After the rapid strike force had successfully neutralized the alien battleship as well as the human first-class mech that attempted to defend her, the battle was pretty much over at this point!
The only active combatant remaining in the fight was the powerful phase lord that had fought a hard battle against the expert mechs deployed from the Antonio Cross.
The Trampler of Stars had paid close attention to what had befallen his homeship, and became utterly appalled at what had happened to his ship!
Hardly anyone on his ship was left alive!
No matter how many times he tried to make contact with his subordinates aboard the vessel, no one responded to him anymore.
The vessel had practically turned into a ghost ship by this point! Even if a small quantity of special alien life forms managed to resist the successive blows that could not be blocked through conventional means, they no longer had the numbers to mount an effective resistance.
The ship was gone!
"YYEUAHHAHWA!" The Trampler of Stars roared through space while crashing his forehoofs!
A devastating space quake spread from his massive true body!
Due to his drastic change in size, the shockwave generated by the nunser phase lord spread across a greater area!
None of the expert mechs in the vicinity wanted to get caught up in the destructive spatial area attack, so they quickly retreated in order to minimize the harm they endured.
Yet just after the space quake had run its course without inflicting too much internal damage to the closest expert mechs, the Trampler of Stars did not throw himself at the human forces in order to avenge the alien fallen.
Instead, the nunser phase lord had taken the time to perform an emergency technique that caused him to form a powerful warp bubble around his massive body!
In order to ensure that nothing could interrupt this desperate move, the Trampler of Stars went as far as burning up his own body mass to generate enough energy!
The newly formed warp bubble not only distorted the path of a lot of incoming attacks that were savaging his body, but it also allowed the alien 'god' to quickly distance himself from the human mech force!
"He's trying to make a getaway!"
"Stop this alien!"
"We can't! We don't have the means to interdict his warp travel!"
Ranged expert mechs such as the Amaranto, the Promethea, the Minerva and the Star Dancer Mark II all poured as much damage onto the fleeing phase lord as possible, but none of their efforts yielded any significant results.
The abnormally powerful warp bubble remained extremely resilient and whatever attacks managed to strike the massive body of the phase lord only produced flesh wounds at best.
Eventually, the phase lord managed to accelerate so quickly that he quickly escaped the range of most expert mechs!
"Forget about it." Ves sighed as he spoke over a communication channel. "Phase lords are highly adept at manipulating phasewater, and their ability to mimic the processes of a warp drive are quite excellent. None of the mechs and starships that we have brought possess the means to stop this fellow from running away."
He doubted whether the recently acquired Gravity Net module installed on the Spirit of Bentheim could stop the phase lord from escaping.
The alien powerhouse possessed so much phasewater in his body that he could resist a lot of different measures to prevent his retreat. This was especially the case when he resorted to an extreme measure like burning up his own body!
Still, Ves had no complaints. The other expert pilots might be bummed that they failed to defeat a formidable opponent that they had all struggled against, but defeating the phase lord was never the main objective of the rapid strike force.
Ves only truly cared about rescuing Lord Pearian Yorul-Tavik from the clutches of these mysterious aliens!
Neutralizing the alien battleship was an incredibly nice bonus and one that would doubtlessly grant his clan incredible profits, but it was just icing on the cake as far as he was concerned.
He could always find a way to gather phasewater and resources elsewhere, but it was much harder to obtain the favor of an established first-class power!
Ves concentrated his mind for a moment.
"Helena. Did you manage to come across Lord Pearian Yorul-Tavik when your power swept through the hull of the alien battleship? Have you managed to keep him alive during the process?"
His sister did not choose to manifest herself in front of him this time. She merely conveyed her words directly to his mind.
"I came across a few humans. One of them was definitely an enemy, so I tried my best to kill him for you. It was a lot harder for me to do so than I thought. He's anything but average and for some reason his connection with his mech provided him with a surprisingly strong form of mental protection. I never encountered so much resistance when my power swept through other mechs in the past!"
Ves did not look particularly surprised by this news. "I suspected that this might be the case. First-class mechs make use of first-class neural interfaces, which are better in every way. I always wondered how the MTA alongside the CFA managed to defeat a certain powerful cult a few hundred years ago. The mechers must have been able to muster an extremely effective countermeasure in order to render the most effective means of the cult invalid. Your inability to kill the pilot of a first-class mech explains it. Spiritual entities such as yourself aren't all-powerful after all. At a certain point, mechs become so strong that they can truly challenge all kinds of powerful opponents."
There were good reasons why the Five Scrolls Compact hated mechs so much. Supposedly, god mechs were so overwhelmingly powerful in battle that they could resist everything that dark gods and spiritual sorcerers could throw at the apex machines!
However, Ves seriously doubted that there were many god mechs and god pilots four centuries ago. How was the MTA able to spank the Five Scrolls Compact so hard that it became an equal partner to the CFA?
If first-class mechs were able to help their mech pilots resist the harmful effects of metaphysical attacks such as death energy battle formations, then that made a lot of sense.
"This… this is not a fair matchup!" Helena petulantly retorted in his mind. "If a first-class mech showed up in the Nyxian Gap, then I have a hundred different ways to make the mech pilot miserable! I'm too far from my home ground over here. Do you know how difficult it is to channel my power and energies through the minds of those weak mech pilots? They can pray to me all they want, but that doesn't change the fact that pushing my power through them is like pushing my body through several thousand tiny straws!"
That was certainly a colorful analogy. Ves understood what she was saying. It was just too difficult for design spirits to affect the material realm.
"I will find a way to improve battle formations in the future so that design spirits such as yourself can more effectively intervene on the battlefield." Ves mentally replied. "Back to my question, have you managed to find and spare Lord Pearian? He's kind of the reason why I bothered to take so many risks."
Ves became wary. "What is it, Helena? Don't tell me you failed to preserve his life."
"No, it's not that, little brother." She replied. "I actually came across two different humans that were both pleading with me to spare their lives. I found their pleas to be rather cute, actually, but I did not manage to remain in contact long enough to figure out which of the two I am supposed to spare."
"What did you do?"
"I decided to spare them both!"
"Oh… Do you know whether one of them was a captive or a collaborator on the alien ship?"
"I don't know. They were located in two different parts of the ship. One of them was surrounded by aliens while the other was on his own. I think the former may be another person, but I couldn't say for sure. Who knows whether the alien officers invited Lord Pearian to them in order to squeeze information out of him. Both of them are fine as far as I know, but you should better hurry up and find out the truth yourself."
"Ah, you're right. Thank you for your help, Helena. I will repay this favor later."
"You better not forget your promise!"
After Helena planted a mental kiss onto Ves' mind, her presence faded away.
By this time, the rest of the elite strike force had already taken the next steps.
"Expert mechs, fall back to the Antonio Cross and stand by to resupply in batches. Remain on guard in case the enemy phase lord returns or hostile reinforcements arrive."
"Penitent Sisters, Glory Seekers, turn around and converge on the alien battleship. Help the Mars secure the exterior of the vessel and make sure that no surviving alien or automated defense program can pose a threat to our assets. Also make sure to secure a route for DIVA. The Hexer commandos will be leading the effort to extract our primary mission objective from the enemy vessel."
All of these moves would take a fair amount of time to execute. The mechs and ships that had just flown past the Tower of Babel were still moving away at a rapid speed and needed to spend a lot of time to gradually reverse their travel direction.
That left the Patriarch Reginald and the Mars on their own for the time being.
Fortunately, the ace mech was more than capable of taking care of itself. Reginald even asked if it was okay to destroy the remaining surviving weapon batteries just in case they could go active again.
This was a difficult decision as leaving as much of the ship intact was possible would preserve more value.
Ves and Master Benedict briefly exchanged glances before the latter issued a response.
"You should proceed to destroy the gun batteries that I am in the process of pointing out. You do not need to strike them with your most powerful attacks. Just target the modules or sections that I have highlighted for you on the command net. You can keep the remainder intact as they cannot target anything that is situated outside of their firing angles."
Patriarch Reginald no longer felt excited anymore, so he mechanically completed this essential chore.
The Tower of Babel was slowly rendered harmless. Even if a batch of surviving crew members could take over control of all of her intact ship systems, they no longer possessed the ability to fend off the rapid strike force!
The only way the aliens could ruin this outcome was if they killed Lord Pearian Yorul-Tavik or initiated a self-destruct sequence.
"Hurry up, please. We need to put boots on this ship as soon as possible! The longer she remains outside of our control, the greater the chance that uncontrollable factors will come into play."
Though the delay was agonizingly long for Ves, he eventually sighed in relief as the first DIVA vehicles managed to dock alongside the damaged and diminished alien battleship.
DIVA commandos wearing a variety of different armor and equipment rapidly made their way inside the alien vessel through one of her many gaps.
More troops were on their way to speed up the takeover process.
When Ves patched into one of the feeds of the helmets of the DIVA commandos, he and many other people fell silent as they observed the actual situation of the ship.
"So many bodies."
Only a short time had passed, but already the DIVA squad moved past hundreds of inert alien bodies.
The ship had turned eerily silent now that so much of the crew had entered into a permanent state of sleep!