I Woke Up Piloting the Strongest Starship, so I Became a Space Mercenary - Chapter 270

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Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

Two hours later, I found myself preparing to sortie inside Krishna’s cockpit.

“Um, the completion time for the convening of reinforcements is after 36 hours, right?”

“That’s right.”

“So why are we preparing for sortie now then?”

“Let’s see. Mimi, what would you do if the roof of your house is about to fall on top of you, or if the entire house is about to burn down due to fire?”

“Um…… I’d escape to a safe place?”

“That’s right. In other words, that’s how it is.”

As I replied to the puzzled Mimi who was tilting her head cutely, I ran Krishna’s diagnostic program just in case. Yep. The results were all good. Our ammo supply was perfect. As expected of my crew. The work was very thorough.

“Um, in other words, we’re preparing now because the pirates might decide to run away?”

“You got it. They’re probably making preparations to escape right about now. And that’s why we need to prepare for an early sortie as well.”

“The Refill Prime colony is a colony with a lot of elves, so it’s relatively difficult for outsiders to do shady activities here without being noticed, but it’s not like there aren’t any of those seedy types who do business with pirates here. They’re probably aware that Lt. Col. Serena, or rather, the imperial military was preparing to take action to some degree already.”

“Lt. Col. Serena wants to catch them off guard. That’s why we’re going to begin the operation way earlier than officially scheduled and get the pirates while their pants are down.”

“I see. But will they really fall for this? And do we have enough forces?”

“I’m sure those have already been accounted for. In the first place, there’s a good chance the schedule we were given was false from the start.”

There’s a saying that in order to deceive your enemies, you’d need to deceive your allies first. Well, in other words, that’s how it is. We couldn’t be sure when and where an information leak might occur after all. That’s why they disseminated false info to throw the pirates off. But how effective will this strategy prove to be? Well, we’re about to find out.

“Well, right now, we are just hired guns. Let’s just obediently follow our client’s commands…… Mei, Krishna is ready to sortie any time.”

『Understood. I’m in the middle of processing our departure from the port. As soon as we launch out, we’ll join up with the rest of the combined fleet and begin synchronous navigation.』

“I’ll leave it to you.”

I cut my call with Mei and sank my body deep into the pilot seat. I found Krishna’s main pilot seat really comfortable to sit on. Perhaps it’s because the ship was meant to be piloted for extended periods of time.

“In the end, we won’t have anything to do until the main battle starts, so let’s just relax for now. Just take it easy, you two.”

That was what I thought earlier.

『Enemy ship detected at Sector 3C. Hurry and head over.』

“Will do!”

It was extremely busy. Who said that we wouldn’t have anything to do until the main battle starts in earnest? I’ll sock him good.

Ugh. I really thought of things lightly.

The reason it was this busy was that the ruse was working a lot better than we expected, and many fishes were biting the bait. That’s why Lt. Col. Serena has been continuously making arrangements to intercept and wipe out the escaping pirates as we waited for all of our combined forces to convene.

“They’re actually using military spy satellites and anti-FTL traps for this operation. How lavish.”

“Those things are usually reserved for use in conflicts with other countries after all. She’s one nasty woman alright.”

The strategy of Lt. Col. Serena is basically as follows:

First, she’d scatter high-performance military spy satellites to the areas between the pirate bases and hyperlane nodes so we’d be able to detect the movements of the pirate ships attempting to escape via hyperlane. Once those ships get near the entrance of the hyperlane nodes, she’d activate the anti-FTL traps to interdict them and render their FTL Drives virtually useless. Finally, she’d send out mercenaries like me and the corvettes and destroyers under her command in order to capture or destroy the grounded and helpless pirate ships.

“Target spotted. You ready, guys?”

“Whenever you are.”

I aimed Krishna’s four laser cannons straight at the pirate ship currently suffering from uncontrolled multi-axis rolls due to being forcibly interdicted. Since it was next to impossible to get a steady aim in order to simply neutralize the target due to it spinning so much, them surviving my attack would depend on the pirate’s luck.

“Here you go. Fire, fire!”

The green-colored destructive laser rays mercilessly launched out and directly hit the pirate ship’s energy shield. Oh? It’s actually pretty tough huh?

『S-Stooop!?』

“Sorry, but no.”

They were desperately begging for mercy, but I’m not gonna hear any of it. There’s not enough time to take it slow and capture prisoners, and Krishna doesn’t have enough space to hold surrendered prisoners anyway. Its cargo hold is too small to contain a surrendered pirate ship’s cockpit block.

In the first place, pirates would never choose to surrender unless they think that the situation was absolutely hopeless. After all, once they surrender, their fate would be to be used as guinea pigs in inhumane experiments, and even if they didn’t die from those outright, they’d still be in for a lifetime of suffering…… Yeah, it was pretty harsh.

“Target has bailed out.”

“Oh, that’s rare. Okay then. Make sure to mark the escape pod and the ship’s main body.”

“Aye, aye, sir.”

Once we’ve marked it, we’d be able to recover the rest of the ship and its cargo as part of our loot without any danger of someone else stealing a march on us later on. The military would eventually deal with the escape pod themselves. It would be a valuable source of information after all.

“Sector 3C, clear.”

『Roger. Hurry and move to Sector 7D.』

“Roger that. Moving to Sector 7D.”

I activated our FTL Drive and started moving to the specified point. For now, the IFF systems of anti-FTL traps were working without a hitch. Well, they better be, since accidentally interdicting your allied forces would be a big pain after all.

“The anti-FTL traps are really amazing, aren’t they? Can’t we make use of them as well?”

“Oh, uh, I wonder. I personally have no idea regarding how to operate them.”

Although anti-FTL traps did exist in SOL, their actual method of use wasn’t really explained in detail. So, unfortunately, I didn’t know much regarding them.

“Anti-FTL traps are designed to be deployed from military ships after all, so I think it would be difficult. Besides, it’s far more powerful and has a lot more range compared to standard interdictors, but it’s not suitable for mercenary work since it’s not very flexible. You can’t make full use of their range unless you use them in tandem with military spy and recon satellites.”

“There you go, Mimi.”

“I see.”

Mimi was impressed after hearing Elma’s detailed explanation. I was also really impressed with the breadth of Elma’s knowledge about stuff like these. You can really count on Elma’s knowledge and experience in times like these. I really didn’t know a lot about this world apart from what I’ve learned from SOL, so apart from game knowledge, I practically knew jack squat.

“But they were supposedly gunning to develop a more destructive weapon initially when they were developing the tech for interdictors. What did they call it again? Super-graviton cannon[1]? Gravity Burst[2]?”

“That’s bad, Elma-san! Don’t go any further!”

“Huh? What is?”

“Oh, uh, nothing. Don’t mind me.”

I couldn’t help but react…… But those names though…… Anyway, it seems that interdictor tech was originally derived from gravity or mass manipulation technology, and if the tech were to be developed into more directly destructive weapon systems, they’d eventually get names like that. It’s inevitable, I suppose.

“Let’s move on with the story then. So, they managed to vastly improve the overall range, but their power was drastically lowered as a consequence, so they didn’t manage to develop destructive weaponry as they initially intended. But they were still really useful for messing with the FTL Drives of ships in an extremely wide area, so they came to be known as the anti-FTL traps of today.”

“”I see.””

We arrived at the target sector while listening to Elma’s trivia. I deactivated the FTL Drive and discovered another pirate ship spinning out of control in the middle of outer space again.

“Target spotted. We’re taking it down.”

“”Aye, aye, sir.””

Now then, it looks like Lt. Col. Serena’s strategy was working pretty well so far. If we continue to reduce their numbers steadily like this, we’d be able to wipe out the Red Flag space pirates hanging around in the Refill system without much fuss.

Our forces would be fully assembled in about thirty hours more, and once that happens, we’d begin a full-scale subjugation operation in earnest. Now then, I wonder how many more pirates would fall for the trap.

TL Notes:

[1] Super-graviton cannon – The superweapon used by the Fleet of Fog ships in Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio

 

[2] Gravity Burst – one of the signature abilities of Hearts; a character that appears in Dragon Ball Super

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