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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.
    ~
    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! (5/5)


  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.
    ~
    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! (5/5)


 

 

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