Part 90: LemalI'll definitely need to experiment with it the next time I run into a bunch of the digitalis then.
Three systems down, two more to go until we have a choice of where to travel to. Up next is Egos, the last one that I've seen(and only part of it).
To kill everyone and everything for the sheer lulz of it? No??
Skars unfortunately gave Lia an out here, and she once again ignores the real question.
Irrelevant shadows among the countless trillions who have fallen ...
If they weren't we'd be stuck here forever, so yeah I guess.
Or maybe there's just there to make our struggle difficult, and there's no reward to be had at all.
Another five planets in this system. The Inhibitor is on Chanson, while Lemal is the only one we can access at the moment.
A pretty sizable map here, with more destruction and 'holes', but also a lot of previous construction to deal with.
Time for some more heavy space-magic nonsense.
So basically Aether is the new version of TechNytes. We get to research again now.
That bluish structure starts producing creeper immediately, and a fairly good amount of it. Also, these blocks of creeper move along the bottom and left sides of the compound, protecting it from any approach. That'll be just spiffy. It looks like there is a treasure trove of shield keys in there; three of them - but it'll take some doing to get to them.
Our good friend the Digitalis protects the Forge also.
Process of elimination leaves setting up the command node to the southwest. A single ore deposit along with a pair of siphons, each of which has 800 more ore to contribute, are available. The creeper from the Forge to the east, and the Totems to the north, soon begins to encroach across these twisting pathways that cross the nothingness. Token defenses of a cannon or two are all that is needed to hold that back.
Takes a couple tries, but a sprayer and a few cannons are able to get across towards the forge. Lia's briefing gave us a clear series of goals, and this is first on the agenda. I lost a few things taking out that first emitter, until I realized that Nullifiers can fire uphill to higher terrain. Makes it a lot easier.
Getting a Sprayer onto that power zone ended up having an effect I didn't anticipate; it very quickly spread anti-creeper throughout the digitalis on the raised platform where the Forge is. That should prove useful. Going around the bottom there can be a real pain since there's not much room and the digitalis is still getting fed by the emitter on the other side. This, however, made it pretty simple to take a more direct route ...
Now it would just be a matter of time, and not that much, to take out that second emitter and end the digitalis threat for good.
Not having a better idea of what to do with them, I put reactors on the power zones. For the record, I had 9.8 produced before this, and each of them added four more, nearly doubling it to 17.8. So SuperReactors like super every elses are quite nice, worth several of them anywhere else.
With the first major objective achieved, I needed to head northwest for the Totems that would supply Aether(whatever the heck that is) to the Forge so it could operate. After clearing out all the creeper in the southeast I moved the weapons across the map. Here the creeper had more time to build up, so I used a substantial amount of the remaining ore to have the sprayer contribute. It would take a bit of time to create enough room for a beachhead on the north side.
Even with a SuperCannon in place, it still took a bit to clear out the remaining resistance. Two Totems to supply us ... and between them, if you look closely, there's a spot to place a siphon to gather even more.
Once we hook all that up, here's how things look back at the Forge. The Aether itself is those small, barely-visible whitish things with a dark center, wafting their way through the air over here. You can see that at least for now, our upgrade options are limited and half of them we can't even do anything with. Fire rate, energy and ore storage, energy and ore efficiency we do have though. I went with fire rate first but would eventually max out these possibilities.
That left just one object left; the Ticon structure in the middle of the compound which dominates the map.
By this point, it's flooded the entirety of the main chamber and flowed over some. So we've got a lot of creeper to deal with. The blocks are still doing their thing; in fact I think they are bigger than before. I think this works like most of the CW2 manipulation did, by drawing creeper from the machine to feed the blocks.
This was my first idea. I didn't work, but hey it was worth a shot. I built a wall to stop the blocks ... but as you can see it just flows right over it. Doesn't stop, slow down, etc. I'd used up the extra ore but still had the one deposit operating, so I built a couple of bomber bases to pound the main chamber. That wasn't going to be nearly enough on it's own, but it would help limit how much built up in there.
I tried digging a bit to stop the blocks, because I noticed that the compound 'floor' is at a height of 7. The walls of it are at 10, but by digging down to 1 I'd give it a bigger obstacle to traverse. Again, the blocks don't care. Here I'm also just removing the wall sections by lowering them down to 7. I've got to build a massive front of weapons to take out the blocks as they approach, so I can build relays behind them. If any creeper at all reaches relays or collectors, they incinerate them instantly. This is the only way I can think of to get into the main chamber itself.
Mortars are too slow to take on the blocks ... by the time their payload arrives the block has already moved. So this was a job for pulse cannons. LOTS of pulse cannons. I lost a few things in the process but eventually it works. Here I've literally removed the wall with with a terra so that I can just waltz into the main chamber now.
All of these little 'posts' make maneuvering and advancing a pain ... so I just bring a Terra with me to eliminate them as we go. As we get closer, the mortars start to serve more of a useful purpose.
When the Ticon machine goes down, courtesy of a nullifier of course, something predictable and yet surprising happens. The blocks stop moving, and release their payload right where they are. This ... creates some minor issues as they overflow the walls of the compound in a couple spots and I have to redirect some cannons to deal with the mess. But we're now totally in cleanup mode. In a few minutes time, I'm able to collect the trio of shield keys, and the threat from another world is eliminated.
Now only Chanson, site of the Warp Inhibitor, is off-limits to us. The three systems in the middle orbit are now available in whatever order I may wish to visit them.