Chapter 4633 Serious Enemy
Chapter 4633 Serious Enemy
The Second Battle of Ramage Repulsor had come to a conclusion!
Unlike the first battle which was fought between Otrus Magrin's vulture fleet and the hybrid alien battleship, the second battle ended in a decisive victory for the human side!
By exploiting the advantages accrued during the first battle as well as favorable information asymmetry, the masterminds who engineered the Tower of Babel's downfall succeeded in attaining their desired outcome!
Certainly, not everything was optimal. A few unanticipated surprises such as the appearance of a powerful phase lord and the emergence of a human first-class multipurpose mech tested the fault tolerance of the rapid strike force.
Nonetheless, the Golden Skullers managed to prevail against these difficulties. Not only did they come under the possession of a crippled but surprisingly intact rear half of a modern alien battleship, they also managed to 'preserve' the bodies of tens of thousands of alien crew members!
While it was a pity that none of them possessed any consciousness anymore, the fact that their bodies remained in excellent condition despite losing all resistance was incredibly valuable in itself!
Ves had already contacted the MTA on what the Golden Skull Alliance managed to do and what it had managed to obtain.
Master Vayro Goldstein of the Survivalist Faction initially did not display any exaggerated reactions. The MTA's formidable warfleets already possessed the capability to capture any alien warship as long as the organization was willing to pay a price.
"We are familiar with the unusual ship that you have captured." The bald and caped MTA Master spoke over a reasonably secure channel. "Our forces have fought against the alien faction known as the 'Red Cabal' multiple times. This multi-species gathering has accrued a great amount of influence among the native alien communities. There are strong indications that it will soon become the leading force of resistance against our invasion. Any ship that is built by them is therefore a valuable source of intelligence. We are especially interested to know if her data banks are still intact."
Ves smiled back. "We only managed to retain the rear half of the alien battleship, so I cannot say if we have managed to preserve all of her data storage facilities. I do have good news, though. The engineers that we have sent to secure the vessel from within have encountered several compartments that appear to hold a lot of data. Our data specialists have examined the devices but have refrained from touching anything for fear of triggering a self-destruct command."
Master Goldstein grew a little bit more enthused. "We would like you to connect your specialists to one of our alien technology acquisition teams that I will be referring to you. Our own experts are much more familiar with alien technology and can help your troops maintain the stability and integrity of the captured ship to the greatest extent possible. We believe it is unlikely for the aliens to implement strict checks against capture that will lead to self-destruction in the near-term, but it is best to verify the actual condition of the vessel."
"Uh, okay. There is more."
When Ves spoke about the presence of human traitors, Master Goldstein's mood and expression completely changed!
Previously, Ves always thought that the MTA Master was rather plain but direct. The man clearly wanted to deal with his business in a clean and efficient manner. Yet when he heard that a first-class multipurpose mech showed up and displayed enough strength to fend off a second-class ace mech like the Mars, the mecher became completely affronted!
"This is unacceptable!" The man snarled as his eyes burned with hatred. "The traitors among our people have hindered us far too much. Not only have they slowed our advance, but they have also reduced the technology disparity between us and the aliens, thereby contributing to greater losses than we should otherwise incur. We have a standing bounty for all proven traitors that anyone has managed to kill or capture. Can you confirm that you have encountered at least two possible human traitors?"
Ves expected the MTA to show more interest in the traitors, but not to this extent! It appeared that this was a greater deal than he initially expected.
"Not much time has passed since the battle has ended. We have brought plenty of infantry along, but the intact portions of the alien ship are so expansive that it will take a lot of time to search through every nook and cranny. It doesn't help that our men don't understand how to operate anything on the alien ship. We only recently managed to figure out how to open the hatches without needing to breach the hatches."
"That is not an issue. We will send you an information packet that will help your boarding parties operate elementary functions of the Red Cabal vessel." Master Goldstein said. "Please elaborate on what you found about the human traitors."
"Well, one of them is a traitor without any doubt. The pilot of the first-class multipurpose mech is the most skilled normal mech pilot that our ace pilot has ever fought against. It is too bad that the traitor has opted to die for his cause rather than surrender himself to custody. He self-destructed his expensive mech, so nothing of him is left intact. We only have burnt and scattered shards of his machine."
That wasn't entirely true. The salvage teams had also managed to pick up the relatively intact forearms and forelegs of the first-class multipurpose mech that the Mars managed to amputate.
The limbs apparently hadn't been rigged to blow, so they were still safe and sound for the time being!
Whether Master Goldstein knew about this little detail was not certain. Ves hoped that the mechers became so preoccupied with major issues that they would overlook certain… indiscretions.
Those first-class mech limbs weren't the only loot that Ves wanted abscond with! The entire ship was filled with treasures and it would be an enormous pity if the Golden Skull Alliance transferred all of this booty over to the greedy Association.
Fortunately, Goldstein didn't call Ves out on his little trick.
"Very well. I would like your forces to gather as many of these remains as possible. We can track down where the materials are sourced and may even be able to deduce where the mech has been fabricated. If we are lucky enough, enough biological traces of the traitor may be left to narrow down his identity and background."
"Our salvage parties are still picking up the shards as we speak."
"What is the state of the other traitor?"
Ves turned a little more hesitant. "Ah, that is… a little bit more complicated. We have found two living humans on the ship. One of them is a missing first-class pioneer that we sought to rescue. We are still in the process of verifying his identity, but all of the inspections performed so far have yielded a positive result. It is the other man that we are not entirely certain about."
"Describe the situation of this second individual."
"Our advance troops managed to find him alive on the bridge or command center of the alien vessel. He does not appear to be restrained, but it is uncertain whether he is an alien collaborator or merely another captive that has been granted parole. Our interrogators in the field have attempted to figure out who he is, but he is extremely resistant to such measures. The man is filled with first-class augmentations including a few unusual biological alterations, though we cannot understand much of their purpose."
Master Goldstein leaned forward. "Send me the data that you have collected on this individual. Please include footage of the initial encounter between your troops and this person."
Ves did so and waited for the MTA Master to process the new information.
It did not take long before Master Goldstein became outraged again!
"I recognize his garb." The man spoke in an acrid tone. "The scans that you have collected on his augmentations also align with what we know of one of our greatest enemies. No ordinary human is willing to modify his body so that he can contort his body to imitate a quadruped alien, and neither is he willing to alter his vocal chords so that he can fluently speak at least 73 different alien languages."
"Uhh… do you know who he is, Master?" Ves carefully asked.
"Hm, there is no harm in telling you. I am 97.3 percent certain that he is a cosmopolitan."
Ves widened his eyes.
"A cosmopolitan?! Really?!"
Cosmopolitans were practically extinct in human space! While Ves heard that pockets of them managed to survive outside human space, they were so rare that no one really talked about them anymore. The relics of the past were supposed to be completely irrelevant to human civilization in modern times.
To see one of these relics of the past reappear in front of him was a considerable surprise!
Goldstein's projection paced back and forth. "There are many traitors among humans, and they can hail from any part of our great society. We have caught Terrans and Rubarthans trading human high technology for containers filled with phasewater. We have come across abducted mech designers who have taught their craft to their alien captors in order to retain their lives. We have even tracked down third-class pioneers who have chosen to function as couriers in an increasingly more pervasive black market that spans both sides of the conflict in the Red Ocean."
This was pretty natural. So many different people poured into the new frontier that lots of bad apples managed to pass through as well. These greedy people were unable to resist the incredible profits of trading with the aliens.
After all, as far as business went, the indigenous alien civilizations of the Red Ocean suffered so many defeats at the hands of the Big Two's formidable mechs and warships that the natives no longer blindly believed in their own strength!
Just like humanity back in the Age of Stars, the indigenous aliens fully recognized that they were inferior and sought to close the gap as best as possible by acquiring lots of tech and material from their greatest enemy!
As such, a market had formed where the indigenous aliens turned into desperate consumers that were more than willing to pay sky-high prices in order to obtain strategic goods that could help them gain parity against the relentless forces of the Big Two!
Even Ves had moments where he felt tempted to take part in the illicit trade between the races.
He knew better, though. Every pioneer was monitored by the Big Two one way or another. Aside from that, Ves and his clan were scrutinized even more due to his close ties to the Survivalist Faction and the Transhumanist Faction!
There was no way he could trade with the aliens and get away with it! He would be much better off if he continued to abide by the rules set by the Association.
"Cosmopolitans are different from those aforementioned traitors, right?" Ves asked.
Master Goldstein nodded. "Correct. There are plenty of motives to consort with aliens, but most incidents are rooted in selfishness. The people committing treason do not have an overarching agenda beyond enriching themselves. What is truly insidious is if they are betraying humanity for a greater cause. Cosmopolitans are traitors of the worst order because they cannot be reasoned with. They cling to their xenophilic ideology so strongly that they cannot accept a reality where humanity reigns supreme by itself rather than share space with a number of 'allied' alien races. Many generations of cosmopolitans have undergone successive indoctrination that their ideology has no longer become a rational intellectual movement, but rather a pervasive religion that is set on steering our civilization in the wrong direction."
Ves became spooked as he heard this. He knew the cosmopolitans were bad, but hearing about how far they were willing to go to make humans live alongside aliens was frightening!
There was nothing scarier to Ves than misguided faith!