Chapter 2218 Agent Lucky
A stealth shuttle quietly approached a seemingly random asteroid floating in a field of asteroids.
It elicited no disturbance in its voyage. With hardly any strong light sources in the periphery of Xiphard Base, no hardly any light or other radiation shone in the shuttle's direction.
Even if someone shone a spotlight at the shuttle, there was no way it would become visible!
Through a combination of highly sophisticated stealth technologies, light and other energy seemed to pass straight through the shuttle's structure without revealing anything.
Even other forms of detection such as gravitic sensors and more esoteric hardware were also hoodwinked!
Perhaps the only major threat that could shred the stealth shuttle's facade was if something physical flung straight into its chassis.
However, even there the shuttle readied a response. The vehicle expertly manipulated the ubiquitous space dust and particles released from asteroid collisions.
If someone thought that a low-tech solution such as throwing huge volumes of sand in space would successfully reveal the passage of invisible objects, then they were sorely mistaken!
Second-class stealth technology already incorporated hundreds of different solutions to common means of detection!
The Crona Lords completely missed the fact that a stealth shuttle and a certain commando cat had entered the depths of their sanctum.
Now, Lucky would be making another trip. Inside the interior of the shuttle, racks and racks of gadgets occupied much of the space, leaving little room for the mechanical cat and the pair of Black Cats assigned to manage the equipment.
A black-clad woman studied the projection that provided her with a wireframe map of Xiphard Base and its security perimeter.
With one huge asteroid at the center, several smaller asteroids chained around it and a decent amount of pirate mechs patrolling beyond, it seemed daunting to approach this formidable fortification.
Lucky flicked his tail nervously. "Meow."
"It will be fine, Agent Lucky. While we are on a tight schedule, don't hesitate to skip certain tasks if the risk of discovery is too great."
"We are nearing our first objective. Your first task is to disable the twenty-seven Alpha Mines that are spread in the outer perimeter of the pirate base. We have already uploaded the schematics of the Alpha Mine and which components and subcomponents you need to disable."
Hardly any of the mechs on patrols paid much attention to their surroundings. The stealth shuttle halted right next to the asteroid that hid a devastatingly powerful nuclear payload.
Lucky phased right through the shuttle hull and quickly dove straight through the asteroid as if all of the rock was nothing but air.
The brief exposure in space did not trip up any sensors. Neither the Alpha Mine nor the mech patrolling a few kilometers away noticed anything due to the Misfortune Harness that Lucky currently wore!
Once inside, the commando cat instantly recalled the schematics of the Alpha Mine and quickly phased to the center of the big rock. Eventually, he came very close to the explosive warhead and the components built to regulate its activation.
Lucky flitted around and swiped his claws several times. With each attack, his claw only phased back into existence long enough to cut through certain wires, demolish tiny subcomponents or ruin critically important processors!
Normally, an Alpha Mine frequently checked the condition and operation of all of its systems and components. As soon as one of them malfunctioned or became irresponsible, the mine was supposed to transmit a discrete signal back to Xiphard Base.
It just so happened that Lucky destroyed one of the transmission mechanisms first! Shortly after that, he destroyed the various redundant systems that were supposed to check the integrity of the Alpha Mines.
Once Lucky tore apart all of these safety systems, he was free to destroy some of the more essential mechanisms!
Though he only spent two minutes of time to tear apart all of the key components, the Alpha Mine no longer posed a threat!
Even if some pirates accessed its interior and replaced the broken components, it would take too much time to repair them all. There was no way the Crona Lords could finish the task in the middle of a battle!
Lucky phased out of the inert asteroid and dove straight back into the stealth shuttle, which had already shifted to a different position out of caution.
Though the Crona Lords didn't possess any sensors that could pick up the stealth shuttle, Lucky was different.
After eating some CFA gadgets and an entire CFA shuttle a few years ago, his detection ability was on par with first-class technology!
Even if the tech he assimilated was outdated, the Big Two's equipment at the time was still significantly more advanced than anything a second-rate state was capable of developing.
Therefore, to Lucky's sophisticated, multidimensional miniaturized sensor suite, the shuttle stood out like a sore thumb in space!
When Lucky phased back inside the shuttle, the vehicle quietly flew to another Alpha Mine.
In the meantime, Lucky draped himself over the lap of the Back Cat officer in order to offer himself to gentle caresses.
"Good job, but this is just the beginning."
It took many hours to sabotage all twenty-seven Alpha Mines. While Lucky only needed minutes to covertly disarm each of them, the mines were spread around many kilometers apart from each other.
Though it was easy to traverse this distance in the open, the stealth shuttle had to rely on very unobtrusive means of propulsion in order to avoid whipping up any disturbances. Just because the Crona Lords were unlikely to detect the intruder did not mean that the shuttle pilot could act careless!
In the end, sabotaging the Alpha Mines turned into a chore more than anything. The Crona Lords placed them a fair distance from Xiphard Base as the pirates did not wish for their explosive packages to impact their mechs and assets!
Lucky and the Black Cats considered this step to be a warm-up phase. Now that Lucky was tasked with sabotaging the Beta Ships and the various carrier vessels of the Crona Lords, the stealth shuttle had to fly much closer into Xiphard Base's security perimeter.
At this point, if the pirates ever detected the stealth shuttle, it was unlikely for the craft and its crew to escape death or capture!
"You need to act with much more care from now on. Just a single mistake can spell the premature end of this operation."
The stealth shuttle approached one of the several derelict-looking ships parked just outside the defensive asteroids.
If anyone looked at one of the disguised Beta Ships, they would have instantly dismissed it as a threat. Its corroded, pockmarked exterior made it seem as if the Crona Lords had retrieved them from a battlefield but didn't bother to fix them up!
Due to all of the other space junk dumped in and around Xiphard Base, the Beta Ships blended in well.
It was only when Lucky phased through the solid Kavenit alloys that made up much of the structure that the scenery changed.
Lucky entered a clean compartment that hummed quietly. Various ship components lit up around him, signifying that the Beta Ship was constantly active but put on standby.
A skeletron crew comprising of just a single engineer and a handful of other pirates were secretly stationed on the ship.
Due to lack of systems on the Beta Ship, the cat did not need to mess with too many components.
As suicide ramming vessels, the Beta Ships almost solely relied on its oversized and upscaled sunlight propulsion systems to perform their sole job.
While their propulsion systems incorporated a lot of redundancies, that only meant that Lucky had to spend a bit more time.
Sabotaging a ship was different from disarming a mine. Lucky had to render the Beta Ships useless underneath the noses of a small but active crew.
Still, after the engineers of the Larkinson Clan poured over the detailed scans and schematics of the Beta Ships, they formulated a precise plan. Lucky merely had to follow all of the steps to complete his job.
First, he quietly disabled all of the sensors and inspection modules that watched out for irregularities. Then he began to tamper with the various systems that regulated the propulsion systems. Finally, he uploaded some malware to the Beta Ship's various control systems.
He did not do anything to the crew. It wasn't necessary to assassinate or poison them when the Beta Ship already couldn't be fixed.
It took several hours for Lucky to be brought to all five Beta Ships as well as several other pirate ships to perform his meticulous sabotage.
The Crona Lords owned interesting carrier vessels. Most of them originally started off as light carriers, but the pirates had gradually upgraded their internal structure and exterior hull with Kavenit alloys to strengthen them in a comprehensive manner.
After so many upgrades, the vessels couldn't be categorized as light carriers anymore. However, their resilience still fell short of purpose-built combat carriers due to the inherent inadequacies of the original ship class.
The Crona Lords just called them medium carriers in their internal documentation.
Regardless of how they were called, they were large vessels crewed by hundreds of pirates.
It was a lot harder for a little commando cat to remain undetected while he sneaked inside!
While he wore his Misfortune Harness, he became nigh-undetectable to regular detection methods. By spending most of his time phased through solid materials, not even the unalert crew members noticed any signs of an intruding cat!
Even so, Lucky had to act a lot more delicately to sabotage the ship. His main task was to tamper with the propulsion systems in order to prevent the pirates from retreating.
Lucky also tampered with various other systems. By installing some timed explosives and messing with some other components, the Crona Lords aboard the medium carrier were definitely going to suffer when the assault commenced!
Due to the lack of time, Lucky couldn't mess with too many essential components. With each sabotage he performed, the chance of discovery increased.
It would have been ideal if the mechanical cat could tamper with the mechs fielded by the Crona Lords, but there were way too many of them. They frequently went on patrol and received a lot of inspections.
With so many ships to visit, Lucky could only stay for ten minutes at most before he had to leave.
It took a long time before Lucky visited all of the ships in the vicinity. The stealth shuttle then proceeded to bring him closer to the defensive asteroids placed around the main base.
These defensive outposts featured numerous turrets and missile launchers, but they weren't too important.
The main role of these defensive asteroids was to act as solid obstacles. Their sheer bulk stopped many means of striking Xiphard Base directly from long range.
Despite their importance, the defensive asteroids offered plenty of solid mass for Lucky to remain undetected as he phased from compartment to compartment.
He not only tampered with the power systems, but also dropped a few surprises in the chambers that stored a lot of missiles.
After Lucky successfully compromised the functioning of all of the defensive asteroids did the shuttle bring him to his final destination.
Upon entering Xiphard Base, Lucky began to visit various important sections of the large base. He managed to remain completely undetected as he paid a visit to various power generators, security centers, ammunition storerooms.
During his sabotage, he also started to approach some of the more important-looking pirate officers. He didn't claw out their necks for fear of alarming the pirates. Instead, he dipped his paws with some poison and tapped very lightly on the skin of his targets.
The slow-acting poison would remain dormant within the bodies of the victims until they became more active. Once their excitement surpassed a certain standard, the poison would quickly act up and cause the victims to die or lose their consciousness!
Sadly, Lucky hadn't managed to bump into Supreme Lord Roda himself. Xiphard Base was actually pretty large and the pirate commander could be everywhere.
As time began to run out, Lucky finally reached a hidden base section which stored the latest and arguably the most potent secret weapon of the Crona Lords.
The Omega Laser..
An elite crew of weapon technicians and operators kept a very close eye on its various systems. Due to the meticulous design of this superweapon, it was impossible for Lucky to sabotage it with impunity like before!