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  1. #161
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 I love more development on Yuubari's nerdy otaku persona. Seeing her fangirl is great.

    And now I can't help but picture Eldridge as like a baby koala constantly clinging onto mom.


    I always pull my weight. I just happen to be made of helium.
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    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~
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  2. #162
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    @Emerald Acid While I was formulating ideas for how to introduce Eld, the one that stuck was the old "girl in a box" trope, which of course Yuubari would pick up on. Certainly helps she's more robotic/doll-like in nature to really drive the reference further.

    Just from looking at her dialogue, she seems at the very least fond of consistent skinship and attention. Going to be fun fleshing that out further, especially in regards to interactions with the other girls.



    "Look around you and ask yourself: Has the battle been won, or lost?"
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  3. #163
    Vice-Admiral HaganeNoKaze's Avatar
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    Nice new chapter ! These news ships would change things I guess, I m looking for reading more !


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  4. #164
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    There are going to be many shocks in the future of whoever she gets attached to.


    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! (7/31)


  5. #165
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    Part Twenty-nine: Call to Arms

    Shifiting Eldridge to his back, Minato and his secretary move as one to Headquarters. Upon entering the room, he hunches down so the blond-haired girl can stand on the floor, then turns so that he's seeing eye-to-eye with her.

    "Now then, Eldridge...Let me formally introduce myself and my partner."

    "Hmm?" She tilts her head slightly.

    "I'm Minato Gidemo, resident Admiral of this base, Buin." He motions to Hayashimo, a short distance away. "And this is Hayashimo, my secretary ship and second-in-command."

    A nod from the raven-haired destroyer. "Nice to meet you."

    Eldridge turns to Hayashimo...and the former's feet rise slightly off the ground. She slowly floats towards the latter, arms outstretched like she's imitating an airplane or bird. She stops a few feet in front of the other destroyer and squints her eyes, the hairstrand on top of her head turning jagged.

    Hayashimo blinks once, her face unchanging. "Is something wrong?"

    The blond destroyer's expression (and ahoge) soon turns backs to neutral with a slow shake of her head. She then does a small hop while bringing her hands up.

    "Hayashimo...Tall."

    A slight frown and blush from the secretary ship. "...I suppose so, huh." She glances toward Minato for a moment (now seated at his desk looking through papers), then back to Eldridge with a shake of her head. "While I'm sure you're curious of many things here, now is not the time for questions. We're preparing to mobilize for a major operation soon..." A small smile. "And you will be a part of it, just like the rest of us."

    "Oper...ation..." Eldridge's eyes narrow, then widen and begin to sparkle. "Mission?"

    "Yes. One that our High Command is...suspicious of."

    As the new destroyer tilts her head, Minato leans back in his chair. "I can see why. A radio message in a foreign language, delivered in the dark hours of the night. Trying to communicate back gave no response, save for the message being repeated. Some have just considered it some sort of prank...Others a trap. As they don't want to send some veteran on a potential wild goose chase, it falls to us to investigate it."

    "...You have a plan then, Minato?"

    "Just got the finishing touches done now." He rests one cheek on a fist. "We treat this as a serious mission, same as always. But I have a hunch that this is not a threat in the usual sense."



    A few hours later, Minato is walking towards the harbor, his familiar coat draped over his shoulders like a cape and an array of girls following him in full rigging. Hayashimo and Eldridge are on opposing sides of him, themselves flanked by Murakumo and Kuroshio respectively, with Shoukaku and Graf directly behind the young man. Another fleet waits for them on the water's edge, consisting of Haguro, Fusou, Yamashiro, Shiranui, Samidare and Zuikaku. Yuubari is also there, though in her workshop attire as opposed to her rigs, looking through some papers on a clipboard.

    "Everything looks good, girls. Now we wait for...Speak of the devil." The grey-haired cruiser turns to regard Minato's approach. "When you say serious, you really mean it! All these moving parts working as one sends my spirit soaring~"

    The young man smiles slightly. "It's a familiar feeling to be sure. A shame you can't come along for this...Though you said you were helping Admiral Emerald again?"

    She returns the smile, a wide cheeky grin. "Yep. Got some new faces who need equipment ID'd and a place to stay: A trio of Russians and one British-born. Seems the two of you are truly honorary diplomats now." She lightly smacks his shoulder. "Make us proud out there, just like we do, ya hear?"

    "Of course, Yuubari. This place is as much my home as the others I have called such." He then turns to the other girls in the harbor, putting his right hand on his head. "Let's get started then. Haguro, your group is the fallback plan. Shadow me from a fair distance. No firing or revealing of your presence as much as possible, until I either give the signal or you are in danger." He brings his hand down in front of him, upon which a small lightning bolt materializes over. "Said signal will be both sound and sight. A single lightning bolt straight downward with the sound of crystal shattering accompanying it is 'war'." He closes his eyes, the sphere changing into a black bird. "If you see a single crow in the sky and hear the sound of a wind chime, that is 'peace'." A swipe of the hand as the image dissipates. "Understood?"

    The heavy cruiser jumps a bit at the change in tone (along with the small display), but quickly recovers with a salute. "Y-yes! We'll do our very best!"

    Murakumo swings her spear-radar onto her shoulder, flicking her hair outward. "You're still nervous now, Haguro? Show some fighting spirit!" Despite the harshness in her voice, there's a playful smile on the destroyer's face. "Then again, you are probably the fiercest among us when it comes down to it~"

    Haguro lowers her head, her face turning bright red, as Kuroshio surpresses a snicker. "Al'ays the quiet ones, right?"

    Graf raises an eyebrow as Minato walks forward, putting a hand on Haguro's head. "I understand why you'd be nervous. I am too, especially since there's so little we know of the situation. But when the time comes, you and I turn that anxiety, that fear, into energy for the task at hand. It is in our very beings, as performers on the stage of combat." He sighs, causing the girl to look up into the man's weary smile. "And our first big performance together starts now. Let's not keep our audience waiting any longer, shall we?"

    It's been too long since I've posted here, but life has proven to be quite the deterrent in writing consistently.

    While I did just introduce Eldridge in the last chapter, I wanted to put focus on an often fundamental part of KC: operations and combat. And just to clarify, this is not the mission alluded to in the interlude with the British Dreadnoughts. I felt that op would fit better later on, after further establishing how events kind of function in my head-canon. While I have touched on combat a few times in my previous writings, it was usually pretty short, save for the combined base defense with @Emerald Acid so long ago. I do plan to showcase how most of these girls fight at some point, whether in the coming operation or beyond. And some of them are quite...unconventional when it comes to combat. Here's to hoping I won't keep you all too in the dark for long...



    "Look around you and ask yourself: Has the battle been won, or lost?"
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  6. #166
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 Awesome. Looks like thing are about to get serious for reals. Looking forward to the action and the individual fighting styles. It was certainly a thing when I was writing different fighting styles and abilities for my really long operation, so certainly interested to see how these girls do theirs.

    And certainly interested in the reaction of the various cast members when they see what Eldridge can do when properly charged up.


    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! (7/31)


  7. #167
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    @Emerald Acid Indeed so. Just thinking of the possibilities gives me motivation to continue brainstorming and writing. A lot of inspiration from the various stories I've read showing shipgirl combat as something more fantastical than firing guns from range, at least for the lighter-armed girls in the lineups. You saw a bit of that with Kuroshio's trip maneuver on Inazuma back during our collab (which as you remember probably saved her from a grisly fate), showing a sharp mind under pressure while still presenting her trickster tendencies.

    The unknown factor of Eldridge to the established cast will certainly be put on display, along with the other new faces that have come along. It's going to be quite the ride, I feel~



    "Look around you and ask yourself: Has the battle been won, or lost?"
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  8. #168
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 I'm sure Inazuma definitely appreciates that, otherwise she'd be short a face or head right now and nobody wants that. If one of them happens to fight very physically as well, we just might have to have them spar with my Nenohi at some point, seeing as she had her hidden side of practicing and being really good at martial arts revealed.

    Looking forward to how this goes~


    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! (7/31)


  9. #169
    Marshal Admiral Observer 39's Avatar
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    Part Thirty: Fall of the Hammer

    The two fleets begin their sailing, the forward fleet adopting a loose double line formation. After explaining the rough location of the signal, there is little noise other than the sound of sloshing water and the hum of the girls' equipment for some time...which makes the usual lively Kuroshio antsy. Rolling her neck and shoulders, she drifts closer to Eldridge.

    "Say, Eldie. I naw we did quick intras earlier, but what can ya do, 'xactly? Anythin' neat?"

    The small destroyer turns around, keeping her speed and her arms outstretched. "Neat...?"

    "Like, uhh..." She taps her chin. "Talents 'n things, yeah? 'Sides the 'ol floating bit."

    A look upward. "I can make sparks." Then a look downward. "But I can't teleport." She then lifts her head with a tilt. "You?"

    "Me? Well..." The short-haired girl scratches her face lightly. "Nothin' much, really. Settin' the mood, maybe?"

    At that moment, a low and haunting female voice begins to sing, entirely in English:

    "With your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo...hurroo...
    Your drums and guns and guns and drums, hurroo...hurroo...
    With drums and guns and guns and drums,
    The enemy nearly slew ya.
    Oh darling dear, you look so queer...
    Johnny I hardly knew ya..."


    Kuroshio, Eldridge and Murakumo immediately snap to attention as Minato looks up into the fading light of day...Hayashimo, Shoukaku and Graf all follow his gaze skyward. A solitary damaged plane sputters towards them, blue in color with stars along its wings. Minato puts one hand up and shakes his head: a signal to stop and hold fire. The raven-haired destroyer gives a curious look towards her beloved as she keeps her gun trained on the small object.

    "That was the message Command intercepted...And that plane is unfamiliar to us."

    "To me as well, Haya, but humor me for a moment. Eldridge?"

    The blonde destroyer's hairstrand twitches in recognition. "Commander, what?"

    Something on the little plane pops, causing it to begin crash diving into the formation, but a subtle motion from Minato's raised hand stops it in midair. "Do you recognize this plane at all?"

    She frowns as she looks at the suspended plane, before she gives a small hop and nod. "Mmmn. Eagle...Union. Not enemy."

    "Hmm. In that case, we should return this to its rightful owner." He pulls his hand back, the plane moving in tandem as if connected. Landing softly in hand, it begins to play the verse from before again, the foreign voice and words still jarring to the girls around. "While there have been no sightings of Abyssals in these waters recently...I feel this proves otherwise." He puts his other hand atop the case at his waist. "We'll be coming up on a chain of islands soon. Plenty of places to hide there, for good or ill. Keep vigila-"

    The firing of a cannon some distance away cuts Minato off, and Murakumo's radio crackles to life with Haguro's oddly stern voice on the other end.

    "Abyssal fleets sighted, Admiral. At least four, maybe more...They're trying to surround us. Orders?"

    The young man grits his teeth as he realizes the swarm of black that has appeared on the horizon, all around him. So that's how it is, huh...Sweeping his hand to the side, he raises his voice. "If they want to test us, so be it. Haguro, form up with me as fast and safe as you can! We'll show them our resolve...Our spirit, together!"

    "Roger that." A series of explosions can be heard, causing the comms to static a bit. "Haguro...will do her best!" The radio then falls silent, though the sounds of combat can still be heard in the distance behind Minato's group. Murakumo gives him a smug smile.

    "So then, Commander. Are we staying here or going back to her?"

    "We fall back, of course. This feels like a coordinated assault, designed to divide us and pick off stragglers. And I don't intend to lose any of you today."



    Haguro puts her hand down from her comms as she fires off another barrage into the distance. "Everyone, form up! We can't stay here any longer! Move!"

    An explosion rocks across Yamashiro's right cannons, tipping her precariously. Samidare grabs her by the arm just before she would completely fall over, pulling with all her strength...and manages to keep her steady enough so she rights.

    "Such misfortune...But thank you."

    "Ehehehe~"

    A trio of fish-like Abyssals surface, their mouth-cannons already glowing red. But before they can fire, a torrent of water envelops them from below. Shiranui skirts into view, her face in a grim frown. She waves towards Haguro, flanked by Fusou and Zuikaku.

    "Flagship said to move, Samidare. Go. I'll cut them off of you."

    "...Will you be okay, Shiranui-san?"

    "I've been through worse than this. Besides, it's a destroyer's job to escort the capital ships, right?"

    The blue-haired girl looks to Yamashiro, who turns away with a taciturn look as she moves towards the front of the formation. The former then turns back and glares as she fires a round right past Shiranui's face, which a humanoid Abyssal directly behind her catches fully in the head. As the explosion blows the creature down, Samidare gives a small huff.

    "'Everyone' means you too, Shiranui-san! I'm not leaving until you do!"

    The frown turns into a smile, no less grim than before. "Acknowledged." She pivots on the spot as she adjusts her gun. Many dark shadows begin to appear under the water around them. "They really want to keep us here, though. You have a plan?"

    "Dance like your sister."

    "Eh?"

    Samidare grabs Shiranui's open hand and guns her engines, pushing forward before the trap is fully sprung. An Abyssal rises in front of the pair, but she swings her partner forward and bends down. Recovering quickly from the sudden movement, Shiranui cups her hands and crouches. Samidare does a short jump, and as she lands directly on the offered hands, Shiranui flings them upward with all her strength. Doing a full front flip, the blue-haired destroyer fires off her cannon, causing the target to lean back, before both feet land on its visorplate with the full force of a crashing wave. The impact makes the Abyssal bend terribly, the sound of cracking metal and bone audible as it slams against the water. The pink-haired destroyer whips around and fires her own barrage towards the bent creature as Samidare jets away. As the explosion lights up the area, the familiar buzzing of planes accompany the comparatively quiet roar of Shiranui's engines and gunfire as she speeds off towards the other girl.

    A vast scattering of black metal and Abyssal bodies surround Haguro, Fusou, Yamashiro and Zuikaku (all in various states of damage) as Samidare and Shiranui approach. Haguro's left sleeve is torn completely away, a series of shallow gashes just starting to bleed along the exposed arm, the rest of her outfit nicked and cut in places. Her face is a mask of cold fury as she aims her gun towards the direction of the other fleet, another battle raging in the distance. Zuikaku's own haunted visage surveys the same scene, an arrow drawn. The carrier's garb is mostly undamaged, though splattered with black liquid all over. Yamashiro is the worst off, on her knees with both her robes shredded and the metal that once composed her rigging pitted and warped by shells and gunfire. Fusou stands vigilant over her sister with a serene smile, her own gear blasted but workable. She is the first to spot the approaching pair, giving a nod.

    "To see you both well heartens us. They have retreated here for now, it seems."

    Shiranui gives a sharp nod. "No pursuit either. Were they even trying to kill us...?"

    The heavy cruiser suddenly swings around upon hearing the voices, but untenses upon seeing who they came from. Letting both her arms drop to her sides and her face soften significantly, she drifts closer as the pink-haired destroyer continues.

    "What we fought here was just a distraction, even with the numbers they sent against us. Commander Minato's obviously the main target. We need to get to him now."

    Haguro nods, a small smile on her face. "Go ahead then, Shiranui-san. Zuikaku-san will cover you."

    A salute as her engines hum harder. "Understood, flagship." Then she is off towards the other battle, Zuikaku loosing her arrow as a response to her passing.

    And thus the fun begins, one could say...Even if I didn't show a good portion of it. It was getting pretty long even with that omission, so the battle with the forward fleet will come in the next one. Anyways, this is how I want most encounters with Abyssals to feel like: Alien, yet familiar, with a sense that they can appear without any true warning...And that it all goes very quickly. They don't necessarily play by traditional rules of combat, so the shipgirls have to act accordingly. Shiranui's personality and actions here are very much inspired by hetza's imagining of the character: All business while in combat, often to the point of being fanatical. Zuikaku is also very much like this, the reasons why to be revealed later...maybe. As for Samidare's and Haguro's actions, 'nice' characters showing a more serious side has always been something I enjoy seeing.

    The plane found before the ambush was playing a verse from an old wartime song called "Jonny I Hardly Knew Ye", specifically the chorus portion. The song very much encompasses the sadness of war and how it changes people so drastically. The plane itself is another reference to Azur Lane, depicting their version of the American BTD, hence Eldridge's recognition of it. A sign of things to come, perhaps?



    "Look around you and ask yourself: Has the battle been won, or lost?"
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  10. #170
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Observer 39 Suddenly a Samidare that isn't a klutz! Imagining her jump and flip around flawlessly is such a contrast to the Samidare we all know and love, but it's certainly not a bad thing at all. And I'm sure Eldridge could teleport if she tried~

    Or at least do her phase shift.

    The speed of combat is certainly there too. One moment Yamashiro is fine and moving forward, then Sami does a flip and suddenly Yamashiro's all busted up and broken in the next glance we get.

    As for the BTD, I'd be willing to bet on who it belongs to~


    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! (7/31)


 

 

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