My Children Swarm the Cosmos – Chapter 61

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟏: 𝐓𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 (1)

SHWAAAHHH. . .

In the thick of a torrential downpour, the forest is a vibrant tapestry of life.

Bullets crackle through the air, each close call sending shivers down his spine. Bodies of his comrades litter the weed-choked earth, collecting pools of water—rain or blood, I can’t tell.

Clad in a full-body battlesuit, a sprayer attached to his body by hoses━Addmoon trembles at the sight of the carnage around him.

“They didn’t tell us those pirates had choppers!”

He crouches for cover with his last surviving comrade, against the incline of a root-riddled slope.

Her helmet, half-shattered, reveals her face. Her voice is faint as she speaks.

“Mission’s a bust. We walked right into an ambush.”

Her legs are gone. Blown off by helicopter gunfire moments ago.

“Addmoon. You can still get out of this.”

Her eyes are vacant, as if she knows he’ll soon be all alone.

“You can make it out.”

“NO, NO! We’re still alive! There’s gotta be someone among those guys who’s still kicking!”

“They are alive, but they’ll be dead soon. . . .”

POP! POP! POP!

The enemy is closing in. The forest is ablaze despite the sheets of rain pouring down from the sky. It seems there’s no one left to fight back, yet the gunfire and explosions never cease.

“Close your eyes, quickly. . . .”

“No! Why is it always me who survives?! I don’t want to be like this anymore. . .!”

“Stop being a baby. Do you want us both to die here?”

Beside him, she musters all her remaining strength to plead with him.

“Our squad is retreating behind us. There are injured soldiers there, our friends. If those damn choppers catch up to them, they’ll be wiped out. . . . Then there’ll be no one left.”

“They’re not even treating us like human beings, so who cares if they all die!”

“Do what you have to do, Addmoon! Please. . .!”

“If I transform, you’ll die. . .! You’ll be the first to go because you’re right next to me!”

“I’m going to die anyway, you bastard!”

Memories swirl through his consciousness, leaving him disoriented.

‘No, no, no. . . . If you die, I’ll have no one. . . . This can’t be. . . .’

➖Close your eyes. It hurts to watch.

‘Aaaagh. . . .’

➖This is a forest. There are many corpses here. Don’t think of them as your comrades. The living must live on. Those who can live must live. That is your role. Remember why you were deployed on this mission.

“Aaaagh! Aaaagh!”

➖If you don’t step up, everyone will die. If you don’t use your ability, someone else will die. That’s why you exist. That’s the only reason you’re needed.

“Aaaagh! Aaaaaaagh!!!”

‘Why am I like this again? What am I doing here? Where is this? Wait, who am I?’

➖You are a monster.

‘Why am I like this? I hate it. I didn’t want to do this. Why? They’re all going to die anyway.’

➖You are a monster who brings nothing but death.

‘It’s going to happen again. Everyone will die, and I’ll be the only one left. I’m scared. I’m afraid of what I’ll see when I open my eyes.’

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!”

The colossal figure rains viscous black fluid over the tank battalion and war machines of the MDD.

The boiling tar-like substance engulfs the battlefield, consuming Chimeraz and MDD machines alike.

“Aaaaaaaaagh! Aaaaaaaaagh!”

The Drone Hives that survived the black deluge with their powerful shield output unleash a volley of plasma fire at the behemoth.

KWA-BOOOOOM!!!

The giant, down on all fours, takes the plasma blasts head-on, its skull exploding in a gory spectacle.

Chunks of bone and flesh from what was once the giant’s head rain down in all directions, sizzling as they hit the black liquid.

The headless giant no longer screams.

THUD! THUD! THUD-THUD-THUD!!

Instead, the giant tramples its way through the colony, oblivious to the front lines. It propels its colossal form towards the MDD forces at an astonishing speed. Countless drones and small aircraft bombard its arms and back, while Humanoid Snipers in the rear target its joints. The few surviving war machines focus their fire on the regenerating giant.

GROAN. . . ROAR. . .

KWAAAAAAA!

The giant spews black fluid from the stump of its neck instead of crimson blood. The volume is incomparable to what it spewed when it still had its head.

The remaining MDD forces are gradually overwhelmed by the wave of black liquid. Shield outputs deplete, armor turns pitch black, and internal components and circuitry fail.

The berserk Chimeraz caught in the black tide also perish without resistance.

Everything that moves and every structure on the ground melts and loses its form.

The MDD aircraft, cut off from the tactical networking support of the Drone Hives, see their combat capabilities plummet, and they quickly fall prey to the Cresecter swarms.

Having decimated the MDD air force, the Cresecter swarms turn on each other before launching a plasma barrage at the giant.

KYEEEEEEEE!

The giant flails its arms while spewing black fluid into the air. Then, it scoops up the black liquid pooling on the ground and flings it skyward, downing the remaining Cresecters one by one.

Hours later, all that remains is a black inferno where everything has melted, and the lone figure of the giant, crawling across the hellish landscape in search of nonexistent enemies.

➖Addmoon.

The giant sustains burns from stepping in the black liquid. It regenerates, only to be burned again. This cycle continues. The shattered skull is slowly being restored—the lower jaw is back, and bone structure is growing all the way to the nose.

“Ggggggrrr. . . . Grrrrrr. . . . Ggggh. . .!”

➖Addmoon. Accept my waves.

“Gggghhhhh. . . . Aaagh!”

➖Your consciousness is awake now. Don’t shut out your awakened mind, trapped in fear.

“Aaaaaaaaagh. . . . Waaaaaaaagh. . . .”

➖Follow the waves through those memories.

The giant’s eyes are fully restored.

Tears of blood streaming down its face, the giant comes to a halt in the black liquid.

It had expected a black inferno where everything was dead.

It had expected to find itself alone in a desolate wasteland, devoid of enemies and allies alike.

CRACKLE, CRACKLE, CRACKLE. . .

However, what awaited the giant was not a black hell, but a scene of new birth.

➖Now you have ‘us’ by your side.

The entire colony, once completely melted, is regenerating. Its skeletal structure is being rapidly enveloped by tendrils and organic tissues, taking shape once more.

➖Addmoon-nim! Equillocke is truly in awe!

The giant breaks down and weeps.

“Goooooooooo. . . .”

With its wounded fingers, it touches the regenerating skeletal structure of the colony.

➖Addmoon-nim has annihilated the MDD’s Shock Trooper Corps and single-handedly purged the berserk colony!

➖Thanks to you, new children are being born!

Death.

Birth.

The giant slowly lowers itself to the ground at this crossroads.

And like falling into a dreamless slumber, it gently closes its eyes.

➖Rest here with the children.

SCREECH!

Born from the black liquid, Hydra variants writhe and converge.

➖You have done well, Addmoon. 

🔷🔷🔷

The battle between the UNF fleet and the Chimeraz fleet raged on for six hours, and still the flames showed no sign of dying down.

The largest Euryale entity remained safely in the rear, providing covering fire for the other Euryales with its Organic Accelerator Cannons.

In the vanguard, Chimeraz craft of all types tore into the enemy formation, creating a chaotic melee.

Still, with eleven Organic Accelerator Cannons pounding away and the Shockphonia tearing through with its tentacles, the battle was starting to turn in the Chimeraz’ favor.

Within the largest Euryale entity, a chamber had been set aside for Kreion to command.

Ludwig approached Kreion, who sat upon a throne, and whispered to him.

“Master . . . the satellite colonies of the 11th gas giant have been cleared . . . The MDD machine army has been annihilated, along with the out-of-control children. . .”

Kreion had created a separate, massive brain in order to command the large-scale fleet battle, with his own head connected to that brain via tentacles.

“Master . . ?”

The undulations of power flowing from him now felt to Ludwig like an enormous existence that he could not hope to understand.

“. . . I hear you.”

“Y-Yes . . .”

Kreion had closed his eyes in order to concentrate on the battle. The visual information that his own eyes were receiving was now unnecessary.

Ludwig continued.

“It seems that Bern has confirmed the withdrawal of each fleet that was defending the main colony planets . . . Therefore, the defense of the main colony planets will be left entirely to Bern . . . Phlegeth wishes to support the main fleet battle . . . Is that acceptable . . . ?”

“Do it.”

“Next . . . Gnox and Equillocke have discovered the cause of the children’s rampage on one of the satellite colonies of the 11th gas giant . . .”

Ludwig’s voice was filled with unconcealed anger as he reported.

“The leader of the 11th gas giant had been located on its largest satellite . . . However, a stealth Humanoid unit from an MDD assault force had launched a surprise attack, reducing the leader to a state of brain death . . . After which, they willfully activated the areas of its brain related to wave phenomena . . .”

“Why did the rampaging children initially target only their own kind?”

“They used the brain of the deceased leader to indiscriminately broadcast corrupted waves. Those corrupted waves damaged the brains of some of the children, driving them into a frenzy . . . Before Addmoon destroyed the leader’s brain, it had caused lasting damage to the areas of the brain that recognized their own kind . . . That seems to have caused confusion in their recognition . . .”

“Didn’t you report that the waves stopped after Addmoon destroyed the leader’s brain?”

“Yes . . . What was left after Addmoon destroyed that brain were children with brains that had already been damaged . . . Those children lost all concept of friend or foe, of waves, and were left with nothing but primal aggression in their damaged brains . . .”

Could it be that the MDD had partially deciphered the Chimeraz’ wave phenomena?

Kreion asked one more question.

“What about the children without brains?”

“The Xenoteras and the microbial entities did not go berserk . . . The same goes for the Hydra larvae, whose brains had not yet formed, and some of the Elite swarms, which share a multitude of brains . . .”

“Gnox had infiltrated the Human system, so it’s possible that they’re also targeting our waves.”

“. . . This is an incident that we absolutely cannot overlook . . . If they had been given enough time, all of the Juveniles in orbit around the 11th gas giant, under the control of that leader, would have gone berserk . . .”

“The MDD assault force that possessed that kind of technology has been wiped out, so that’s good enough for now. First, we need to finish this battle and then come up with some countermeasures.”

“I have no doubt that we will be victorious in this fleet battle . . . However, this will require time to regroup before the Drake invasion . . .”

🔷🔷🔷

While the battle raged in the Hecartra star system, chaos unfolded here in the Solar System.

The Crolr fleet had finally made its appearance.

➖They’re dispersing their fleet and destroying dimensional passageways!

➖We’ve lost contact with Rubyco!

➖Ganymede and Europa are under attack too!

The Crolr fleet attacked multiple locations in the Solar System simultaneously, without sending any kind of message to the people there.

The dimensional passageways connecting the Solar System to civilizations beyond were always guarded by the Allied Forces, but with the bulk of the UNF’s forces away, the dimensional passageways were left largely undefended against the Crolr fleet’s antimatter cannons.

The militaries of the various nations of the Solar System, having been caught off guard by this sudden attack, moved to an emergency footing in accordance with protocol to deal with the Crolr invasion.

Although the dimensional passageways connecting them to civilizations beyond were now non-functional, isolating the Solar System, the nations within the Solar System quickly convened their leaders and finalized their military cooperation.

Just as the Crolr had taken down the dimensional passageways one by one, so too did the nations of the Solar System take action. They would abandon the already-destroyed dimensional passageways, defend their own territories, and provide military support to any nation that was invaded first.

“Dammit!”

The Jovian moons of Europa and Ganymede, which were attacked immediately after the dimensional passageways, were transformed into war zones in an instant.

“Those damn bastards! I knew this would happen someday!”

The President of the Jovian Republic pounded his desk in the underground bunker on Ganymede.

“Why are they invading Jupiter of all places?”

“Defaulstellay also went silent after reporting that the Crolr fleet had appeared.”

“Do they make a habit of targeting the nations with the strongest militaries . . . ?”

The nation with the strongest military in the Solar System was Jupiter, and the nation with the strongest military out of all of humanity was Defaulstellay.

“Your Excellency. The Colossus unit has landed on Europa.”

A holographic display showed images of downtown Europa.

“Oh, for crying out loud . . .”

The sight of Europa was miserable.

Gigantic machines, larger than any building, had broken through the domed ceiling of the city.

These war machines, known as the Colossus unit, were striding across the ground on four legs, firing superheated lasers from their eyes. The output of those lasers was so powerful that the air filling the city was plasmified, resulting in an endless chain of explosions.

Meanwhile, some of the smaller Colossus units were raining down fission shells on the city, creating mushroom clouds of fusion explosions and firestorms that consumed everything in their path.

This indiscriminate method of attack instantly wiped out the Jovian regular army stationed in downtown Europa.

Meanwhile, some of the Crolr ships landed on the still-intact sections of the city, crushing the domed ceiling and planting their four legs on the ground.

They were Crolr dropships.

Crolr soldiers in powered armor armed with various firearms poured out from the dropships, slaughtering civilians as well.

There was no discrimination in their targets.

“Those savages . . . How can an intelligent species capable of creating a civilization do something like this . . . ?”

“We’ve dispatched fleets from Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn. For now, it looks like we’ll need to engage in a fleet battle in orbit around Europa.”

“The Crolr have 210 fleets. If we combine the entire military strength of the Solar System, we can handle them.”

They could handle them.

However, the permanent population of the Solar System alone exceeded 20 billion.

One could not help but lose all sense of reality when imagining how many people would die like those on Europa.

Meanwhile, part of the Crolr fleet landed on Earth. Earth, whose resources had been depleted and whose air and soil had been thoroughly polluted by centuries of nuclear war.

It would take more time and money than it would to establish a nation in order to clean up the pollution. And so, the leaders of the Solar System had sought out another alternative.

That alternative was Earth’s Cultural Preservation Zone.

Earth, which held great significance in terms of culture, history, and spirit, had only a single narrow urban ruin in North America that had been restored.

Earth, which until a few years ago had been ignored by every nation and had been something of an illicit testing ground and lawless zone, was only now starting to be managed and have its value recognized.

➖Commander Clorta. We have captured Earth’s Cultural Preservation Zone.

The only city on Earth was now a sea of flames, having been attacked by the Crolr’s Colossus unit and dropships.

The surface, which had already seen several mushroom clouds bloom, was now graced with yet another mushroom cloud of destruction.

The residents living in the safe, decontaminated zones, as well as the tourists visiting those zones, were all reduced to ash, regardless of age. Those who were not reduced to ash were burned to death in horrific forms.

The Solar System Union forces stationed on Earth were wiped out, with no hope of reinforcements.

➖Earth now belongs to the Crolr.

Above the dropships, an even larger ship spread its four legs and landed, enveloping the dropships like a mother hen. It was the Crolr mothership, with a beam of approximately 30 kilometers.

“Grrrrrr!”

Clorta’s fighting spirit was ignited as he gazed upon the human city, now a sea of flames.

➖Establish our first outpost here!

He raised his voice as the warrior caste of the Crolr race and the supreme commander of the invasion fleet.

➖Victory is not yet assured! Our current opponents are merely the humans of the Solar System! Even so, the combined military strength of these Solar System bastards is comparable to our fleet here!

➖We will trample and pillage as much as we can before the humans from other stars arrive!

➖And the Solar System will become the stepping stone for the conquest of the Human Galaxy! This Earth outpost will be the starting point!

The Crolr’s primal ambition burned fiercely like the flames of the city.

➖Carrdrarrk Crola!

➖The Crolr shall reign supreme!

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