Chapter 76: The Psychic Tide
“Turning off the shields!” Xiuxiu shouted at her monitor.
The Accountant whimpered in terror. “W-why are we dropping the shields?! Even if it’s just a gunboat, it’s main cannon is enough to obliterate us!”
“Shut up!” Mika lifted a hand and slapped the sniveling man in the back of his head. It caused the Accountant to lurch forward and smack his head on the monitor situated in front of him.
“Five… four… three… two… one. Enemy main cannon fired!”
In the distance, the three enemy ships shuddered as giant beams of light suddenly burst forth from their weapons.
The Accountant lifted his head from the screen just in time to witness the deadly fireworks.
As he watched, the blast from the two ships to either side actually fired inward, while the middle ship’s attack plowed in to the enemy on it’s left flank.
A blazing corona of light and fire filled the distance between ships. Each had their shields active, so this didn’t destroy them, but the display was enough to have the Accountant sitting there, mouth agape in wonderment.
“Mind control… my god! You’ve fitted this thing with a psionic amplifier. Jewelry Master, you’re a lunatic!”
Lan Jue had spoken true, one of his amazons was indeed a psionicist; Lin Guoguo, the Psychic Tide!
In this moment Lin Guoguo’s eyes had become entirely gold, with her psychic discipline channeling through the silver helmet. Anyone unlucky enough to be captured in her gaze would feel their consciousness slipping away in to their depths. Not only was her power tremendous and terrifying, but she exerted an incredible amount of control.
She’d employed the amplifier to directly control the enemy ships, a type of combat that – it went without saying – was highly unusual. Of course controlling the small ships was one thing, where it a battleship with many aspects and sections the difficulty of taking control would double.
Simultaneous control of three gunboats with the power of an amplifier. The Accountant’s quick calculations determined she must at least possess a level eight psionic Talent. It was horrifying. After all, psionic powers have always been hailed as wondrous abilities. An eight level psychic could match favorably against nearly any other first-degree, ninth level Talent.
The shields of the three ships sputtered and failed. Once more the guns fired, and once more the sky was filled with blossoming halos of light and fire. The explosive force issued a roaring shockwave, which diffused harmlessly in to the universe.
“Combat is finished. Enemy destroyed. Searching for depots or battleships,” Ke’er said.
Beside her Lin Guoguo had already removed the helmet, and the gold tint to her eyes slowly receded. She turned her head to give Lan Jue a prideful grin.
Lan Jue gave her a thumbs up. “Beautifully done. Your powers are increasing.”
Guoguo’s grin became a triumphant smirk. It was clear the scenario didn’t take too much out of her.
The Accountant slowly lifted his hand to shut his open mouth. He swept his eyes back towards Lan Jue. “Jewelry Master… are all the council members as strong as you are?”
Lan Jue peered down on him. “You haven’t seen power,” he responded softly.
The Accountant’s mouth twitched as though he wished to say more, but he felt the malicious gaze of Mika and immediately thought better of it. Instead, he kept his thoughts to himself:
Such poise, so cool! Oh when will I be able to command four beautiful women such as these. It would be like heaven on earth!
“I’ve located a depot ship attempting to escape. Should we take it’s stores?” A pot-bellied depot-ship appeared on the main screen. It was clear the dusty thing was scrambling to flee.
“There’s nothing of use in that trashy thing. Mika.”
“Understood, boss.” A smile lit her face as her fingers tapped away at the keyboard before her. A series of gun barrels slowly rose from the wings of Zeus-1. They quickly shot forward to catch up with the fleeing ship.
Glimmering beams of blue light shot through space, arcing through the darkness before hitting their mark. The depot’s shields could not compare with those of the combat ships. In addition, though Zeus-1 had fired it’s auxiliary cannons, even those were like death’s sickle. They swept through shield and hell effortlessly.
By the time Zeus-1 passed by, a few thousand meters away, the ship had been reduced to twisted slag.
Three gunboats and a depot ship, your common pirate unit. Destroyed in less than ten minutes.
The Accountant rubbed his cheeks, trying to free himself from his perpetually surprised expression. He tried to concentrate of the screen in front of him. His understanding of the ship he’d snuck in to was woefully lacking. It had the fighting power of a battleship, the speed of a capital ship, and the maneuverability of a common airship. There was simply too much to learn.
“Engage stealth, adopt pirate markings. Full speed to the Shattered Starfields. Port, thirty-five degrees,” Lan Jue commanded.
Zeus-1’s coating quietly adopted a grayish hue. Near the stern there slowly emerged the image of a blood moon. The ship’s engines grew bright, and Zeus-1 began to tilt.
One hour later.
A battleship and it’s six gunboat entourage surveyed the wreckage floating in space before them. A hefty, bald man fumed with rage on the battleship’s bridge.
A floating asteroid, an indistinct planet, rays of light flowing through it’s cracks. It was a fair visual representation of the starfields.
Here, no matter what classification of capital ship you possessed you couldn’t navigate safely. Only battleships or lesser crafts could manage the treks. Even then, only explicit knowledge of the area and an experienced captain could make it safely. And all of this in the face of a pirate unit attack…
The pirates of the Shattered Starfields relied on outside plunder, merchants straying from the borders of the Three Alliances. Otherwise, the area was relatively quiet.
You of course couldn’t exclude the occasional treasure hunter or adventurer scouring the starfields for prizes, trying to prove themselves.
The Accountant sat within Zeus-1, glued to the screen like a man possessed as he scoured the specs of the ship, thinking, the streams of data reflected in his eyes.