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  1. #161
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    Боевые маневры (Combat Maneuvers)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was just past early morning as I was forced to get up. Normally I still like to sleep in, and let Ryuu or Inazuma handle the early delegations. But today was one of those exceptions. With the addition of even more foreign ships, today was the day they get put through their paces, and as with Vampire before them, I wanted to be directly present to gauge their combat ability and readiness. As such, I had Ryuu wake me up, ate some breakfast, and made my way down to the coastline near the drydocks, where Inazuma and some of the other destroyer girls were setting up a field of training targets.

    Already there before my arrival were the Russian trio. Gremyaschy was watching the targets being set up with mild uninterest. It was easy to see she was very much a to-the-point business-like girl. Okhotnik held one of her many rifles in her hands as she eyed each target bit by bit. I could only surmise she was already envisioning herself on the field and in a fight. Leningrad wasn't even paying attention to the target field. Instead, she was off on the side, and seemed to have Fumizuki pinned with what I believed the internet called a "wall slam", and was talking with her rather closely. She seemed plenty unconcerned with the situation at hand and was more content to flirt with random girls.

    Eventually the targets were set up, and the trials began. First up was the range and accuracy trial. Gremyaschy stepped forward for this one. Taking position on the waves, she stood perfectly still as she waited for the signal to start, just staring downrange.

    "And... begin!" I announced.

    Without a word, Gremyaschy drew her gun in a quickdraw motion, just like in those American "western" films. Aiming with both hands like a trained officer with a service pistol, she took but a moment to adjust before firing, sending five shells downrange. I was used to accurate ranged shots from my own destroyers, but these shells surprised me. Not only were these shots accurate, as I watched them each land onto separate targets, but these shells were also fast. It seemed to me that these guns were innately designed to be the ship's primary source of damage, whereas the guns my girls used were more in addition to the main source of damage; their torpedoes. A second line of targets raised up, this time staggered at various distances. She instantly took out three of the targets, but had to take a moment to readjust for targets on the side before blasting them from the sea. That showed me that while she can be insanely accurate at range, changing from target to target takes her some time if they're far apart.

    As she waited for the next targets to raise, the final one triggered; a large target appeared right behind her at close range. I liked to throw that one in in order to see how a girl would react to a sudden close quarters situation, and the pressure from it. As soon as the target stood, Gremyaschy spun on her heel. I could see in her expression that she was surprised, but only for an instant before her neutral expression returned. She dropped into a one-knee crouch, and brought her gun up to "hip fire" height. She had one hand on the trigger, and another on the back of her gun, and began smashing the back furiously. Each time she hit the gun with her hand, she pulled the trigger and fired a shot, resulting in a very rapid fire burst that I think those western films called "fanning the hammer". The sheer burst of fire tore through the middle of the large target, causing it to collapse under its own weight.

    "Hold fire!" I commanded. "Course complete."

    Gremyaschy pulled back her gun and stood from her crouch, before turning to me and giving a salute and sailing back to the drydocks and back up to shore where she stood before. I noted down my thoughts on her weapon, and commended her on her performance.

    Next up was a speed challenge, as the firing range was being reset. We had a predetermined course set up with markers, and I placed myself in the middle so I could follow the entire track without having to keep up. As with any new recruit undergoing the speed trial, Shimakaze was also present, as she always raced against whoever it was. Leningrad seemed to notice this, as she was the one who came forward for this trial. As the two girls set up at the starting line, I caught some banter between the two.

    "Hehe, don't fall too far behind. I'm the fastest ship around~" Shimakaze boasted.

    "Oh, is that so, little bunny? I am not the slug, either. Mine legs are quite long for the running." Leningrad responded in kind.

    "Hmph. Why not make this fun then, if you're so confident. When I win, you buy me dessert at Mamiya's!"

    "Accepted. And when I am the victor, you will come to mine room after the trials are complete."

    "And do what?"

    "Ufufu~ I shall tell you when we arrive."

    "Haah? Well whatever. It won't matter when I win!"

    "Ufufufu~"

    It seems things were going to be a bit more serious. Shimakaze had very strong pride in her speed, and any kind of challenge or insult to it tended to set her competitiveness off.

    "Ready... start!"

    With that, Shimakaze shot off the starting line and down the track. As expected, she kept a healthy lead over her opponent, who was trailing behind, but keeping a consistent distance back. Before long, Shimakaze's pride got the better of her, and she turned around; sailing backwards as she boasted back to Leningrad.

    "Haha, see? I'm the fastest ship there is! You can't catch me from back there!" She shouted.

    "Oh no, little bunny. I am simply enjoying the view from here~" She said back. I caught a look at her face, and saw her slowly lick her lips after she finished responding. I had seen similar in the past from Iku, and the expression Leningrad had certainly mirrored Iku's as well. I got a sinking feeling that she had baited and set Shimakaze up.
    "But now I shall end this."

    I watched as Leningrad crouched down a bit, before suddenly launching forward in a burst of speed. Shimakaze was easily caught by surprise as Leningrad sailed past her.

    "What!? Grr... I won't let you win!" Shimakaze said in anger before turning forward again and taking off as fast as she could. As Shimakaze got closer, Leningrad gradually sped up to her maximum speed as well, resulting in Shimakaze trailing behind by just a bit; unable to close that last gap. She was getting frustrated by that, as I could hear her starting to shout in anger.

    "I AM... THE FASTEST...! I WON'T LOSE A RACE TO ANYONE!"

    To my surprise, she gradually started going faster still; faster than I had ever recorded her moving. Both girls were neck and neck as they rounded to the home stretch; in speeds of over 40 knots. As they flew by me one last time, I saw a sight on Shimakaze's back. Her machine core was glowing reddish-orange. She was overloading her boilers far past their operational limits to desperately squeeze out any more speed she could. That had to have been burning her skin, although she wouldn't feel it until she had settled down back out of her combat mode. Her sacrifice was starting to work though, as she was just pulling in front of Leningrad... before an explosion happened.

    "OU!?"

    Shimakaze suddenly was flung to the side and off the track, causing Leningrad to swiftly cross the finish line first. I hit the stopwatch to record her time, before quickly getting over to Shimakaze. As I got to her, I saw the explosion was caused by her machine core being unable to handle the overloaded boiler. I put her arm over my shoulder and helped her off the water, before handing her off to the DesDiv22 girls to take to the docks. Leningrad brought herself up to land herself, and they traded one last exchange before Shimakaze left.

    "I... I won't accept this. I will... outrun you."

    "Ufufu~ I'll be waiting for your next challenge, little bunny. But for today, I am the victor. I will be by to pick you up from your repairs later, as per our agreement~"

    With that, Shimakaze left and Leningrad went back to her fellow squadron members. I checked her time on the stopwatch. Not surprising, she had set a new record. Anyone that would be able to force Shimakaze into such a desperate act would have done so.

    After I returned from recording the speed, the final trial was ready: the combat stress trial. The one taking the trial would be surrounded by dummy targets at various medium-to-close range while being fired upon by training rounds. As the last girl to take a trial, Okhotnik stepped forward. Her expression was eager to fight. As she got to the center of the "arena" though, she surprised me.

    "You need not worry about training guns. The Soviet Hunter does not need such caution. Fire at me like you would enemy." She requested.

    That was certainly the first time anyone had made that request. I initially thought about denying it, but I saw the look in her eyes. She was fully ready for such a scenario, and wouldn't be happy with anything less.

    "...You heard her, girls. Live ammunition is now authorized." I told the girls in charge of firing the blanks.

    "Eh? But boss-" Suzukaze began to protest, before I cut her off.

    "It was her own request. If she's confident enough for such a stipulation, it would be a disservice to her to deny it."

    "...aye then, boss. Live ammo loaded."

    The girls took up formation on and near the shoreline, ready to bombard Okhotnik with live ammo as Okhotnik herself took position in the middle of the target range.

    "Final trial... begin!"

    Right as I gave the signal, the fire team girls, consisting of Inazuma, Suzukaze, Nenohi, Naganami, and Uranami, opened fire on Okhotnik. I saw a smile on Okhotnik's face right before I gave the signal, and saw her dash forward as soon as the shots rang out. She blasted away two targets at close range with dual wielded rifles. She then holstered those two rifles, and drew two more from her leg straps. another target took two shotgun-like blasts up close, as Okhotnik used the recoil to push herself backwards as more incoming fire was poured in at her. Again holstering her rifles and drawing two more, she started circling the inside of the arena. What I saw next was awe inspiring, and was so fast even I had trouble following what happened. As she passed by her next targets, she blasted it with one rifle. In one smooth motion from there, she holstered that rifle, while blasting a second target with the rifle in her other hand. Sheathing that rifle, she was simultaneously drawing a third rifle with her first hand, and blasted a third target. This single, smooth motion continued as she drew, fired, and sheathed rifles all at once. It almost looked like she was swinging a pair of nunchaku with how she moved.

    As an entire flank of targets fell under this barrage, the remaining targets started to move in closer to Okhotnik, and the fire team girls increased their volume of fire. Okhotnik fell back to the center of the circle, and began spinning around while attacking. As she spun, she ducked, dodged, jumped and otherwise evaded all the incoming shells without leaving the center. All the meanwhile, she was firing at targets during her spin. With more smooth motions of drawing, firing, and sheathing, she became a whirling storm of shell fire and explosions. Target after target fell around her, and shell after shell exploded near her without hitting her. After a moment more, all the targets were destroyed, and the only remaining figure in the arena was Okhotnik, posed with rifles smoking as she finished her spin.

    "Hold fire! The trial is ove-" I began to say, before a blur of motion caught the corner of my eye. In an instant, I saw Nenohi leap into the air behind Okhotnik. She bore down on Okhotnik with a flying roundhouse kick in a sneak attack. I was still comprehending her sudden attack, when Okhotnik turned around and ducked the ambush kick. Raising a rifle, she tried to blast Nenohi point blank as she landed, but Nenohi also ducked limbo style as Okhotnik fired, and the shell sailed far past. In a position below Okhotnik, Nenohi then righted herself and lunged with a straight right punch to Okhotnik's midsection, with Okhotnik pulling her hips back and causing the punch to miss. Undeterred, Nenohi seamlessly moved to attack with a low sweeping kick. Okhotnik was caught in the ankle by the sweep, but wouldn't be taken down off her own terms. She took her remaining rifle and fired it point blank into the waters below the both of them, causing a large spout of seawater to obscure the two. As the water cleared, I saw both girls tumble and roll away in opposite directions, Okhotnik landing in a three-point-crouch, and Nenohi rolling backwards and landing fully on her feet, and coming to rest in a martial arts stance. Her normal carefree and joking expression was gone, replaced by an aggressive smile of excitement, much like Okhotnik's own smile as the trial began. Whatever she saw in Okhotnik, it got Nenohi's blood flowing and made her want to fight. I could hear them talking to each other.

    "Your movements... I don't know where you learned to move like that, but I like it. I really wanna fight you...!" Nenohi said. Hearing such an aggressive claim from the same voice that constantly joked, laughed, and made puns was jarring.

    "You have the spirit, pink girl. Okhotnik never turns down a declaration of combat." Okhotnik answered. She stood up proper, and drew two fresh rifles, holding them close to herself while still pointing them at Nenohi, as if in a defensive close-quarters stance.

    "Now come."

    Enough was enough, though.

    "Hold on, hold on! No sneak attacks in practice trials! if you two wanna spar, do it on your own time, once everyone is finished here."

    I put an end to the impromptu brawl for now.

    The two girls lowered their stances and sailed in to land. Before they stepped up, though the two girls stood face to face. For a moment I was worried that Nenohi would try to make another sucker punch, but instead, the two girls suddenly reached out to each other... and shook hands in a very dramatic fashion.

    "After you're finished here, then."

    "Da. And then we fight in glorious battle."

    Well... that happened. At the very least, this would mean that Nenohi would have a good friend here at the base. One that would be able to hang with her more secretive hobby, instead of those that work with her and sometimes get tired of her puns.
    Officially recording the results of all three trials alongside Inazuma, I couldn't help but be impressed by these girls. Whatever was going on in Russia, their shipgirls were nothing to discount. Their strengths might be different (the three of them voiced active dislike for relying on torpedoes), but they were more than capable in combat, and they would serve well in operations.

    "Alright... everything's recorded. Thank you for taking the trials, ladies. You all have exceptional combat skills. in the coming days, you will be integrated into the base's normal operations as active duty shipgirls. Be on your guard, and be ready to sortie at any time. Otherwise, I again welcome you three to your new home. Dismissed."

    With that, I gave everyone a salute, which was returned by all the girls remaining at the training grounds. As I turned to leave them all to their own devices, the phone in the drydocks began to ring. I moved over to answer it, only to find that the call was coming from inside the base. On the other end of the line was Ryuu.

    "Hey Dragonfly. You're gonna need ta get back to yer office here. We gotta call from dat Battleship guy over at HQ that yer gonna wanna hear."

    "I'm on my way."

    With that, I hung up the line, Telling Inazuma that something seems to be up, I delegated the remaining recording and paperwork to her as I made my way back to deal whatever it was that was going to be happening.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Whew. And this much delayed chapter is finally out. I wanted to put this i the same chapter that introduced the Russians, but there was just no way I was going to fit this all into one chapter. Hell, I even had a bit more I originally had planned for this one, but I cut it for time's sake and to prevent a wall of text.

    But with that, I was able to finish their introduction properly, and even leave a hook at the very end there to lead into what will be the next chapter in this story. It might be awhile in the coming since this one won't just be involving me, but rest assured this next major arc is gonna be a fun one~

    Unrelated: There are two separate combat references in Okhotnik's fight inside the training circle. Anyone guess which two people I'm copying from?

    As always, please send in questions, comments, and criticisms!


    Last edited by Emerald Acid; 05-06-2018 at 10:28 AM.
    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~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (7/31)


  2. #162
    Admiral Lord Harrab's Avatar
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    @Emerald Acid

    Man, it feels like ages since i last posted in here. Had to do some backreading for context.

    Highlight was reading Greythorn's Slav botes in action, having been there myself when they were created and brought to life in images, now they see some more as characters in your story. Pretty Neat.

    The Fact they are so confident i assume is due to their rivalry with the IJN, although they certainly have some skill to back it up, Nenohi cold clocking Okhotnik was a surprise in a few ways and i find myself wondering why seeing the longboat work was so enticing for her. Time will tell i suppose.

    Speaking of enticing, Lewdingrad is inspecting afts and it made me smile at how unsubtle and well stereotypical russian she was about it all.

    Plotwise, it was a nice little diversion from action scenes to have the girls strut their stuff in practice and the hook at the end fills me with questions and i admit some measure of smugness because yay shout out.

    Writing wise only one thing stood out to be, repeated use of the pronoun "her" and before the SJW sent the bait and swam out to slay me i will clarify and say its repeated use made a few sentences rather clunky to read although with a cast of mainly females its somewhat unavoidable. perhaps swap some for their name or a small reference to who is being referred to? Maybe some trimming of some run on sentences of the midsection, i'm unsure myself.

    Other than that, nothing else stands out to me and i liked this chapter a lot.



    Married to Nagato 23/02/2016. Married to Iowa 26/09/2016. Married to Warspite 25/10/2016. Married to Houshou 19/12/2016.
    Married to Musashi 26/02/2017 Married to Ushio 10/03/2017. Married to Maya 25/03/2017. Married the Chitose Sisters 24/07/2017.
    The Ship Soul War (Kancolle Fanfic)

  3. #163
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    @Lord Harrab I really wanted to do the Russians justice, especially since they're borrowed characters. So I put in a lot of detail into the individual scenes with them, although Gremy's scene was a bit basic and to-the-point, but it seems both Obs and Grey liked that because it fit her character.

    I probably had the most fun writing for Leningrad there, because her whole scene came to mind as I was writing. Really wanted to establish her personality there with her flirting with Fumizuki, and then for all intents and purposes, baiting and preying on Shimakaze, all while still making her be competent and worthy of her boasting. I think the result got the point home~

    Okhotnik's scene I had been sitting on for awhile, but the bit with Nenohi was last minute, because I wanted to also give Nenohi more screentime, because of how criminally underappreciated she is.What she saw in Okhotnik was fluid motion, being used effortlessly in combat. A trait anyone who hobbies martial arts would be interested in, and as such Nenohi wanted to test herself against it for herself. In short, she sees a good opponent.

    And yeah, I can agree that there are many uses of "her". I wanted to avoid using it too much, but also didn't want to saturate the text with a name every three words, considering how active the scenes were.


    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~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (7/31)


  4. #164
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    Terror on the open seas Pt.1
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "He's waitin' for ya on hold. Sounded important when he asked for ya." Ryuujou relayed as we both got back to my office.

    "Thanks Ryuu. Whenever we get direct calls here, someone always seems to go wrong. Be ready to mobilize, just in case." I responded as I picked up the phone.

    "Aye."

    "This is Admiral Emerald. Admiral Harrab-gozen, I presume?" Was that the right honorific? I had no idea what his title translated to in Japanese, but I think it was some form of nobility.

    The voice that greeted back was thick with British accent.

    "Hahaha, I have no idea what you just said at the end there, chap, but Harrab will be just fine. We're both equals on the same side here, after all."

    He continued.

    "So, how's my little protege doing over there? Already gotten into trouble, has she? That girl is quite the frisky handful."

    "Erm... quite, so. She certainly enjoys her skinship." I was never good with talking to people I don't know well on the phone.

    "Haha, that she does. That she does. Haah. But enough with the pleasantries. It's time to discuss what I called about, friend. Please listen closely and hold any questions until the end. I have a request to make, and it's very important to me."

    His voice took on a much more serious tone as he laid out his request.

    "A few days ago, the navy of my homeland, the Royal Navy and henceforth referred to as the "RN", decommissioned and retired one of its long serving shipgirls: the Battle Monitor Erebus. It would seem odd that she would be released after serving on the warfront for so long, but it is a sad truth for those we call shipgirls that eventually, they will wear down and become less effective with time, just like how you and I do with age. What concerns me though is circumstance leading up to her release. Erebus was not a naturally trusting girl, but she felt close enough to me to confide in me and ask for advice on occasion. She once recently told me that she was helping smuggle, for lack of a better term, two other shipgirls who were decommissioned out of the RN controlled waters. She had learned of one of your nations Admirals through me; the one you call The Observer. As a seeker of knowledge herself, Erebus told me that she directed the two decommissioned girls to cross national borders and seek out The Observer. Erebus must have felt a fellow knowledge seeker would be kind enough to take them in."

    A small pause on his end, while he seemed to collect his thoughts.

    "That information and what I'm about to disclose are off the records of the RN. The night after she was ordered to be decommissioned, she contacted me again. She told me that she was fleeing British territory, because it was no longer safe for her there. She claimed that she accidentally overheard something she shouldn't have, and that she has information about a new threat; different from the Abyssal forces but no less dangerous. She said this threat is already among our seas and even has its fangs in the British Admiralty, and that possessing this information is why she was decommissioned, and why it's no longer safe for her. Whatever she learned, this new threat, be it monstrosity at sea or corruption within the ranks, is trying to be rid of her before it can get out to the public or the other nations. Unfortunately, I am unable to help her, and Erebus knows it. As soon as her release was finalized, the RN had washed their hands of her; whatever happened to her after was of no concern to them. While I work here in the Japanese navy, I am still the liason to the RN, and still part of it. I cannot dedicate any resources to finding an asset discarded by the RN, nor can I officially request aid for it either."

    His tone was low and dark as he relayed that information. However, it suddenly lit up some as he continued onward.

    "But, that is not why I contacted you. While I am concerned for Erebus, the girl is a chessmaster; always a few steps ahead of her opponents. She won't be found unless she wants to be, at least for now. I'm sure she already has a plan or three in motion. What I'm calling you about, Admiral, is concern over her sister ship, the Battle Monitor Terror. Apparently it seems she caught wind of her sister's decommissioning second-hand. Terror is a strong girl in her own right, but her relationship with Erebus is what one would classify as 'overly dependent'. She stuck to Erebus like a shadow; never one without the other. Having learned that her precious sister has abruptly and suddenly fled British seas and gone missing, it would seem that Terror snuck out of her assigned base last night and has gone AWOL, presumably seeking her sister. The girl's heart is in the right place, but I fear she's in way over her head. She and Erebus both were present when I revealed you to the RN in a report, as for all intents and purposes you're raising my surrogate daughter, a ship of British origin, for combat. I can only surmise that Terror would be headed in your direction as the single lead she would have had on allies outside of British territory.

    Suddenly, his voice took on a more somber and humble tone.

    "And so I ask of you, Admiral Emerald. Please search the seas between your region and my homeland. Find our missing Terror. Erebus was a friend of mine, and I lost her the day she was decommissioned. I don't want to lose another friend as well."

    "...that's a lot to process, Admiral Harrab." I responded. "I'll have to share what you told me with my allies and think upon it myself for awhile. But that much can wait, at least. It would seem the more pressing matter is your lost shipgirl. Her life is at stake, and I'll do the best I can to find her before something happens to her."

    "...thank you, friend. I appreciate it." Harrab's tone suddenly got more jovial again after his thanks. "You'll know you've found her if you find a lone panicking girl on the seas. Oh, and she's a zombie. That'll make her easy to pick out of a lineup."

    "...I'm sorry, what now? A zombie?"

    "Yes, a zombie. Stitches across her body that make her look like she was sewn together. A large pair of bolts that look like one bolt going through her skull; don't worry, it's just an accessory. Pale white skin that would give any humanoid Abyssal a run for its money, and a body so cold to the touch you'd think she was a corpse. No matter though. Despite her appearance and name, she's a sweet, good girl, who wouldn't hurt an insect without a good reason, let alone someone trying to help her. She won't bite you or anything. Unless you're into that kind of stuff, hahaha~"

    "...I'll keep that in mind, thanks. Will that be all, Admiral?"

    "Yes, Admiral. You have my thanks again. Please, save my friend. Godspeed, chap."

    And with that, the line dropped. I hung up the phone on my end and turned to Ryuu.

    "So? What was all dat about? Yer face seemed confused." She asked.

    "It... it was an interesting call. I'll have to think more on it in the future, but for now, gear up and get ready for a rescue op. Things are about to get weird, and we're gonna need a lot of hands for this."

    With that, I reached for the phone again and dialed in the code for the all-base speaker line.

    "Attention all ships. We've got a mission to do, and a lot of personnel needed to do it. I want all Submarines, Carriers, and Destroyers not currently away on patrols geared up and at the drydocks in five minutes. Let's move, people."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The start of something new. Unfortunately, this is just a talky bit; I had much more planned for this entry but it have made this page drag on unnecessarily. Therefor, I split it into two parts. The search for Terror begins in the next entry, which I should have up in tomorrow evening sometime. It's only a half-chapter, but ny potential questions, comments, or criticisms are still welcome as always.


    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~
    Admiral Anniversary: 5/25 | I wrote a thing. Updated! (7/31)


  5. #165
    Marshal Admiral Emerald Acid's Avatar
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    Terror on the open seas pt.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "...and that's the gist of the mission. We're after a high priority missing target, and time is of the essence. As such, we'll be searching as much ground as possible simultaneously. Each of you are to sail at full speed towards your designated search limit. Once there, be methodical; don't just search randomly. Form overlapping fields of search and turn over every rock, every atoll, every inch of the sea between there and here as you return. Carrier planes will be flying ahead of your routes, and beyond your search ranges in hopes of finding our target sooner. Submarines will be lurking underwater beyond your search ranges as well, using their stealth to search deep open waters. As soon as a group finds the target, radio to me. I'll send a nearby group or groups as reinforcements, as well as myself and the emergency response team stationed behind and in the middle of everyone. As no reports of the target reaching land or base have surfaced, we must assume she's been pinned down by Abyssal forces en route. Expect enemy contact around the target. If any group encounters unexpected enemy forces, radio me immediately. If it is just a scout or small group, engage at your own judgement and discretion if you think you can take them out quickly and without alarm. If not, fall back and wait for reinforcements. Don't do anything stupid. Above all else, the most important part of this mission is that everyone comes back alive. Understood?"

    As I finished my speech, I looked out to my girls. Five groups of four destroyers each looked back at me, hanging on my words. In response, each girl snapped into a salute and answered in unison.

    "Yes, Sir!" they all spoke in loud harmony.

    "Then get going and move out! You'll know if you found her if she looks like a zombie, apparently."

    "Aye!"

    With that, each group of four launched into the seas from the drydocks one after the other. After about five minutes, none of them were visible on the horizon.

    "Now then... it's our turn to go." I turned around to face the other destroyers who would be in the same group as me. The four foreign destroyers: Vampire, Gremyaschy, Okhotnik, and Leningrad.

    "You all passed the combat trials just fine, but this way I'll be able to see your abilities in actual combat scenarios first hand. Let's move."

    Each of the four responded in their own ways, as we set sail ourselves. As we left, I turned to face the docks and gave a hand signal. With it, Ryuujou, Zuihou, Taihou, Souryuu, and Hiryuu all launched a wing of carrier planes. Each carrier sent their wing along the path of each destroyer group. I nodded at Ryuujou as her planes flew overhead, before turning back out to face the sea.

    An hour passed. And then two. Suddenly four hours had passed and, and the sun was starting to set, and we had no contact with our potential missing girl. Only a few more hours before it becomes too dark to search without endangering my girls. I was worried about not finding her in time, when I got a ping on the comm.

    "Commander, this is Acht. I'm currently hiding behind a rocky outcropping to communicate with you."

    "Go on. Did you find the target?"

    "Nein. But I may have a lead. I came across a small fleet of Battleships and a Carrier moving inland. I tailed them for a moment and determined that they're not a patrol, meaning they're out for a specific purpose. My observation seaplane is following them currently, but I do not know how long it will remain undetected. Contact the aircraft carriers and have them send their wings to circle beyond sector B. If I recall, there is a large grid of the sea map there that is full of boulder islands and rocky spires. Our target could be hiding in there for quite some time."

    "Understood. It's the only lead we have now. Stay dark and see if you can't cut off any other potential reinforcements. We'll check this out."

    "Aye sir. Going under."

    The line dropped. I quickly tapped back into it and patched into the line designated for the carrier team, and relayed Hachi's lead. With any luck, the planes will find our missing Monitor, and if they do, we'll be there in force.

    Another ten minutes ticked off the clock before I got my answer. The result was a welcome one.

    "Hey Dragonfly, we got a hit. Hachi was right. We found the spires, and more importantly, found a moderate-sized group of Abyssals bombarding the area with siege fire. It seems none of them wanna move in, and i can only guess it's because our hiding girl has been usin' the terrain to kick their asses an' hide. Our bombers took out a few after finding them including the enemy carrier, but there are more left and our girls are comin' back to reload. Get over there quick as ya can."

    "On it. Good find Ryuu. We'll be back home with our mystery girl before the evening."

    "Good luck."

    I closed that link and opened up a fleet-wide connection.

    "Listen up. We've found our target. Sector B, outside of the designated search range. Sector B's group is to move back out. There is a large area of the seas with rocky spires and outcroppings. Enemy contacts have been confirmed, so prepare to engage. Sector A and sector C's group are to converge on sector B's team. My group will also be joining. Move out as quickly as you can."

    Acknowledgement pings chimed in response and the line went silent. I turned to the destroyers directly with me.

    "Let's move, ladies. Full speed ahead."

    "Not to make the offense, commander, but we are very fast, myself in particular. You and little white-hair will be left behind." Leningrad very casually and indirectly boasted.

    "Don't worry about me." I responded "I may not be able to keep up with your or Shimakaze's top speed, but I'm no slouch either. You never hear stories about a "slow" thief in fantasies. I'll keep up, even if I'm not the head of the pack. And Vampire's carrying a special piece of equipment that R&D popped out. A nice new turbine to kick up her speed."

    "And what of when we arrive?" Okhotnik asked. "Will you hide or hang the back? You are but human."

    "Again, don't underestimate me. I realize you're still new here and don't know, but it should be evident that I'm sailing on my own power (mostly) that I intend to fight. I once took a torpedo to the face and fought a heavy cruiser to a standstill. Walked both of them off. You'll see I can fight."

    "Hooh...? You have mine interest then, commander. Do not disappoint the hunter."

    And with that final exchange, the five of us took off sailing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Terror on the open seas pt.3
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The foreigners and I arrived onto the reported scene, just in time to witness three pitched battles going on simultaneously. I could hear all the different team comms going off on the command channel.

    From the direction of sector A, Destroyer Division 22 skirmished with an enemy destroyer squad of their own. They were slightly outnumbered, but the abyssal pack didn't have any tactics on their side.

    "Ohh, ya wanna fight me head on? Ain't that cute!" Satsuki darted forward at a destroyer that recently surfaced and had fired upon her.

    "Sacchin, too far forward! Your flank!" Minazuki shouted out at her friend as Satsuki went too far forward, and left her rear exposed for another two destroyers already engaged by the others.

    "Leave my friend alooooone!" Fumizuki blasted both of the two back attackers out of the adrenaline to protect her sister ship. Ever since she got her remodel fit out, she had gotten much more proactive and even aggressive in combat.

    "Ah, thanks Fumi!" Satsuki thanked her sister for the assist as she blasted her original target.

    "One... two... duck... one... sidestep... aim... fire!" Defending a separate flank, Nagatsuki was engaged with the leader of the enemy destroyer squad. Calmly and patiently, she watched the enemy movements, dodging enemy fire. When the right moment finally came, she took a single shot, lodging her shell right into the enemy's mouth-cannon, and causing it to explode.

    "Good hit, NagaNaga!"

    "Don't call me that."

    From sector C, the team of Naganami, Kiyoshimo, Ooshio, and led by Shimakaze were running circles around a pair of battleships.

    "So sloooow!" Shimakaze taunted one of the battleships as she toyed with the slow enemy, peppering it with shots from her Rensouhou trio that didn't really do much other than annoy the enemy.

    "A Battleship can't be this weak, you fakes!" Kiyoshimo was screaming at both enemies, very clearly disappointment that they weren't living up to the image of what a battleship was in her mind.

    "Oi! Don't taunt the enemies with guns bigger than you are!" Naganami was trying to be the voice of reason among the group. She seemed to be the only one taking the fight seriously, knowing that those battleship guns could end any one of them if they somehow actually hit.

    "Get fired up and go! Booooooom!" Ooshio was bouncing up and down as she always was. She loved being in motion with all her energy, and actually enjoyed combat because of it.

    The four of them launched their torpedoes simultaneously. In a massive explosion and geyser, the two battleships disappeared.

    In the middle of them all, the sector B team was outnumbered pretty heavily, as the team that found the main enemy forces. However, under the leadership of Inazuma, the team of Uranami, Nenohi, and Suzukaze were using the terrain of scattered boulders and spires to their advantage, executing hit and run guerilla tactics.

    "Uranami-san, now! As it's coming across the corner!" Inazuma ordered from her position hidden in the rocks.

    "Anchor shot! Suzukaze-san, go!" Uranami tossed her anchor as a heavy cruiser rounded a spire. With a hard overhead pull, Uranami sent the bound enemy flying over her head.

    "I got the bugger!" Suzukaze jumped out from behind her own cover and lit up the cruiser with her dual 127mm pistols. Multiple blasts shredded the cruiser, before Uranami slammed its broken body down into the water.

    "Nenohi-san, how's your ambush going?" Inazuma asked over the comm, before another blast and geyser shot up from nearby.

    "Hmm hmm~ I got it real good. That group just walked right into the torpedoes~" Nenohi responded as her trap was successful.

    "I'll come back to you now, and- gah!" The rest of her message was cut off as a blast from behind hit her square in the back. She turned quickly to find a Ri-class with a smoking arm cannon. It seems she had been tracked and followed in the rocks just as she herself had been tracking the group she blew up. The Ri-class tried to fire again, but Nenohi shot down at the water below her to throw up a geyser as cover. Before the mist cleared up, Nenohi managed to dash around and close in on the Ri-class. At a full run, Nenohi dropped into a baseball slide and took the legs out from under Ri. Using the momentum to roll and land in a stand, Nenohi unloaded both her hand cannons into its prone form.

    "Nenohi-san, what happened!?"

    "Sorry boss... I got got pretty bad... be careful. There are single units hiding in the terrain like we are, now. They're trying to track us like we've been tracking then. We're in a death maze now..."

    "...acknowledged. Get back to us carefully."

    Assessing the situation, it was obvious which team needed help the most, and I made that our priority. I patched in to the sector B team's channel.

    "Playing hide-and-seek? Looks like fun. Need more players?" I asked in a sarcastic manner.

    "Commander! We could really use a hand here, yes. We have one wounded in our group, but we can't leave. Too many hidden enemies, and our target is hiding in here as well; we can't leave her undefended. That large boulder in the middle is our goal. It's hollow inside and we're sure she's hiding in there." Inazuma responded.

    "Understood. We'll sweep the area."

    I patched back into my team's channel.

    "Alright ladies, that's how it is. There are enemies hidden in that mess of rocks and cover. Spread out, and proceed slowly. Be ready for close-quarters combat."

    Gremyaschy just nodded without a word.

    "The hunt is on... heh heh heh...!" Okhotnik got a bloodthirsty look in her eyes as she drew two of her guns and got into a combat crouch.

    "Like the cat hunting the mouse. They will be my prey for today~" Leningrad rubbed her hands together like someone about to play with a victim.

    "I wonder how Abyssal blood tastes~" Vampire mused at my side.

    I drew my own staff and got ready for close up work, myself. "Right then. Let's go".

    ... a good few minutes had passed since we started searching the maze-like terrain. I had heard the sounds of combat all around me. Reports had said that Nenohi had been recovered and escorted to Inazuma's makeshift command post/rock. Uranami and Suzukaze had suffered minor to moderate injuries themselves in this long chase, but were still operational. I myself was making my way towards the large center boulder to try and meet our target, when I came across a light cruiser creeping around the rocks with its back turned to me. I took the moment to stealth behind the rock I just passed by myself. I backed up after I got into cover, and positioned myself for a running start. With a jolt into a sprint, I got speed before jabbing my staff downward and using it to pole vault upwards. By the time the cruiser heard noise behind it, I was right on top of it. I slammed my staff down onto its head to stagger it, and then swept its legs with my staff after. Bashing it with the butt of the staff a few times while it was down, it eventually managed to get off a counter-attack. I just managed to lean back enough to avoid taking the shot to the face, but my poor hat got singed and sent flying. I kicked away its cannon hand before it got a second chance. I jabbed at it a few more times in the cruiser's neck before it managed to shake me away and slowly stand back up. With a final barrage of strikes, another crack to the head crumpled it to the 'floor' again, before a final overhead downswing caved in its skull.

    Taking a moment to compose myself, I managed to make it the rest of the way to the center without conflict. Most reports were now starting to call in"all clear", and it seems the area was now secure under our control. I entered the 'cave' in the large boulder when I deemed the area safe enough.

    "Hello? Royal Navy ship Terror? I've come to pick you up."

    "...stay away!" A soft voice shouted from the recesses of the cave.

    "I mean no harm. I'm here to help. My forces have eliminated the enemies trying to attack your position here, but it' only a matter of time before they come back with more."

    ... silence.

    "...I'm an acquaintance of the IJN's liaison to the Royal Navy. You know him as Harrab. He asked me to find you. If you need proof, I brought destroyer Vampire with me as well."

    "... Harrab sent you? Are you... Emerald? He mentioned that name once, as an ally..."

    "Aye, that's me."

    Slowly, a figure sailed out into the light. The girl I saw before me really was like a zombie. She had stitches all over her body; a set of sticthes around her forehead as if holding her scalp on, more still on her amrs and legs. The different skin tones made her look like she was patched together like in one of those old old horror movies that Americans liked. The thought of "Frankenstein's Monster" came to mind in particular, especially with the large bolt-like accessories on the sides of her head, looking like it was one object piercing through her skull. Her skin was almost as pale white as an Abyssal, and her hair was purely colorless like snow. She sat riding a large turret with a comedic monster face painted on it that I assumed was hers. She carried a small metal rod with her as well, that looked slightly like a spellcaster's staff at the end. I stowed my own staff and offered my hand to her.

    "I'm on your side, my dear. I can take you to land. I hear you're looking for someone. I'm pretty good at finding things myself, and I happen to know a guy who's really good at gathering information." I told to her as she slowly approached.

    "...yes. My sister is missing... I need help. Please... if you can help me, then please help me."

    I took her hand in my own as I escorted her outside. As she saw the other girls under my command, she let go and started to hide behind me, clutching onto my coat.

    "Heh, don't worry dear. They're all my friends. They won't bite."

    I offhandedly looked around, and saw Leningrad in the back, mouthing what looked like "She is cute" in the distance.

    "...except her maybe."

    With the area cleared and target secure, I started to lead my forces back home. I called for sectors D and E, as well as the submarines to pack it in and return, and for the carriers to recall their planes.

    We helped out the lost girl, but the harder part was coming up next. Finding a missing person on a vast open ocean was challenging enough. But if she wanted to stay hidden, we were in for quite the task. I patched my comm over to Ryuu back on shore.

    "When we get back, meet me in my office after we get our new friend checked up and repaired. We've got a phone call to make."

    "To who?"

    "Who else? To find a missing person, we need an Observer."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And there's the follow-up I promised forever ago. Guess who's sorry about the horrible delay? I am. Me. Sorry about that ._.

    Originally this was only going to be a two-parter, but I typed so much that I felt I had to break it into three parts just to avoid wall of text syndrome. Hopefully those still interested are still around to read. There's certainly more of this to come, and not just from myself. And thanks to Himeuta's method of combining posts by the same person in a row, we get the wall of text treatment anyways. Joy.

    Questions and comments still appreciated as always!.


    Last edited by Emerald Acid; 08-01-2018 at 09:46 AM.
    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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