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  1. #141
    Vice-Admiral HaganeNoKaze's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 It's a bit late, but Happy birthday !

    Btw, this interlude was very cute and lovely, very appreciated ! Good chapter again ! :)


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    Many thanks to @Fuda ! Regulars GCT are wonderful !

  2. #142
    Marshal Admiral PixelSupreme's Avatar
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    Finally managed to catch up again. Looking forward for more. Yay Zuikaku!

    Also great interlude, very heart-warming.



  3. #143
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    It's been quite a while since I've come back to this, huh...Let us continue this story again~

    Part Twenty-five: In Both Body and Mind

    The collected girls move further into the workshop, quickly filling the large space. As the door slowly closes, Murakumo begins to remove her equipment, as does the rest of her team. The new arrivals stand to one side, their own expressions mixed.

    Yuubari looks back over her notes. "How'd the equipment fare today? Anything unusual?"

    "Torpedoes keep launching slightly to the right. Minor stutter in the left propulsion. Other than that, no problems." The veteran destroyer sighs. "I know we have been regaining our stockpile, but..."

    "I know, Ace. We'll get to work on potential upgrades soon...Minato's been holding back on production as you know."

    The young man shrugs. "I wanted some more solidarity in fleet numbers before starting on upgrades. I wasn't expecting to get all this so soon though."

    The light cruiser chuckles. "Seems someone higher up has high hopes for you. Considering your heroics during your trip to Fleet Command."

    "Yes." Shoukaku steps away from her companions, putting her bow down on the long table before starting to unlatch the plank on her arm. "Both you and Admiral Emerald were talked about at length among those that were there at the time."

    "That's no real surprise. Holding off that much with such a light force and all. " Yuubari nods and continues writing. "Standard air wing, right?"

    A nod. "Yes. Same with my sister." Said sister steps forward, a look of confidence on her face as she puts her free hand, balled into a fist, over her heart.

    "Even with just that, we'll show you how strong we are! Right, Shoukaku-nee?"

    "Of course."


    The rest of the inspection continues, Yuubari confirming specs with the new girls to make sure the records are updated, and in no time at all the rather large group leaves the workshop to head towards the mess hall (with the grey-haired cruiser staying to "assess the equipment"). No one speaks a word as they walk, only the sounds of their footsteps marking their passing across the courtyard. Only after entering the mess hall does a voice perk up, but not from among the crowd entering.

    "Welcom...Eh!?" Haguro is shocked to see so many new faces come through the door. "I heard we were getting a new girl, but..."

    Minato taps the case on his waist. "You and me both, Haguro. The usual today?"

    "Yes, but do we have enough..." She turns and goes further in back, her voice trailing off with "Yura-chan? We've got..."

    "Now then, make yourselves comfortable as you can and ask what you will of me." He remains standing, his back to the counter where Haguro was and arms folded, while most of the other girls take seats. Shiranui raises her hand quickly, her expression earnest. "Yes, Shiranui?"

    "Can you destroy an Abyssal with no assistance from a shipgirl?"

    While Yamashiro looks puzzled at the question, Fusou gives a nod. "Your destroyer did mention you had power similar to our own..."

    Minato chuckles. "Straight to the point, huh...Yes, I've sunk a few myself."

    Isokaze pipes up, one eyebrow raised. "And how did you do so, Commander? I don't think you can wield our armaments..."

    "Skills and techniques I've attained before I came here. Most would call it magic, sorcery."

    Shoukaku's eyes narrow. "So the sudden changes in wind direction, lightning strikes without a cloud in the sky..."

    The young man taps his right temple. "All by my hand and mind. Though the battle was truly won through the others' efforts."

    "But you still stood beside them. Not just in spirit as most do, but in body." Graf stands up. "And you survived without a scratch."

    "And I have her mainly to thank for that." Minato looks past the collected group of girls and motions to the far door...where a raven-haired destroyer is now standing. She tilts her head before slowly walking into the room, her expression neutral as she scans the faces both new and old.

    She stops right by the young man's side before doing a graceful turn towards the others. Putting one hand on her shoulder, he continues. "This is my secretary ship, Hayashimo. She was my partner that day, and has been ever since."

    Hayashimo bows slightly, her face unchanging. "I look forward to working with all of you."

    There's a slight twitch from Shiranui as Isokaze gives a nod. "Likewise."

    At that moment, Haguro and Yura emerge from the back of the room, both carrying trays laden with sandwiches. The long-haired light cruiser smiles. "Sorry for the wait, everyone...Though I'm sure the Admiral is keeping you entertained?"

    Fusou chuckles. "More or less. Do you need any help yourself...?"

    "Not at all. The offer is appreciated though." She sets down her trays, the heavy cruiser mirroring the action further down the counter. "Now, as for drinks...Is tea alright for all of you?"

    The foreign carrier clears her throat. "I'd prefer coffee, please."

    Yura puts one hand under her chin and glances at Haguro. "We haven't stocked on that since our first Admiral was here. She was rather particular about having it every morning."

    "Not to worry, light cruiser. I brought my own...if you will permit me to use the facilities?"

    "Admiral-san?"

    Minato shrugs. "I see no trouble in that. Haya, care to show her the way?"

    The destroyer nods without a word, glances towards Graf, then moves silently towards where Yura and Haguro came from. As she follows, the carrier can't help but notice the simple band of gold on the other's right hand...



    "Thank you for your hard work."
    Enlistment: A Story from the Observer (Interlude 2 Complete!)
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  4. #144
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 Wooo, continuity nod. And also Graf Coffee lives on. Glad to see things are able to move once again here. Always enjoy these little establishing chapters.

    [+] Spoiler
    Btw, I know yu saw the invite to Discord from Rie earlier, but in the case that yu aren't interested in the makeshift GCT there, do yu still have a Discord name to at least keep in touch with?


    I always pull my weight. I just happen to be made of helium.
    ~
    Ryuujou & Iku Anniversary 9/28/15 | Uranami Anniversary 3/1/17 | Fubuki Anniversary 4/24/17 | Akebono Anniversary 7/1/17 | Shimakaze Anniversary 5/4/16~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (9/12)


  5. #145
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    @Emerald Acid Coffee is an established part of her character, no matter where she goes. And yeah, it feels good to finally take the time to get back on writing...

    [+] Spoiler
    I do have a Discord name, and will send it along to you shortly via PM here.



    "Thank you for your hard work."
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  6. #146
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    thank you for share :)



  7. #147
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    Time keeps passing, and I keep writing. Slowly but surely...

    Part Twenty-six: The Observer and His Shadow

    The two arrive at the backroom kitchen, the only signs of its recent use being some cutting boards with scraps of meat and lettuce across one counter. Hayashimo turns towards a frowning Graf, her own expression holding a small smile.

    "Something...the matter, carrier?"

    A sigh and shake of the head. "Nothing of real concern. Just many questions that hopefully have answers."

    "Ask them when you feel the time is right. We are family now...as Minato says." The destroyer looks down at her ringed hand for a brief moment before she begins rummaging through the cabinets.

    "'Family'? I know he was speaking rather casually before, but...Are we not soldiers first? And he our Commander?"

    "Here we are." Hayashimo dusts off an old coffee machine, setting it on the counter. "We were made for combat, that is true. But he thinks differently."

    Graf tips her hat down as she pulls out a small bag from a pouch on her waist. "Truly. How everyone else acts towards him here is more cordial than strictly professional." She closes her eyes. "A marked difference from my interactions in High Command."

    "It was odd to some of us as well." A shake of the head. "But we soon welcomed such a change. Perhaps that was what we needed: someone who is like us, yet not."

    As the carrier begins to work the machine, she smiles. "Mmm, your fellow destroyer said he has powers of his own, rivaling our weapons against the Abyssals. At least one report from the defense of Command also conjectured as such...He's certainly no ordinary human."

    "He's not from...here." She blinks once and tilts her head while looking up. "Minato is a visitor from another world."

    Graf raises an eyebrow. "Is he now? While I did peg him to be foreign like myself, that is..."

    "Hard to believe, perhaps? All we have is his word and the powers he wields. And even with that, he's more human than any other Admiral I've served." She stands straight, putting a hand over her heart. "I would gladly give my life for him, and I feel he would do the same for me."

    A small scoff with a smile as the coffee begins to percolate. "Well then, tell me more of this man you are so bonded to. And perhaps a bit of yourself as well..."



    Meanwhile, the conversation in the mess hall eating area continues on after Hayashimo's and Graf's departure.

    "...She's been through some hard times, huh." Yamashiro gives a sideways glance to Minato while holding her teacup. "Though I suppose that goes for most of you here."

    Murakumo folds her arms. "I'm sure you've heard of the previous Admiral of this base and his actions leading up to his...discharge. In fact," She looks to Shiranui. "Were you not one of the destroyers who escorted him away that day?"

    "Yes. I was still unassigned to a base proper at the time." A sharp smirk appears on the destroyer's face. "The situation around here has certainly improved since then."

    Kuroshio gives a cheeky grin. "Sure has. After the Chief got com'ferable, things've been pretty lively. 'Specially with Haya-han~"

    Takanami nods. "Nee-san has become more open with all of us now. She was mostly reclusive before...Only speaking when spoken to, and only what was neccessary, maybe."

    Minato sighs, scratching his head. "You make me out to be some miracle worker...Though it is not all just me. From putting this base back into operation in such a short timeframe to fostering healthy relationships both on and off duty..."

    The veteran destroyer closes one eye, her head raised haughtily with a smirk, as she walks towards the young man. "Was all started by you. You showed us kindness when all we were given before was contempt. Direction when we were lost." She stops a few feet in front in him, putting her hands on her hips. "A reason to fight again."

    Isokaze stands up, one hand still on the table next to her. "Commander."

    "Hmm?"

    "From what little I have seen and heard, to call what you have done is nothing short of a miracle." She points at him with a dramatic flair. "Yet you as a person are a mystery to most. No known family, no prior achievements...Just rumors and hearsay. So I ask of you." The point turns into a open palm upward. "Who truly is 'The Observer', the man standing before me? What is his story before being called to serve?"

    "Well, it is a bit of a long one." Minato sits up on one of the counter stools and puts his elbows on his knees, fingers steepled downward. "But one I don't mind telling for those who'll listen. It begins with an encounter at my workshop, far from here..."



    The Admiral and his normally quiet secretary recount the past to their respective audiences. The former telling of his background and Yura's visit sparking his interest up to his assignment to Buin and his first few weeks. The latter recalling when she heard there would be a new Admiral assigned to the base, their first interactions and seeing of his powers, to the bond she shares with Minato symbolized by the simple ring on her hand. While Graf is mostly content to not interrupt Hayashimo, the other newcomers (especially Shiranui and Yamashiro) constantly pepper the Admiral with questions, rumors and their own remarks.

    Hayashimo sips on some tea she prepared earlier, her eyes closed. "...And that is the situation up to now." She then opens one, her expression once again neutral. "I hope it sates your curiosity, Graf?"

    The foreign carrier taps her chin as she stands. "Quite. Truly a curious place I've been assigned to..." She smiles. "With the personnel to match."

    Din don, din don...Din don, din don. A low tone resonates throughout the room, making the destroyer also stand. Setting down her cup, she turns to the door. "It's that time already, huh..."

    "For?"

    "Evening practice." She makes a motion to follow as she glides out of the room. "Come. Minato will be there as well."

    Graf takes one last look at the pair of pots (one coffee, the other tea) before following after Hayashimo.



    "Thank you for your hard work."
    Enlistment: A Story from the Observer (Interlude 2 Complete!)
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  8. #148
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    Yeeey, it continues~

    Extra development to get the newcomers more acclimated to their new setting, and it seems like next episode will involve a bit of a demonstration. Looking forward to more as always.


    I always pull my weight. I just happen to be made of helium.
    ~
    Ryuujou & Iku Anniversary 9/28/15 | Uranami Anniversary 3/1/17 | Fubuki Anniversary 4/24/17 | Akebono Anniversary 7/1/17 | Shimakaze Anniversary 5/4/16~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (9/12)


  9. #149
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    Little by little, I'm still working.

    Part Twenty-seven: Reborn Hope

    Graf is barely able to keep up with Hayashimo's pace as they exit the now-empty mess hall. The two head towards the harbor, where many of the other girls have gathered. Minato stands at the shoreline, his hands behind his back. Murakumo, Haguro and Yuubari are to his right while Natori and Yura are to his left, all in full rigging and their backs to the open ocean. As the young man's secretary tilts her head with an unusual frown, he begins to address the small crowd.

    "Today is one of commemoration, a welcoming to the newest members of our fleet. While I had only expected one carrier to arrive, High Command apparently saw fit to send far more." He looks at each of the newcomers in turn. "Fusou. Yamashiro. Shoukaku. Zuikaku. Isokaze. Shiranui. Graf Zeppelin. May our bonds grow and stay strong during these times of conflict and what comes after."

    The young man then tips his hat down, and the smile that was upon his face quickly fades. Haguro, Murakumo and Natori turn around, readying their guns towards the sky overlooking the harbor. Hayashimo puts one hand over her mouth as her eyes go wider, while Graf tips her hat up curiously.

    "Today is also one of remembrance...For those who were lost before my posting here." He puts his hands in his coat pockets and looks up at the crowd, his eyes hard with a hint of sadness. "Through the negligence of the former Commander of this base, they paid the ultimate price. I know not their faces, nor personalities. Only names and actions in scattered reports." He pulls one hand out, upon which a small flame flickers to life above it. Lifting the light to his eye level, one can see his mis-matched eyes in stark relief to the evening around them.

    "Nachi. Kinugasa. Miyuki. Hatsushimo. Kaga. Ryuujou. May this unknown soldier honor the lives you lived, and that your spirits either continue to rest or fight on, perhaps unaware of past fate."

    He turns away, towards the water, and throws the flame into the air. As it slowly falls, the three girls with guns turned skyward fire in unison into the darkening sky.

    Boom...Hayashimo begins to move again, towards her Admiral. Graf follows, watching the barrage fly through the cool air.
    Boom...They pass by Shiranui and Isokaze, both saluting towards the lights. Her legs feel like dead weight, muddled images flashing past her mind.
    Boom...She stops a few feet from the group at water's edge, hands on her knees, heaving as if she just ran a marathon. The foreign carrier comes up behind her, keeping a respectful distance with a curious look on her face.

    A minute or so passes, the sounds and light from the final barrage echoing around them. Then one by one the outfitted girls acknowledge Minato in their own way (Haguro and Natori with respective bows, Yura with a salute, Yuubari with only a smirk and nod) and drift out onto the water, leaving Murakumo to stay by Minato's side. As the cruisers begin their practice, both the young man and the silver-haired girl turn profile to the pair behind them.

    "It's an old custom from one of many places I called home. Three shots into the air to those lost in the line of duty." He motions to the girl beside him as he turns the rest of the way, one hand on his hip and the other on his head. "Murakumo told me that today was when you returned from that operation...Physically whole, but spiritually broken. You've paid rememberance to them ever since, usually by your lonesome."

    The veteran destroyer hefts her radar-spear onto her shoulder, tilting her head with a knowing smile. "Sorry about this, Hayashimo." Her eyes are playful, as is her voice. "But he insisted we do this for you, you know? Despite how troublesome it was for being spur-of-the-moment~"

    Hayashimo looks up, eyes flickering between the two before her: her closest friend and her other half. Tears begin to form as she slowly straightens, her form still wobbly. She staggers the few feet needed to close the distance towards Minato, wrapping her arms around him. She feels his arms come around her as well, the chill of the evening changing to the warmth of her love.

    "I can't change the past, nor would I want to. For that helped lead us to where we are now. What I can do is shoulder some of your burden, both as your Commander and partner." He chuckles. "Among other things."

    Hayashimo doesn't say a word, merely nuzzling her face in his chest. Graf quietly walks up, her hands on her hips, stopping beside him.

    "As if that one's words were not glowing enough." A shake of the head with a small smirk. "But words only carry so much weight on their own. I will enjoy seeing you truly alongside us, Admiral."



    Meanwhile, the cruisers continue their maneuvers in the harbor. Yuubari takes the lead at first, checking parameters on the fly via small pop-up view-screens as she relays instructions ranging from firing tests to reflex assessment. Yura strengthens the regimen with her own breed of calisthenics, soon making the scene look and feel more like a dance rehearsal than any form of military exercise. The dour mood eases into a more lighthearted one as the session winds down, the one large light in the sky being exchanged for many smaller ones.

    Yuubari wipes her forehead as she approaches the harbor-line, the view-screens across her armaments winking out. Besides the three cruisers behind her, only Minato, Hayashimo and Murakumo remain in the twilight. The young man stands with his hands once again in his coat pockets, his secretary ship clinging to one arm and the veteran destroyer hunching down with her radar-spear on her shoulder.

    A grin from the light cruiser. "Feeling better now, Shizuka?"

    Hayashimo gives a small smile and nod, to which Yuubari shrugs. Murakumo stands up as she comes closer.

    "Sharp as ever, Yuubari. I'm still amazed you can move with all that as well as you do."

    "I'm not on-call to Fleet Command just for my skill in the shop, you know! Though because of that, I didn't get to sortie much. Perhaps my Admiral can do something about that, hmm?" She leans towards Minato, the grin still on her face.

    He returns with a smirk of his own. "Of course. With the new arrivals, we'll be able to start doing larger operations than just scouting and gathering...And I'd like all hands available whenever possible."

    By this time, the other three cruisers join Yuubari on the harbor-line. While Yura looks to have hardly broken a sweat and Haguro is winded but standing tall, Natori is clearly exhausted. She bends over, hands on her knees, as she breathes heavily to steady herself.

    The girl with the long ponytail bows slightly, her face apologetic. "Seems I went a bit too hard today...Even with the training schedule resumed, some of us still aren't in the best of shape."

    "You've...always been...like this, Nee-san...with training..." She straightens upward (with some help from the heavy cruiser beside her) and gives a weak smile. "Even back then."

    Haguro nods. "The big sister we all looked up to, since you were one of the first stationed here." A low chuckle. "Some still call you 'Yura-sensei', after all."

    An assertive sigh from Yura as she looks to Minato. "That's just how it is, you know?"

    Murakumo begins to walk away from the group, towards the dormitories, but soon stops to look back over her shoulder with her usual playful smile and one eye closed. "I'm getting excited just thinking about it...the future of this place. Of us...And even you, Commander. Hope you can keep up~"

    The young man tips his hat upward as he turns to the veteran destroyer, his secretary letting go but still beside him. "You as well, Murakumo. We'll be counting on each other more than ever in the coming days, make no mistake."

    Her response back is the single wave of her free hand as she starts to walk again.



    "Thank you for your hard work."
    Enlistment: A Story from the Observer (Interlude 2 Complete!)
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  10. #150
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 It ain't easy, keeping things going after so long. Glad to see yu're still at it.

    Was not expecting that bit in the middle. Seems neither was Hayashimo with that emotional reaction. Many props to Minato for doing something like that for her. It probably helped ease her a lot.

    Two questions though:
    I assume the bit about "Not knowing faces nor personalities" included Ryuujou simply due to her being part of that group, and addressing them all at once right? Probably no place to fit in the fact that he actually does know her some without messing up the mood and all?

    And the other question being that Natori is actually the second oldest of her class, so is her addressing her younger sister-ship Yura as "nee-san" more due to Yura's position and personality on the base? "The big sister [everyone] looked up to", as Haguro put it?


    I always pull my weight. I just happen to be made of helium.
    ~
    Ryuujou & Iku Anniversary 9/28/15 | Uranami Anniversary 3/1/17 | Fubuki Anniversary 4/24/17 | Akebono Anniversary 7/1/17 | Shimakaze Anniversary 5/4/16~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (9/12)


 

 

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