The environment was stabilized, automated controls were put in place to let the ship actually get flown from the bridge, and all that was left to do was pick a place to fly the Doomsday (as the Argent Hand was re-christened) for maximum effect.
Itsaboy wanted to build a magical anchor large enough to encompass a moon (this would take a few days) and then go liberate Morpheus. From the nightmares. Who were currently their allies. "This is not the time," was Cane's thought on that, followed by, "Why don't we do it to Paladine and Amalthea?" The answer being:
(1) They didn't know if it would actually pop the moon just by nullifying the lords' powers (they didn't know that it wouldn't, either, which is why Itsaboy was willing to wait on trying it on Morpheus).
(2) Mundane defenses could still rip them to shreds -- the magical anchors were fragile.
(3) The time bomb was the only ship that could reach Paladine in a reasonable time period -- and by itself wouldn't be able to finish the job against the lords if the moon didn't pop.
(4) Spending all their time on that would mean passing up the chance to assault Enka directly before it reached Rii.
Because Enka was travelling to Rii, accompanied by a massive fleet. That had to be their primary target! Even though they had no idea if the anchor would help against Enka at all, and even though their drakivolki fleet was probably too small to win in a fair fight.
Eventually, they decided to send almost everyone after Enka with a massive magical anchor to protect their fleet from Enka's huge advantage in Lords (including most of their clockwork, which were powered by lord-like magic; the rest were powered by mana crystals).
However, the Time Bomb would instead make a suicide run on Amalthea with a moon-sized anchor -- the resistance's report was that only a few Stormlords were guarding Amalthea, which the anchor would nullify, and even if they couldn't pop the moon they could probably take out the lord factory with the Time Bomb's particle cannon, after the magical powers protecting it were nullified. And maybe they could get the resistance there to kill the Unicorns while their powers were nullified?
First, though, they had to find a way to get the Doomsday into battle.
Doomsday pilot: "You've got a lot of mana crystals, right?"
Cane: "About 30 from the Time Bomb... oh god, this thing's huge vanes eat mana crystals, don't they."
DP: "Yeah, about one a day. Per vane."
With some help, Nico managed to develop a way to enhance vanes to make them more mana efficient -- almost twice as efficient! That meant that they'd be able to get the Doomsday to the battle just about when they ran out of crystals.
So they decided to raid an Empire supply depot on the way. It'd also give them a chance to test-fire their main gun, using a rat (magically transformed into a person) as the sacrifice.
Cane tried to bluff the station into giving them their bucket of mana crystals without a fight, but they weren't fooled -- the only credentials he remembered in detail were for a certain draxin-addicted centaur he'd met on Amalthea... who was the current mage on site at the supply depot. Needless to say, the mage didn't have any problem figuring out which one of them was really him. Luckily, Nico's scrying revealed the failure of the deception in time for Cane to try to intimidate them into submission before they actually attacked.
Cane: "Okay, fine, we'll do this the hard way. Give us our mana crystals, or we'll see whether or not we can get this thing's main weapon to fire."
Fortunately, the Doomsday was heavily armored against cannon-fire, and shrugged off the attacks from the nine ships that were at the base when they flew up. Unfortunately, it didn't have any weapons to return fire with, other than the main cannon. Luckily, the main cannon actually worked when fed a transformed rat -- the species transformation did make the rat sentient, just like when people had been transformed into rats and became nonsentient until it wore off.
Unfortunately, the plasma net failed to do more than superficial damage to the station or the ships, aside from searing off the vanes of the ships it hit -- which was still useful! Crippled ships were crippled! Worse, the side effect of firing the gun was to drive everyone on board the ship crazy. Only a few people were driven *completely* crazy, but Cane had to go personally kick the ass of one of the warriors who'd managed to overwhelm everyone else in the gun chamber. And while Kyngeah could heal everyone, that meant that she wasn't piloting the ship, which was instead drifting closer to the station.
Where the five ships that hadn't been crippled by the plasma blast were preparing to board!
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