Age of Cosmic Exploration
Translators: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lonelytree, _Dark_Angel_
Editors: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lucas
Chapter 127: Might of the Homo Evolutis!
Zhang Heng’s divination power was very well-known among the Hope’s citizens, so much so that he was often stopped to predict humanity’s future while he was out on his walks. These encounters made him feel equally humbled and frustrated.
Compared to Chou Yue, whose power occasionally worked, Zhang Heng’s power had become a hallmark of the Diviner. The description and entries on the Diviner kept by the Homo Evolutis faction was written with Zhang Heng in mind!
His power was so strong that he had never once failed to predict a source of danger. What he had was more than a simple sixth sense, it was beyond scientific explanation because he could technically see into the future at this point.
Other than the few Homo Evolutis, Yao Yuan’s space troopers consisted of trained ex-military, including some from the American Delta Task Force. Trained soldiers that they were, after the troopers were formed, they put in extra effort to get to know their comrades because a strong bond was crucial on the battlefield. When they were doing their rounds, the Thinker, Xiao Niao and Diviner, Zhang Heng were the ones that held their interest the most.
The Thinker was akin to an on-the-spot intelligence processing center, an important asset because many a times a secure feed of information could do wonders to turn the tide of battle. On the other hand, the Diviner was similar to a 24-hour alarm. Not only could he predict danger coming from mines, traps or ambushes wouldn’t escape his detection either.
Before the mission started, Yao Yuan had secretly ordered his Black Star members and these former special ops to look after both Xiao Niao and Zhang Heng because the 2 of them could very well decide the fate of the whole troop.
Therefore, the moment Zhang Heng screamed his warning, everyone moved into their designated stations. Zhang Heng’s power hadn’t failed them before, so it was unlikely for him to be wrong now!
Yao Yuan roared, "Stick to your pre-assigned units. Then 3 units will form a team because we don’t have the luxury to scour the battleship as a complete troop anymore. Split up, but keep communications open. Spread out into the battleship. Priority 1 is to locate the AI. Demolish all robots that stand in the way!
"Listen up, the Hope has lost its power for about 13 minutes. According to the Hope’s size and population, its life support can only last for another 30 minutes. After that, the death count will start to climb, beginning with the babies and then the elderly…
"Understand that we don’t have much time left! We have to take out the AI as soon as possible!"
Thanks to the 6-month-long training, the space troopers were familiar to moving in space. Using the mini particle flux propellers installed in their palms, they moved around into teams with exceptional balance. Within 10 seconds, all of the teams were formed, and each team’s route was set.
The teams started moving off until it was only Yao Yuan, Ebon, Lee, and Zhang Heng, as well as Xiao Niao, who had been ordered by Yao Yuan to stay behind beforehand.
"We stick together as bait to lure the massive robot fleet away from everyone else," Yao Yuan explained, before ordering Zhang Heng to lead them towards the spot Zhang Heng felt the most robots would congregate.
Along the way, Xiao Niao whistled as ruins of once-great halls and pavilions came into view. "So this is where the 4th revolution will get us… They do look more advanced that what we have now. Luckily, it was a junkyard we stumbled into and not an actual alien battleship fleet. Who knows what disastrous fate would've befallen the Hope then."
Yao Yuan agreed. "Indeed. We should definitely consider ourselves lucky, because even the robots besieging us are half broken. Their outer shell may be indestructible by our standards, but years of disuse has exposed many soft spots. Plus, the internal chip prevents them from using the Gaussian weapons within the spaceship, also giving us the upper hand. Let’s not forget we have numbers on our side too.
"Other than that, this battleship itself is barely standing. Even if it was originally fitted with a defense mechanism, I’m pretty sure more than 90 percent of it isn’t working. The robots should be our only worry. With everything balancing out, I’d say we have a 50-50 chance of winning this. The only thing that can tip the scales in our favor is time, so we must earn the rest as much time as we possibly can from the robots!"
Suddenly, Zhang Heng frowned and yelled, "There’re at least 10 robots gathering at the room at the end of this corridor!"
Yao Yuan slipped instantly into motion. Unbuckling his Gaussian guns, he fired relentlessly down the darkened corridor. After about 3 rounds, he shifted the trajectory angle and launched yet another hail of bullets. He stopped 8 seconds later and sheathed the guns. When the group reached the field, about 15 robots laid in broken heaps on the floor.
"Lastly, we have one important advantage over the AI: the Homo Evolutis… Don’t forget that as the All-Rounder, I too can divine their location!" Yao Yuan said lightly, before moving on.
Needless to say, there were other robots patrolling the battleship, and at least 5 teams had come into contact with them… One of them was Ji Jie's, Ying's, and Liu Bai’s units. Under Ying’s leadership, they rushed relentlessly into the battleship’s depths, making the most progress of all the teams. This was thanks to Ying’s Seeker power. He believed that the AI had to be in the area that was the best preserved, as it would have the power structure to keep it alive. By analyzing the different routes’ state of decay, Ying brought them ever closer to the AI’s hiding spot!
They were running down a long corridor that led to an open corridor when a gauntlet of robots appeared at the pavilion entrance, blocking their way. Before long, more robots appeared on both ends, and they found themselves cornered in the middle of the corridor.
"It seems like my navigation is correct. The AI must be down this corridor and not far from that pavilion. I’ve paged for help, but all the nearby teams appear to have their hands full as well. We’re on our own."
Ying added, in his usual clipped manner, "I need 3 volunteers… These here are 3 N-Type hand grenades. One of these could level everything within a 300 meter radius and has almost double the blast range. There aren’t many of these in stock, so only Black Star members have them. I volunteer because I’m the only one who can tell the correct way, so I only need 2 more volunteers. To be fair to everyone, we’ll leave it to fate and do a random drawing. Everyone will throw their names in the hat, including the unit leaders. Is that fine with you, Liu Bai?"
Liu Bai shrugged. "Of course I’ll participate. How about you, Miss Ming? What’s your decision?"
With her head turned away from everyone else, staring straight ahead at the end of the corridor, she replied silkily, "I wonder… Lieutenant Ying and Lieutenant Liu Bai, have you seen the video recorded by Captain Yao Yuan’s spacesuit during his combat with the robots on the exploration mission?" Shielded from view, Ji Jie’s eyes were burning with an almost unhinged, homicidal rancor.
Ying and Liu Bai looked at each other before replying in unison, "We have."
"Did the video not remind you of a dance… a dance that transcends the shackles of life, one that glides gracefully between it and death? Watching it, I was visited by an idea… You see, perhaps that is the thing that separates us Homo Evolutis from the filthy banalities of the common folk, the ability to stare death in its eyes and make an art out of it. With that in mind, I feel we should…"
Activating the propeller in her spacesuit, Ji Jie slipped through a soldier standing beside her and swiped the Gaussian gun that hung on his waist. Unsheathing one of her own, Ji Jie shot down the corridor in the speed of light.
The moment she stepped out of the corridor, Ji Jie pressed her feet against the floor and, using the rebound, lifted herself up into the air. The moment her feet lifted off the ground, the spot she was on was already riddled with bullet holes, a few stray shots even blew the few soldiers who stood in the front deeper into the corridor.
Riding the wind, Ji Jie was submerged into a world of silence.
(First the power of Perceptor, then comes Seeker and Diviner… He must have used the Thinker’s power as well to keep up the extreme level of multitasking… Ahh, this rush, this dance with death… It’s a million times better than having an orgasm!) These thoughts were going through Ji Jie’s mind as her body leaped to the top of the pavilion ceiling. Twisting her shoulders, and under the aid of the propeller, she did a somersault in mid-air to turn her body around. Bowing her leg that connected with the ceiling, she launched herself straight as an arrow towards the ground. A row of bullet holes followed behind her, marking her impossible trail.
Then she started retaliating!
About 8 robots that separately crawled on the floor, climbed the wall, and floated in the air exploded in a shower of lightning sparks and metallic parts!
(Yes! The All-Rounder… is unsurprisingly the height of all Homo Evolutis! He’s definitely the only one who is worthy of being my mate! The rest of the Homo Evolutis could be allowed to live if they swear a life of slavery to me… And the other useless human beings must be exterminated like the bugs that they are! But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. I still need to earn his trust and infiltrate these people’s highest authority, only then can I…)