Chapter 2591: Operation Head Crusher
Both Venerable Ghanso and Venerable Foster carefully studied the expert pilots that had taken their seats around the conference room aboard the Eager Condemnation.
Every foreign expert pilot that had agreed to fight against the Hexers fought under the banner of the Coalition Reserve Corps.
At least, that was supposed to be the rule.
What surprised Ghanso and Relia was that the expert pilots dispatched by the four participating Coalition partners also appeared to be foreigners!
It was too easy to recognize the other six expert pilots as third-raters.
Their uniforms didn\'t possess the usual badges and medals that denoted long and storied service.
The foreigners also lacked the arrogant swagger of Fridayman expert pilots.
Unlike the foreigners, the demigods from the Coalition all attracted a lot of admiration from their soldiers.
This was not the case right now.
While the Sunderers, Oni Guardsmen and so on did not show any disrespect towards their guest expert pilots, neither did they show too much respect.
In the end, the Friday Coalition was just using them.
Even notable war heroes such as Venerable Ghanso did not receive the full recognition he deserved for slaying at least 10 Hexer expert pilots!
Venerable Foster was not shy about voicing her discontent.
We fight, bleed and even die to defend the Friday Coalition.
The least these folk can do is recognize our contribution.
They\'ll never do that. Ghanso huffed.
The Komodo War has to be won by the Friday Coalition, not their hired help.
Lady Aisling told me that we should be grateful that we are able to prevent the Hexers from taking over our home states.
Pretty much every foreign expert pilot who accepted the offer to fight on behalf of the Friday Coalition did so to do their duty to their respective states.
They had little love for the Friday Coalition and its disdain towards the people they regarded as their lessers.
However, compared to the alternative, the Fridaymen were much more acceptable! At the very least, the Friday Coalition was run by a sensible group of people.
Once everyone arrived, the meeting commenced.
First, let me thank you all for your courage. Brigadier-General Vander Pierce started with a surprisingly powerful voice despite his advanced age.
Due to the considerable risks of this operation, we cannot guarantee that we will ever be able to return to safety.
We must go deeper into unfriendly territory than many of us have ever gone before.
We will have to travel so far away Coalition space that safe harbor is many light-years away.
Even with the long-range FTL drives of our deep strike fleet carriers, it is not that easy to return to safety, especially when the Hexers are aware of our position.
The operation had to take place in as much secrecy as possible.
In fact, before the fleet carriers even departed from different parts of the Friday Coalition, they had already disabled all of their quantum entanglement nodes.
The communication systems of the capital ships and the mechs were strictly locked down in order to minimize the propagation of any signal that could leak their whereabouts!
The CRC general swept his gaze across every gathered officer.
You must be eager to take part in our counterattack against the Hexers.
As we speak, our fellow soldiers are liberating the star systems captured by the enemy at a record pace.
Yet even if we are ready to give the Hexers a taste of their own medicine, our invasion into the Hegemony is not a done deal.
No matter how much the female supremacists are panicking, their fortified star systems are still intact.
Just as the Hex Army suffered substantial losses in trying to topple the Crestfallen Stars, the Fridaymen might also incur substantial losses if they attempted to overrun the Hexer strongholds!
No one in the conference room knew whether their leaders would choose to sustain their current momentum.
Not even the brigadier-general himself knew what his superiors were thinking, though he heard plenty of arguments through his own channels.
Unlike what some of you may be guessing, our newly-formed task force is not meant to raid the hinterland of Hegemony space.
Though our current fleet composition lends itself well to launching raids, the risks are too great.
We did not concentrate five of our precious deep strike fleet carriers and filled them up with our elite mech detachments to do something so marginal.
Even if we succeed in demolishing the industries of one or two highly-developed star systems, the Hegemony hardly loses any production capacity.
The general smirked.
With a single mental command, he activated a large projection over head.
Instead, Operation Head Crusher is meant to weaken the Hexadric Hegemony by performing a surgical strike on one of their most valuable war assets.
Both Venerable Ghanso and Venerable Foster gripped their fists as they stared at the face of Ves Larkinson, the patriarch of the Larkinson Clan!
The rest of the officers of the CRC did not show much reaction to the revelation.
They had already been briefed beforehand.
In contrast, the officers and mech pilots from the four other fleet carriers reacted with considerable surprise.
They didn\'t expect this secretive operation to be a decapitation strike!
I am sure I do not need to introduce the infamous mech designer of the Blessed Squire and Valkyrie Redeemer to you. General Pierce drawled.
The man could easily sense their animosity towards the foreigner that had given their forces so much trouble.
Larkinson is a Journeyman Mech Designer with a design philosophy that is uncommonly effective in war.
The Hex Army performed well above our expectation in the beginning of the Komodo War, leading to a series of devastating miscalculations that caused our defensive lines to crumble ahead of time.
If not for the fact that the conceited Hexers recklessly pushed forward and neglected to consolidate their gains, our state might have been even worse off at this time!
Many of the Fridayman officers and soldiers gathered today had personally fought against the LMC Hexer mechs.
Neither the Blessed Squire nor the Valkyrie Redeemer were easy to deal with! Even after the Fridaymen developed several countermeasures, the glows were just too powerful.
This man cannot be allowed to facilitate the Hexers any further.
The ultimate objective of Operation Head Crusher is very simple.
We must remove Ves Larkinson from the board by any means necessary.
Ideally, we would like to take him into custody.
However, if that is not possible, do not hesitate to end his life.
As long as he dies, his products will no longer be as terrifying.
A Sunderer commander raised his hand.
General Pierce, is it wise to target the life of someone who is backed by the MTA From what we know, Master Moira Willix of the MTA openly supports our target.
Will we doom our state if we kill one of her pets
General Pierce smirked.
Ves Larkinson is not a part of the Big Two.
As long as this remains true, he is fair game.
Killing him will not implicate our state, at least on the surface.
Never hesitate in pulling the trigger if you have the opportunity to complete our mission.
Will Master Willix not retaliate regardless of the rules
She is a powerful and well-connected dignitary, but the MTA is so much greater than any individual.
Our state is rooted in the Komodo Star Sector for over four centuries.
We have developed some very good relationships with the MTA Masters and directors at Centerpoint.
Not all of them are friends with Master Willix.
From what they tell us, the good Master has acted out of bonds.
The rules of neutrality trump any personal agenda.
She cannot blame us for attacking a legitimate war participant.
After reassuring the attendees that killing Ves Larkinson would not doom their entire state, the general moved on.
He projected some star charts and briefly highlighted their upcoming maneuvers.
According to our intelligence, the fleet of the Larkinson Clan is set to enter Majestic Teal together with its allies.
While we are unable to ascertain the route of this combined fleet, our state has made ample preparations.
We have ways to track their huge fleet and position ourselves to intercept them.
Do not forget that deep strike fleet carriers excel at this purpose.
Even if our predictions are wrong, we can jump ahead of the slower, larger fleet of our enemy and try again.
If all goes well, we can intercept them before they venture into Majestic Teal.
If we have missed the mark, then we will just follow suit and seek to confront the Larkinson Clan in a different star sector.
This was a very determined pursuit! A lot of Fridaymen officers looked uncertain about this plan.
The grand captain of the Amagi raised his hand.
Sir, to what extent must we pursue the Larkinson Clan Majestic Teal is not our home ground.
The local states will not take kindly to the intrusion of a significant force of foreign military fleet carriers.
That\'s not necessarily the case, captain.
We have good trading relations with some of the states in Majestic Teal.
They may be able to lend a helping hand to us.
Regardless, our mission does not have a time or distance limit.
Once we set off from this star system, we are committed to Operation Head Crusher.
That means that we will not turn back until we have neutralized the leader of the Larkinson Clan! This goal trumps every other consideration, including our survival and the survival of our fleet carriers! Even as we speak, Mr.
Larkinson must be designing even more nefarious mechs for the Hexers.
Unless we succeed, our state might never be able to win the Komodo War!
In other words, the higher ups of the Friday Coalition already accounted for the possibility that Task Force Umbra, which they were officially a part of, might never be able to return home.
Venerable Ghanso frowned.
While he didn\'t have a problem with making the ultimate sacrifice as long as he was able to blast Ves into pieces, he did not have much faith in their current strength.
He raised his hand.
General, are you sure our strength is up to the task He questioned.
From what I have gathered, the Larkinson Clan is able to deploy more than 4000 mechs.
There is also the Glory Seekers which is able to deploy around 2600 mechs if we include their new fleet carrier.
The Cross Clan which the Larkinsons have recently allied with are no pushovers either.
Though it\'s hard to determine how many mechs they are able to field, they should be able to field at least 4000 mechs as well.
The general confidently smirked.
The Cross Clan has sustained considerably more losses than you think.
Our intelligence suggests the Vicious Mountainers are only able to field 3200 mechs at most.
The Cross Clan are the remnants of a former militaristic faction.
Despite their losses, their surviving mechs and mech pilots are just as strong as ours.
Unless we can count on reinforcements, it is hard to see whether we can defeat their combined fleet.
A lot of other Fridaymen began to harbor some doubts as well.
Nonetheless, General Pierce maintained his confident demeanor.
I have two points. The general raised a finger.
First, you are misinterpreting our objective.
We are not supposed to defeat the entire enemy fleet.
As long as we assassinate the Larkinson Patriarch, there is no point in fighting the rest.
Defeating them will not further tip the Komodo War in our favor.
We must concentrate as many assets as possible to accomplish our sole objective, even if we open up our fleet to a fatal counterattack.
Sacrificing our deep strike fleet carriers is a small price to pay to neutralize every possible glow in existence.
The general raised a second finger.
Second, who says that we are alone Operation Head Crusher consists of multiple elements.
There will be other forces sharing the burden.
We have already accounted for the strength of the Glory Seekers and the Cross Clan.
However, even if our strength falls short for whatever reason, do not forget our overarching purpose.
Killing the inventor of the glow is all that matters.
Our fellow soldiers will not be able to fight the Hexers with confidence until we have accomplished this crucial feat!
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