After that white beam of energy shot out, the force field generated by the shield fighters dropped to 40% power. If he was still human, Lucas would’ve undoubtedly started sweating. Such enormous power! More of the manufacturing plants were slowly maneuvering themselves around. The barrels of that huge weapon swiveled as well, attempting to lock onto Lucas’ two fleets.
That were still almost 600 manufacturing ships that could still fire their weapons! Lucas knew he needed to take immediate action. Manipulating his internal map, Lucas overclocked his positronic brain. His perception of time slowed down, giving him enough time to give orders to the ships in the fleet.
The spherical formation split apart. The shield fighters formed a square in front of them, boosting the strength of the now much smaller shield to 120% of the previous shield’s power. The other ships in the formation shot forward at their fastest speed towards the closest manufacturing ships.
The various fighters arrived first, stopping right beside the manufacturing ships’ hulls. Just like the enemy had realized, Lucas had also discovered that physical objects could penetrate force fields. The next ships that arrived were the destroyers and then the battleships. They surrounded the two chosen manufacturing plants just a couple feet away from its hull.
The other manufacturing ships locked onto the two that Lucas surrounded but hesitated to fire. Lucas ordered his ships not to fire. It was better to not force them to take action until he could bring in some reinforcements from the other locations.
At the battle station, the supporting fleet had been wiped out. One of Lucas’ fleets had suffered losses when the supporting fleet had flown through the shield fighters’ force field and started firing on the ships within. Luckily, Lucas’ ships could still activate their own individual forcefields so losses weren’t super bad. At least, they weren’t until the robots started ramming Lucas’ ships.
Most of the kamikaze ships focused on the battleships, rightfully assuming that they were the biggest threat to them. Lucas ordered the fighters to ram the enemy ships if they came too close to a battleship, giving them a taste of their own medicine. The destroyers protecting the battleships unleashed hundreds of thousands of plasma bolts at the enemy as they charged in recklessly at the battleships, playing their part in the enemy’s destruction.
Lucas lost over ten battleships, two hundred fighters, and twelve destroyers to the supporting enemy fleet. Their suicidal charge quickly diminished their numbers, exposing themselves to fire that they normally would have tried to evade. The tactic was effective though, since they wouldn’t have been able to kill a single one of Lucas’ ships if they hadn’t charged.
The battle station had been firing at one of the three fleets surrounding it the entire time. The supporting fleet had also been firing at the same fleet. Now, its efforts came to fruition. The shield on it had been slowly weakening and was now at 10%. Due to the low power, the shield started to become spotty. Random holes would open up in the shield, causing some of the enemy fire to slip by. After another thirteen minutes, the shield failed completely.
Lucas ordered the fleet to split up and attempt to join the other fleet formations. As it did, the heavy firepower of the battle station focused on the battleships, causing enormous casualties. Out of the eighty-five battleships that survived the kamikaze attack, only twenty-three made it to the other two fleets successfully.
The battle station was also taking a beating. Holes were ripped into its thick armor and its shields were also diminishing little by little. Without its supporting fleet, the battle station could only beat on the fleets’ shields from a distance. It would take some time before the shields were diminished enough to get to the less protected ships underneath.
Lucas also ordered the shield fighters to form a square shaped shield aimed towards the battle station. With this, the shield’s power became even stronger than before. This way, it would take longer for them to break through.
Lucas would have done so earlier, but he was worried that the enemy ships from the supporting fleet would try to outflank him on his unshielded sides. The one-sided shield was only viable if the enemies were in one direction and couldn’t outflank him. Otherwise it would only make his fleets vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the main enemy fleet had almost been wiped out by Lucas’ fleets. Just like with the supporting fleet, the main fleet charged at one of Lucas’ fleets. The fighters arrived first, then the cruisers, the destroyers, and finally the enemy battleships.
Lasers and plasma flew everywhere as the enemy ships were practically touching his formation. Their fighters were particularly annoying since they were a lot faster than other ships and couldn’t be intercepted easily. The fighters would ram into important parts like a ship’s engines or its reactor, causing serious destruction to ensue.
They were so fast and nimble that they were almost impossible to stop unless a destroyer focused on one fighter at a time. With their numbers, it was impossible to stop them all. What was even more annoying was that they were targeting battleships again. They managed to completely destroy one of Lucas’ fleets and half of another before the last enemy ship blew up.
With that done, Lucas started to ponder. He could either send the two and a half fleets towards the manufacturing ships or have them join the fight against the battle station. After five seconds of thinking, Lucas immediately dispatched them towards the battle station.
Currently, the manufacturing ships were not fighting him. If he sent over these reinforcements, then the fight could start up once more. If that happened, Lucas believed he would face serious consequences. It would be better to finish up the fight with the battle station and then send the rest of his fleets in and crush them in one fell swoop.
With the additional reinforcements, the battle station quickly fell. The railguns were simply too powerful. Lucas ordered his fleets to stay there as an idea suddenly occurred to him. He remembered reading in his history books about some of the major fleet battles. An Admiral Kashchiev of the UEF had been a particularly outstanding commander. One of the strategies he was known for was called Metal Rain.
It was a strategy that was very basic. In space, there was no friction. As a result, an object in space would keep the same speed unless it was affected by the gravity of a planet. Admiral Kashchiev used this principle to the fullest.
Filling space with thousands of railgun shells, he would bombard the enemy fleets over ten hours journey from their systems, well away from any detection systems. Unless the enemy fleet moved within that time frame, it was a guaranteed hit. Of course, tactics had advanced to the point where such a strategy was antiquated. However, maybe it was applicable in this case.
Those huge manufacturing ships were very slow moving, as showcased by how long it took for just a single one to line up its armament with one of Lucas’ fleets. They were prime targets for long range railgun bombardment.
Ordering his ships to take aim, Lucas’ battleships fired. Hundreds of thousands of railgun shells shot outwards every second. After ten seconds of firing, the target of the bombardment would be switched. His ships continued on their course towards the manufacturing ships. It would only make them suspicious if he suddenly stopped.
Lucas smiled. Soon, the railgun shells would impact the manufacturing ships. Just what kind of havoc would they wreak?