of their multipurpose mechs right away!
The MTA attempted to disperse some of its ships and mechs. A handful of destroyers started generating portals that led to different parts of the Bentheim System in order to rapidly relocate squads of multipurpose mechs in order to ease the pressure on the beleaguered flanks!
The arrival of the first-class mechs instantly turned the tide of the battle! Many of the mechs brought their energy weapons to bear. As soon as they aimed their weapons at a sandman monolith, the muzzles spat out bright blue bolts that instantly penetrated the energy shields carved off huge chunks of sand from the monoliths!
As powerful as the sandman monoliths appeared, they still weren't a match against even a single multipurpose mech!
Unlike the Mech Corps and the Starfighter Corps, the first-class mechs eschewed physical damage weapons in favor of energy weapons with a peculiar disruptive effect.
Each time their crackling blue energy bolts impacted the surface of a monolith, they discharged a lot of energy, some of which were completely unfamiliar to the Mech Corps!
Regardless how it worked, the disruption caused by these impacts immediately disturbed the bonds that held the individual sandman particles together!
As much as the MTA reinforcements provided some much-needed relief, they couldn't be everywhere! While monolith after monolith succumbed to the superior mechs of the MTA, more sandman monoliths pushed through the initial opposition without breaking their energy shields!
On the surface of Bentheim, billions of locals watched the footage with an increasing amount of dread.
Panic had already sparked as the citizens saw that the Mech Corps, Starfighter Corps and even the MTA failed to stem the tide!
There are too many sandmen!
We're all doomed!
Why couldn't I get passage off an evacuation ship?!
In the last couple of months, the Bright Republic attempted to evacuate many citizens from Bentheim. However, Bentheim was the most populous planet in the Republic.
Even with so much time, over a half of the population was still stuck on the surface!
In truth, the government could have evacuated more people. However, it was difficult to divert additional ships to address this need.
In addition, a large majority of Brighters expected the MTA to wipe out the sandmen with each, thereby making an evacuation moot!
This misplaced confidence in the MTA along with the fear that Bentheim's powerful economic engine would shut down forever caused many leaders to put the brakes on the evacuation effort!
Now, billions of Brighters started to lose their confidence as they saw mechs and starfighters dropping like flies in front of the relentless barrage of positron beams punching straight through their flimsy, low-quality armor!
Seeing as the broadcasts were doing more harm than good, the Mech Corps immediately deactivated its feeds. The local government also shut down all of the local communication networks in order to prevent any chances of the locals to patch into another channel that displayed the massacre up close!
Far from stemming panic, the communications blackout instead fanned the flames! The doom and gloom continued to fester without limit as the Brighters let their imaginations run wild!
Unlike before, no more Peaceful Soldiers patrolled the streets. No more Prideful Soldiers kept the rabble rousers in line. No more Desolate Soldiers were in place to instill duty in the minds of the frail!
Ever since Ves turned into an enemy of the state, the Bright Republic forcibly confiscated every LMC mech.
Now, this decision bit them back in the worst possible way!
Panic and mass hysteria soon erupted in Dorum, Haston, Ansel and other densely-populated cities! Due to all of the preparations for the current battle, the local Planetary Guard forces were woefully insufficient to suppress the panic!
Though the existing order on the planet quickly started to break down, none of the senior leaders were paying attention to the events on the ground.
The critical issue remained defeating the sandmen before they reached the planet! Right now, they were doing an excellent job at it as their upgraded monoliths steamrolled through various mech regiments and starfighter regiments alike!
This shield just doesn't go down! How many times do I have to fire my rifle before I can breach this shield?!
AAAHHH! We just sacrificed two mech companies to take down this shield. How come the monolith restored its shield so quickly?!
Die sandmen, die!
Tons of sand and broken wrecks floated throughout space as the scale of the fighting had reached an unimaginable level!
Captain Rosa Orfan was in the thick of one of those battles. She weaved her Novabreaker in various directions in order to remain mobile.
The Mech Corps and the Starfighter Corps learned early on that no amount of armor their assets possessed were strong enough to withstand more than a couple of positron beams! Many of them even succumbed after suffering just a glancing hit!
The sandman monoliths discharged so much energy at a time. It was as if the sandmen emptied out all of its energy savings in order to spread as much pain as possible as sandman race made its existence felt for the final time!
Her Novabreaker whizzed to the left just as a small but deceptively powerful beam missed the mech by a couple of meters!
The Sandbreaker rifle wielded by her mech kept pumping round after round against the monolith. However, despite her skill as an expert candidate, her contribution was no better than that of the starfighter pilots as their basic machines packed just as much punch against a large and relative massive target!
These sandmen went all in on monoliths! She gritted her teeth. It's as if they knew we didn't have the firepower to grind them down!
Their only hope lay in the first-class multipurpose mechs deployed by the MTA.
Yet as powerful as they performed, the sandmen weren't allowing their monoliths to get beat up for free!
As soon as a multipurpose mech flew in range, the monoliths immediately ignored the pesky starfighters and the mechs of the Mech Corps in favor of unleashing all of their might against the Mech Corps!
Instead of firing hundreds of dispersed positron beams, the monoliths instead concentrated their power and unleashed a single, devastating beam that blasted an entire zone around the multipurpose mech!
No matter how fast the MTA mechs attempted to dodge, they were all struck with remarkably few exceptions!
The monoliths unleashed enough power to blast apart numerous asteroids and more!
Soon after they discharged their entire power reserve, the hot monoliths silently broke apart as the sandmen that consisted of the amalgamation had sacrificed everything to launch this sacrificial attack!
It wasn't enough. Humanity's most powerful mechs were tougher than that! The megabeams not only left a single scratch on the MTA mechs, but also failed to breach their energy shields!
Watch out! More of them are launching their attacks!
The first monolith only bought time for several more monoliths to get into range! Three of them charged their positron beams at the same time.
Perhaps smelling trouble, the multipurpose mech assigned to guard this zone immediately started to engage its powerful flight systems to rapidly build up a lot of distance!
Boosters and certain warping technology came online to accelerate its sunlight flight to ridiculous speeds!
Yet as much as the multipurpose mech attempted to gain some distance, the monoliths finished charging up their attacks too quickly!
Three bright-blue megabeams of charged particles slammed into the fleeing multipurpose mech with unerring accuracy! No matter how sophisticated their ECM systems threw off targeting systems, the sandmen appeared strangely immune to the interference.
It was as if the sandmen had transitioned from a third-class space pest into a first-class menace!
Though the three monoliths shattered and broke apart after expending their power, they managed to do their jobs.
They successfully felled the multipurpose mech!
As soon as the first MTA mech succumbed against the sandmen, the hearts of every mech pilot stilled.
Though there were many instances where the multipurpose mechs managed to destroy the monoliths, the problem was that there were way too many sandman monoliths!
The MTA task force quickly began to feel the strain as their individual mechs had to contend against half-a-dozen sandman monoliths at a time!
In order to prevent its precious mechs from getting mobbed, the MTA ordered the mechs to team up and cover each other's backs.
As the MTA mechs consolidated together, they no longer succumbed to the sandman monoliths.
However, concentrating these powerful mechs also caused a lot of sandman monoliths to slip through the gaps!
The MTA is getting overwhelmed! Not even its warships are able to hold back the onslaught!
Even though the sandmen dispersed their fleets in every direction, most of their elements still arrived at the front.
Though the premier mech regiments of the Mech Corps put up a good resistance, the sandmen didn't pay much attention to them. Instead, they poured their full firepower against the mechs and warships of the MTA!
Their large cruisers and formidable destroyers attracted most of their attention. The awesome firepower of their large caliber weapons broke through the shields of the sandman monoliths far too easily to be left alone!
Though sandman monoliths initially started falling in droves, they soon presented their answer to the might of the MTA warships.
They merged together!
The sandman monoliths organically melted into each other, forming larger and larger amalgamations.
Though that made them bigger targets, the shields they were able to project became increasingly more capable of withstanding the bombardment of positron beams, plasma bolts, fusion rounds and even more exotic attacks such as localized singularities and nanite storms!