Book 2 Chapter 6.1

Book 2 Chapter 6.1 - Disaster

The communication device went silent. Helen seemed to be searching for Su’s current position. Only after a few seconds had passed did she say, “Let me take a look at Blue Scorpion’s forward operating base.”

Su aimed the screen at the city ahead that flickered with lights, and then he pulled it back. Helen’s hand was propping up her chin, and the fingers of her other hand were tapping on the screen. “From the amount of energy required to support this lighting, this base could probably accommodate ten thousand or so people, but they clearly don’t have that many soldiers, or else you would have directly encountered a war. However, even if the ten thousand people included researchers and logistics staff, this scale isn’t small. In other words, this direction should be where Blue Scorpion would primarily develop in from today forth. Su, I suggest that you cancel your investigation of the base. Their life detecting system is extremely advanced, so it will be extremely dangerous for you when you get closer to their base.”

“I didn’t plan on entering the base, I just wanted to get a closer look. I might have a way of dealing with their life detector system.” Su said. 

“You can deceive Blue Scorpion’s human detecting system? How are you able to do that? Oh, I forgot, even if you can do it, you probably don’t understand the reasoning behind why you can. When you come back, I need to do another thorough examination…” As soon as she spoke of an examination, Helen became like a overclocked computer. Even through the screen, Su could see her two eyes light up. 

Su had long become silent towards this lunatic. He said to her “I’m going start the operation” and was about to turn off the tactical tablet. 

“Wait, take a look at this first. This was just sent over from general headquarters’ laboratory.”

A holographic image of the caterpillar track mecha replaced Helen’s portrait. The screenshot that Su took of the mecha’s remains was naturally badly damaged and not whole. A hemispherical shaped component in the mecha’s chest was continuously enlarged, and it could be seen that this place received heavy protection. Just the thickness of the outer shell alone approached that of the outer armor, and from a cross-sectional view, this part’s material was many times thicker than the external armor and its molecular structure more compact. 

“This is the intelligence backbone of the mecha. Something worth mentioning is that we were able to discover from the interior components that this fellow’s serial number is CC307.” Following Helen’s voice, the intelligent backbone enlarged once again, revealing a two or three centimeter-sized black region. An eye-catching marking could be seen, and it continuously flickered. 

“It has already carbonized here, but after the remains were analyzed, it seems like this should be a biological substance. Speaking more concretely, it is quite similar to the brain tissue of certain types of creatures. Take a look at its energy supply units as well, right, precisely there. What is stored inside of this vessel is a type of nutrient fluid, and the contents are similar to what we normally use for nerve cells. There are special transmission cables running between the vessel and intelligence backbone. There is a metabolism unit here, and its use ought to be to collect the waste products produced by the brain system after metabolism. 

Helen’s machine-like pretty face appeared on the screen again. She adjusted her glasses and said, “What I wanted to tell you is that these Blue Scorpion machines might be much more intelligent than you imagined.”

“Understood.” Su replied. This piece of information Helen sent him was extremely important. 

“Another thing. If it’s not too difficult, bring back one of the scorpions. A live one.” Helen said. 

This wasn’t a simple mission. Helen had just told Su not to head into the forward operating base, but now she wanted Su to capture a live soldier to bring back, leaving Su somewhat speechless. However, Helen’s next piece of news dispelled Su’s dissatisfaction. “The price dragonrider headquarters placed on a living Blue Scorpion soldier is 50 thousand.”

Ahead was an abandoned small town. It wasn’t much different from other places, with crumbling fences and run down walls. There were crooked structures everywhere and roads that were practically completely destroyed. There was a deathly silence. Another 300 meters led to Blue Scorpion’s base. 

The base was already quite large. 

At the center of the base was a twenty meter tall oval-shaped high-rise building. Row after row of narrow windows lined the building, and brilliant orange light shone from within. At the top of the building was a shining blue ring that shone particularly brightly in the darkness of night. It was clear that Blue Scorpion had no intention of hiding themselves. 

Dozens of buildings of various sizes were scattered in the surroundings of the central building. Most of them were oval shaped, and a few were rectangular structures. There was some clear common ground, however. All of Blue Scorpion’s buildings had few windows, all of them being extremely small, and at the top of the buildings, blue light flickered about. From an overall perspective, Blue Scorpion’s forward operating base leaned toward the new era style, completely unlike Dragon City which seemed to be imitating the olden era. 

On the edge of the city towered a large-scale strip-style construct that extended a distance roughly equal to the city’s radius. The row of searchlights lining the construct lit up the area ahead in dazzling light, and a row of tanks lined the area in an orderly manner. This place seemed to be a garage. 

Su slowly extended his head from the top of the garage, and he counted a total of ten tanks. Their models were all those he had seen before. There were eight soldier transporting tanks and two main battle tanks, no new things. He selected a position behind a searchlight, because that way, he could clearly see ahead without worrying about being discovered by Blue Scorpion’s people. Through the vents on the garage’s roof, he could see that the brightly lit interior housed three tanks. Ten or so individuals that appeared to be engineers were currently bustling about next to a tank. Rows of components lined the walls, and mechanical arms hung from the roof, assisting the engineers in replacing the tank’s components. This garage seemed to have maintenance capabilities. 

There were males and females among the engineers, and from their appearances, their ages seemed to vary from twenty to forty or fifty. However, what was strange that every single person worked silently, and it seemed like they all clearly knew what they had to do. They did not speak a single word to the people around them, so inside the spacious garage, apart from the sounds of machines moving and metal making contact, there wasn’t a hint of noise. When he looked at those blank faces, for some reason, Su suddenly thought of Helen. 

On the other side of the garage stood three cylindrical-shaped buildings. The large doors stretched from the roof to the floor, reaching a height of ten meters. Among them, the doors of two buildings were currently opened wide, and from Su’s angle, he could directly see into the inside of those two buildings. 

Inside of the center building was actually a caterpillar track mecha! It was still and unmoving. More than ten mechanical arms descended from the high roof and continuously moved about along the inside of the hangar, helping it replace its components. In front of the tank body, several engineers carefully placed a hemispherical metal case on the tank body, and Su immediately recognized that to be the mecha’s intelligence backbone. A pair of mechanical arms carried the intelligence backbone and inserted it into the mecha’s chest before then reattaching the outer armor. The mecha released a rumbling sound, and eight electronic eyes lit up one by one. It lowered its head, first looking at the engineers who were busily moving about in front of itself, and then at its left and right arms. Its arms were currently empty terminal connectors without any weapons equipped. After seeing this, it became quiet, but its electronic eyes continued to flicker endlessly, coldly sweeping through all of its surroundings. 

On the other side of the center building towered a row of three floored buildings. People continuously entered and exited through those doors, as if these buildings were nests where wasps were taken in and sent out in an endless swarm. 

“Dormitories…” Su silently noted inwardly. 

Judging from the people that came in and out from the other structures, there were factories, laboratories, and electricity generating stations there as well. 

Su lightly tapped the garage roof below his feet. From the rebound sensation, he could tell that this garage was made from a special lightweight aluminium alloy.. He had already taken a look at the walls before, and they were made from square meter sized rocks made of a light steel alloy. It wasn’t just the garage; for every single building in this base, at the very least, the outer walls were all made of metal alloy!

Even the era of turmoil didn’t lack raw sources of metal, and even with those seemingly endless amounts of steel, aluminum, copper, and other metals in the ruins, manufacturing these metal parts still required large amounts of energy. From this point, Blue Scorpion's production capacity far surpassed the companies Su had encountered before. 

Su didn’t find a single soldier in the surroundings of the base. Su also used his infrared sight, but he didn’t find any hidden sentries. There were only ten or so automatic machine gun towers that slowly turned about, using their dark red electronic eyes to sweep through the darkness. However, for a good hunter, avoiding this degree of electronic detection only required entry level skills. 

However, the base was definitely not as easy to infiltrate as it looked to be on the surface. Su spent an entire hour observing the surroundings, and he discovered a strange phenomenon. Everyone in the base would always avoid an intangible region. In other words, regardless of whether it was a pedestrian, vehicle, something that came earlier, or whether they walked in a straight line, as soon as they reached a certain area, even though the place ahead of them was vacant, they would still walk around it. 

The region didn’t have any markings, but based on the behavior he observed from the base’s activity, he recorded the scope of this area mentally, and then he passed through this region. When he did so, he could feel at least ten different human detecting waves land on his body. He had long adjusted his body tissue’s properties so that the detecting waves were completely absorbed, and that was why he could noiselessly infiltrate the base. 

Several radomes were installed at the roof of the center building, as well as several guided missile firing racks that continuously rotated about. From their outer shapes, these bullets were most likely dual-use armor-piercing bullets. 

Every single person in this Blue Scorpion base was quiet. Apart from the rumbling machinery, no sounds could be heard. The doors into the central building were tightly closed, and even after waiting for an entire hour, Su only saw a single person enter. The guarded entrance used an eye-recognition system, which made Su give up on all plans of taking a look inside.  

The scouting up to this point was already enough. Su began to carefully consider if he should leave behind some damage before leaving. However, he rejected this idea soon after. Doing so would only increase Blue Scorpion’s level of alertness and maybe even cause a replacement of the alert system. If his previous speculations weren’t wrong and this forward operating base used a human detecting system for its warning system, then what Blue Scorpion’s main base used should be a similar system. However, no matter what angle you considered it from, it was still better for Blue Scorpion not to replace this system. 

At this time, a cursing sound suddenly drew Su’s attention. Inside the base without any human sounds, this noise was particularly ear-piercing. He was somewhat shocked as he looked in the direction where the sound came from. He saw a middle-aged man wearing a dark blue uniform walk over, and strings of curse words flew from his mouth one after another. It was clear that this individual didn’t care about his grammar at all, and that he only cared about the impact of the wording. He didn’t have much hair on his head, and with his large belly, even just walking was a bit difficult. However, judging from the numerous military symbols, ribbons, and decorations on his shoulders and chest, he seemed to be a rather high level officer. 

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