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[KNMSU] Hyuga seeks Ise for sisterhood, long walks on the beach, possible fun and games.

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Battlecruiser_Tiger #1 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:25 PM

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(Possible fun and games IN WORLD OF WARSHIPS. Perv!)

 

 

Ahem! ANYWAY...

 

 

 

 

Rain.

 

The sullen clouds that drift overhead are leaden with it, their easterly flow promising no letup; no relenting. From the sea they roll in, one mighty rank reinforced by a second, and then a third – a great army; a meteorological host, assailing bough and branch; thistle and berry; man and beast alike as they bombard the landscape with their cumbersome payload. The sodden earth can absorb little more.

 

A rumble of thunder booms out across the bay, its echoing roar unfolding first across the waves and docklands, and then cascading into Maizuru proper, softly rattling streetlights and shaking roof tiles, before at last the sound bleeds away. The torrent, however, continues unabated. And so weary eyes, alerted by the sudden noise, return to their solemn watch.

 

It wasn’t them. This time. But it will be... eventually.

 

A sigh accompanies a blast of misty exhalation, as the thought reaches its natural conclusion.

 

And we won’t be ready.

 

There is a slight cracking noise behind her. Short locks whirl an tandem as a slender neck cranes, hard brown eyes sweeping anxiously behind. Almost immediately, they relax once more in recognition. A hand drops from the pommel of a ready katana.

 

“Out here again, Hyuga?” comes a gentle voice. “You’ll catch cold. Only us British-built battleships are made for rain.”

 

 

With another frustrated murmur, Hyuga  looks back towards the harbor. How can she still be making jokes? After a moment, the taller, curvier girl joins her at the stone wall, leaning dainty elbows upon the puddled flags. There is an unbrella clenched tightly in her little fist.

 

“I’m sorry,” says Kongo. “I’m sure she’s okay.”

 

 Hyuga allows herself a brief sidelong glance. But Kongo is no longer looking at her, those startlingly blue eyes instead pinned to the distant, angry ocean.

 

“I’m not,” comes the muttered reply.

 

At this, the penetrating stare returns, its typical, unflappable buoyancy replaced by a rich and raw sadness.

 

“Don’t say that! Ise will come back! I know her strike group is... is okay!”

 

Hyuga clenches her teeth before shaking her head.

 

“It’s been three days, Kongo. If they were out there, we’d have heard.”

 

The converted battlecruiser’s lips open and then reluctantly close. It is with a rueful, terrible bit of mirth that Hyuga notes that even Kongo can’t put a positive spin on this one. Ise is dead.

 

For half a minute, quietude returns. At last, the bare shoulders heave.

 

“I... all we can do is keep up hope,” manages Kongo.

 

“Hope,” repeats Hyuga leadenly. She is unable and unwilling to mask her tone of disgust. “Yeah.”

 

Kongo’s features twist.

 

“The admiral says—!”

 

“The admiral has lost,” cuts in Hyuga swiftly, her temper – barely contained these days – suddenly flaring white hot to the surface. “Don’t you get it? We have lost. The Abyssals have taken everything – everything! There’s no planning our way out of this – no engineering a comeback! Maizuru is the last naval district – possibly in the world! We’re... we’re...”

 

She can’t continue. Even as she spoke, Kongo’s lower jaw had begun to tremble. Her umbrella has dropped from her hand into a muddy pool of water.

 

“Finish what you were going to say,” whispers the taller girl.

 

“I... no,” sputters Hyuga. “Forget it.”

 

“Say it, damn it all!” She is crying now.

 

Hyuga looks again to the sea. Whitecaps break and crash against the outermost barrier islands. Again, and again they buckle and explode amongst the rocks, dashing foam up almost to the treeline.

 

“We’re going to die, Kongo.”

 

There is no response. Only the rain fills the void, its patter seeming to strengthen in the absence of voices. Abruptly, Hyuga feels two cold hands clasp around her own. Dreading and welcoming the familiar touch, she cannot withstand the dizzying emotional rush – the dam breaks within her, and she can feel the hot welling of tears begin to sting her eyes. Repeatedly, she opens her mouth and closes it again – working it like a fish – managing only a slight, incoherent wail. Kongo herself barely manages better.

 

“Then we are going to die,” she smiles weakly. “But we will die as friends.”

 

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

 

 

So, on that profoundly happy note, I'd like to announce that The Last Kanmusu[KNMSU] (click me) is recruiting! We are a small clan, but active, and our semi-unique naming system assures that you can actually (probably; first come, first serve) be the ship girl you want to be.

 

Like many clans on this forum, this is a Kancolle-based organization, but with a somewhat more grim background - the Kanmusu are on the verge of losing the war against the abyssals, to be ultimately driven from the sea (and probably annihilated). We represent a last, desperate group based out of Japan's final (and least important) Naval District, and if that makes for unhappy storytelling, I think it's also ripe roleplaying fodder. Where's the fun in a frontrunner? We're total dogs! Vegas has us down by 30 points in the spread! We're worse than the Atlanta Falcons! There's no winning! :)

 

I want to take a moment to mention that we are free from W-L, win percentage, or any other stat requirements. This clan is far more interested in personalities than twitchy skills, and while some of our members *are* pretty decent at the game, that is not, nor will it ever be, some kind of requirement or test for entry.

 

However, like most anime clans in WoWs, we're going to require naming restrictions because... well, it just looks cool1.

 

Our NEW NAMING SYSTEM shamelessly apes that of a lot of other Kantai Collection clans, thus providing overlap, so people comfortable with the community can feel free to play alongside us without having to pay for yet another name change:

 

Battleship_Name

Carrier_Name

Battlecruiser_Name

Cruiser_Name

Destroyer_Name

SeaplaneTender_Name

Corvette_Name

 

Any names with multiple words should be formatted PrinceofWales, NorthCarolina (no caps on the 'of'). If you have any confusion at all, it is better to ask than make a $15 mistake! If a name is taken, you can tack 'Kai' or 'KaiNi' onto the end if you desire. So, Battleship_YamatoKai, or Battlecruiser_HoodKaiNi, etc. PLEASE DISCUSS ALL NAME CHANGES WITH BATTLECRUISER_TIGER BEFORE YOU COMMIT.

 

We currently have access to a teamspeak server, and will be assembling an Enjin website shortly. And now I proceed to join the long list of lonely souls self-bumping!

 

So here's the fine print (oooh, look at my snazzy use of endnotes):

 

1Our initial idea flopped for a couple of reasons: first, as it turns out, any handle with the USS in it is banned by Wargaming (I guess because of the SS? Not sure). Second, it turned out that like 90% of Japanese capital ships with IJN for a prefix were also gone. Bummer. I know how popular the Nippon boats are (not to mention American), so I realized pretty rapidly that that system would have to be scrapped.


Edited by Battlecruiser_Tiger, 23 April 2017 - 02:36 AM.

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Wesrin #2 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:35 PM

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I came in to read (yet another) Kancolle-based clan advertisement. Instead I got citadel'd right in the feels.

 

10/10 would desu again. Best of luck to your recruitment efforts, and an excellent read!



SireneRacker #3 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:40 PM

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I wish you success for your recruitment, this story has hit me hard :(


Proud member of [WAIFU], nothing beats Prinz Eugen

 

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No my name does NOT refer to those things from Odysseus! They refer to those loud things attached to a fire truck. Not to beautiful girls singing on the Ocean.


Battleship_Dunkerque #4 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:42 PM

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Nice read!  Good luck to KNMSU. :)

Spoiler

 



Battlecruiser_Tiger #5 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:44 PM

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View PostBattleship_Dunkerque, on 28 March 2017 - 02:42 PM, said:

Nice read!  Good luck to KNMSU. :)

Spoiler

 

 

I dunno. Wikipedia says French Ship - FS. Do you have any kind of reference you could point me toward? (And I am not being sarcastic - if that's true, I want to be correct while there's still a chance to change). 

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Fog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao #6 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

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What are the first three gifs from?

 

 

(Sorta interested, but the name requirement......I'm keeping my name, Takao ARP was in kancolle so.....)


 

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BrassFire #7 Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:57 PM

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View PostIJN_Hyuga, on 28 March 2017 - 02:25 PM, said:

(Possible fun and games IN WORLD OF WARSHIPS. Perv!)

 

 

Ahem! ANYWAY...

 

 

 

 

Rain.

 

The sullen clouds that drift overhead are leaden with it, their easterly flow promising no letup; no relenting. From the sea they roll in, one mighty rank reinforced by a second, and then a third – a great army; a meteorological host, assailing bough and branch; thistle and berry; man and beast alike as they bombard the landscape with their cumbersome payload. The sodden earth can absorb little more.

 

A rumble of thunder booms out across the bay, its echoing roar unfolding first across the waves and docklands, and then cascading into Maizuru proper, softly rattling streetlights and shaking roof tiles, before at last the sound bleeds away. The torrent, however, continues unabated. And so weary eyes, alerted by the sudden noise, return to their solemn watch.

 

It wasn’t them. This time. But it will be... eventually.

 

A sigh accompanies a blast of misty exhalation, as the thought reaches its natural conclusion.

 

And we won’t be ready.

 

There is a slight cracking noise behind her. Short locks whirl an tandem as a slender neck cranes, hard brown eyes sweeping anxiously behind. Almost immediately, they relax once more in recognition. A hand drops from the pommel of a ready katana.

 

“Out here again, Hyuga?” comes a gentle voice. “You’ll catch cold. Only us British-built battleships are made for rain.”

 

 

With another frustrated murmur, Hyuga  looks back towards the harbor. How can she still be making jokes? After a moment, the taller, more slender girl joins her at the stone wall, leaning dainty elbows upon the puddled flags. There is an unbrella clenched tightly in her little fist.

 

“I’m sorry,” says Kongo. “I’m sure she’s okay.”

 

 Hyuga allows herself a brief sidelong glance. But Kongo is no longer looking at her, those startlingly blue eyes instead pinned to the distant, angry sea.

 

“I’m not,” comes the muttered reply.

 

At this, the penetrating stare returns, its typical, unflappable buoyancy replaced by a rich and raw sadness.

 

“Don’t say that! Ise will come back! I know her strike group is... is okay!”

 

Hyuga clenches her teeth before shaking her head.

 

“It’s been three days, Kongo. If they were out there, we’d have heard.”

 

The converted battlecruiser’s lips open and then reluctantly close. It is with a rueful, terrible bit of mirth that Hyuga notes that even Kongo can’t put a positive spin on this one. Ise is dead.

 

At last, the bare shoulders heave.

 

“I... all we can do is keep up hope,” manages Kongo.

 

“Hope,” repeats Hyuga leadenly. She is unable and unwilling to mask her tone of disgust. “Yeah.”

 

Kongo’s features twist.

 

“The admiral says—!”

 

“The admiral has lost,” cuts in Hyuga swiftly, her temper – barely contained these days – suddenly flaring white hot to the surface. “Don’t you get it? We have lost. The Abyssals have taken everything – everything! There’s no planning our way out of this – no engineering a comeback! Maizuru is the last naval district – possibly in the world! We’re... we’re...”

 

She can’t continue. Even as she spoke, Kongo’s lower jaw had begun to tremble.

 

“Finish what you were going to say,” whispers the taller girl.

 

“I... no,” sputters Hyuga. “Forget it.”

 

“Say it, damn it all!” She is crying now.

 

Hyuga looks again to the sea. Whitecaps break and crash against the outermost barrier islands. Again, and again they buckle and explode amongst the rocks, dashing foam up almost to the treeline.

 

“We’re going to die, Kongo.”

 

The umbrella clatters to the ground, but there is no other response. Only the rain fills the void, its patter seeming to strengthen in the absence of voices. Abruptly, Hyuga feels two cold hands clasp around her own. Dreading and welcoming the familiar touch, she cannot withstand the dizzying emotional rush – the dam breaks within her, and she can feel the hot welling of tears begin to sting her eyes. Repeatedly, she opens her mouth and closes it again – working it like a fish – managing only a slight, incoherent wail. Kongo herself barely manages better.

 

“Then we are going to die,” she smiles weakly. “But we will die as friends.”

 

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

 

 

...

 

...

 

...

 


Edited by BrassFire, 28 March 2017 - 03:02 PM.

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Destroyer_HamakazeKai #8 Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:14 PM

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The Norwegian warship prefix if "HNoMS" (His/Her Norwegian Majesty's Ship) in english for the purposes of international identification not KNM

Edited by Destroyer_HamakazeKai, 28 March 2017 - 03:19 PM.

 

I am Hamakaze. I participated in many fierce battles. At Leyte, I was in Kongou's ring formation. Futhermore, I seared them into my memory Musashi, Kongou and Shinano's last moments.
At the fated Bounomisaki, I, Yukikaze and many others struggled to protect Yamato.


Battlecruiser_Tiger #9 Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

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View PostFog_Heavy_Cruiser_Takao, on 28 March 2017 - 02:49 PM, said:

What are the first three gifs from?

 

 

(Sorta interested, but the name requirement......I'm keeping my name, Takao ARP was in kancolle so.....)

 

I google'd "anime rain" and then did an animated .gif search - those were some of the first results; not a clue what they're from. It's possible (but unlikely) that they're generic .gif art - I've found a lot of aspiring anime artists actually compose animated .gif 'scenes' to showcase their background work.

Edited by IJN_Hyuga, 28 March 2017 - 03:27 PM.

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Battlecruiser_Tiger #10 Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:21 PM

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View PostDestroyer_HamakazeKai, on 28 March 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

The Norwegian warship prefix if "HNoMS" (His/Her Norwegian Majesty's Ship) in english for the purposes of international identification not KNM

 

Again, I pulled that off the Wikpedia article (which said that HNoMS was what was used internationally, but KNM was used domestically... not sure if they were confused or what). I'm already leaning toward's Dunkerque's suggestion on MN (the Allies & Axis forum confirms it was used sometimes; FS is a NATO designation), so I'll probably change them both simultaneously. The Danish one, I believe, is also like the Norwegian one (there are two prefixes listed).

 

*Edit* Okay, made the changes. You can understand my confusion looking at this. Thanks for the advice.


Edited by IJN_Hyuga, 28 March 2017 - 03:34 PM.

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Battleship_Dunkerque #11 Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:11 PM

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View PostIJN_Hyuga, on 28 March 2017 - 08:44 AM, said:

 

I dunno. Wikipedia says French Ship - FS. Do you have any kind of reference you could point me toward? (And I am not being sarcastic - if that's true, I want to be correct while there's still a chance to change). 

Actually, wikipedia says the French Navy doesn't use prefixes at all, and that "Foreign commentators sometimes use the prefixes "FS" (for "French Ship") or FNS (for "French Navy Ship"); these are not official, however."  Also, the opening line of that page states... The French Navy (French: Marine nationale, "national navy"), informally La Royale, is the maritime arm of the French Armed Forces.[3]

 

For more reassurance on that note, check the MN website at http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine

 

As for the prefix thing, I'd seen 'MN' used both here and other sites.  To me, it seems to be more consistent with other prefixes like 'IJN', but since their navy officially doesn't use them, you're really at liberty to do as you like.  Which is really the point anyway  - your clan, your rules. :)

 


Edited by Battleship_Dunkerque, 28 March 2017 - 11:14 PM.


Battlecruiser_Tiger #12 Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:35 PM

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View PostBattleship_Dunkerque, on 28 March 2017 - 11:11 PM, said:

Which is really the point anyway  - your clan, your rules. :)

 

 

Maybe, but clans don't really *belong* to anyone, and I want people to look smart - not being constantly corrected because I muffed things.

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Battleship_Dunkerque #13 Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:46 AM

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View PostIJN_Hyuga, on 28 March 2017 - 05:35 PM, said:

 

Maybe, but clans don't really *belong* to anyone, and I want people to look smart - not being constantly corrected because I muffed things.

 

Well, like I said, I don't think it was 'wrong' from what I see - one could make a case for it either way.  If you're happy with the change, then go with it. :)

Battlecruiser_Tiger #14 Posted 29 March 2017 - 05:01 PM

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Bizzump.


Edited by Dreadnought_Hyuga, 04 April 2017 - 04:31 AM.

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Battlecruiser_Tiger #15 Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:58 PM

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Like the cry of a mechanical banshee, the otherworldly voice of an air raid siren rolled out across the Achinomachi Valley. In the distance, like an answering salute, Maizuru's anti aircraft batteries began to sputter fitfully. The noise wound its way along the vale of the river, gradually losing its staccato punch as it moved, until the individual explosions melted into an angry, almost ursine growl. There would be death in the city this morning; death and sorrow. By evening, mourners would gather - rights be passed. Then, in the darkness it would begin again.

 

Hagikaze turned onto her side, the wooden floorboards beneath her bed roll creaking at the slightest movement. It would be impossible to sleep now - she would tumble the imagery over in her mind again and again until the dawn. Best to rise and do chores - that would be far more productive... if exhausting. Still, she had done without sleep before, and she could manage again. It wasn't like her days involved rigorous physical labor anymore.

 

Despite her dainty footfalls, it was impossible for the destroyer to pick her way through the cabin without making a bit of noise. Luckily, Naganami and Uzuki were both pretty heavy sleepers; Hagikaze doubted even a bullhorn could wake the former. She cracked a little smile in spite of herself - Nami was such an eccentric dope, and Uzuki every bit her equal in charming simplicity. She loved them both so intensely... it was comforting to know they were here and not elsewhere. Soon, the time might come when orders would mean little - then they would have to look out for each other. Even if events turned still worse; even if the Abyssals took her own life, Hagikaze was determined that these two girls, at least, would survive.

 

It was ice cold on the porch when she stepped out onto it, but mercifully the air was still. Long tendrils off fog, drifting like the legs of an immense, ethereal squid, had slithered their way up from the twin reservoirs in the valley below. Here at the summit, their long fingers licked around the sides of the hut, prodding and feeling about its flanks as they danced and mingled. On clear days, Mount Azami afforded spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, but especially the deep blue waters of Wakasa Bay. Some mornings, even the crystalline snowcap of Mount Haku could be seen nearly a hundred miles to the northeast, its volcanic edifice glowing in the intense light of a new day. But from the looks of the canopy overhead - its vast expanse absent of even a single star - Hagikaze doubted they would be able to see much of anything when the dawn came. Yesterday's rain was gone, but the clouds looked as robust and menacing as ever.

 

The Bay was, of course, why they were here. When Maizuru's surface detection radar was knocked out - and it almost always was - the best way to spot approaching enemy fleets coming from the east was this overlook. With a headset and a functioning radio line, the city could be alerted to a pending bombardment with enough time to sortie capital ships and mount a defense. Only once had the line failed, and then the girls had been obliged to scamper at breakneck down the treacherous paths to the valley floor – nearly two miles. Cut and bruised, they had arrived at Mr. Eno’s farm just in time to –.

 

Hagikaze’s nostrils flared. A pungent odor abruptly cut all her thoughts down where they stood. She recognized it immediately, an anxious and intense distaste at once flooding her body from brow to toe. Ahead, shadowed against the railing – a deeper blackness against the prevailing nightshade – loomed a familiar figure, the glowing tip of a cigar clutched in one hand. Had she been there the whole time?

 

“Tenryu,” muttered Hakigaze, unable to mask her disdain. “What are you doing here?”

 

The cigar drifted upwards, catching, for a moment, the flash of unnatural yellow-green eyes. Tenryu pulled deeply on the stogie before exhaling another foul-smelling cloud towards Hakigaze’s nose. The destroyer’s eyes watered, but she did not flinch.

 

“Orders,” said the cruiser simply, thrusting a stained manila envelope into Hakigaze’s hands. “Direct from high command.”

 

 

Suddenly afraid, the destroyer cracked the lid of the envelope, then fumbled for a second for an electric lantern she knew lay leaning dear the doorway. After a moment, her fingers closed around the ribbed metal handle, and documents bearing both the official markings of the Naval General Staff, and – far more worryingly – the Imperial Seal flooded into luminance before her. Pale mint irises snapped back and forth as they took in the contents. As she read, Hagikaze's heart plunged.

 

“We’re to be relieved of this post immediately and travel overland for Wakayama… where we’ll be redeployed to… Formosa?” she said confusedly. “But… but I thought the island had fallen over a year ago.”

 

Tenryu shrugged nonchalantly.

 

“Special ops,” said the cruiser, drawing again on her cigar. Her chin cocked upwards. “You’re not through yet.”

 

Her mind already tumbling over the implications – Nami and Uzuki, in enemy territory, the possibility of relief nonexistent… on a potential suicide mission – Hagikaze flipped the page. Eyes and mouth both widened precipitously.

 

“YOU’RE IN CHARGE?!”

 

Even in the faint light thrown by the lamp, Hagikaze could clearly see the taller girl’s canine sneer. Of all the indignities; of all the insults; of all the peril – Tenryu, she who was basically a criminal within the service… who… who had been censured for abandoning her post not four months prior. SHE would be the flagship? Now Hagikaze couldn’t help but cough as a fresh blast of fumes overwhelmed her. Almost choking between gags, she glared back at the older girl through haze thick as a cloud.

 

“That’s right, cupcake,” chuckled Tenryu. “Now go wake the others. We have a train to catch.”


Edited by IJN_Hyuga, 30 March 2017 - 05:14 PM.

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Battlecruiser_Tiger #16 Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:19 PM

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Welcome Hiei!

 


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Battlecruiser_Tiger #17 Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:08 AM

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Naming policy updated to reflect the cruel realities of war (or, more accurately, Russia's paranoia when it comes to 'scary' words). 

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Battlecruiser_Tiger #18 Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:58 PM

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The shell clattered noisomely against a thousand other broken fragments, flipping end over end into the gloaming light, until it was lost amongst the multitude. Further inshore, the air smelled pungently of salt, seagrass and sweet rot – all the aromas of the tidewater. But here at the ocean’s edge, the stink of dead crustaceans was palpable. It was less of beach than a graveyard, reflected Ashigara.

 

The hungry wolf felt slightly anxious – exposed here as she was – though there was little reason to be. Paipuyen-Jima was far from the fighting; isolated, indeed, from once-burgeoning trade routes… although it did lie in the heart of the fertile fishing grounds of Balintang Channel.

 

She punted another shell glumly. This one made it all the way to the water, plunking softly into the drink.

 

There were no fishermen now, of course – not since the Philippines had been scourged of all human life. Instead, and eerie kind of quiet hung over the landscape. Bird song mingled with the music of the waves, and the sigh of the ever-present winds rustled palm fronds and nettle bushes alike, yes… but there was no human presence; no reflection of the once thickly-settled ribbon of mankind that once draped over all of East Asia. Just… nothing.

Oysters and crab were hardly the only creatures who had done a great deal of dying here.

 

“Hello. Pleasant night, is it not?”

 

Ashigara clutched her bosom and leapt off the ground, nearly toppling into a stagnant pool. Barely recovering in time, she managed to affix her sharp green eyes onto the wayward interloper before the other girl stepped past her. Naked feet met the damp sand, and the newcomer’s advance stopped.

 

Akitsushima was so damned odd – all pony tails and bubblegum looks, yet silent as a ninja. Who would have thought a seaplane tender could get the drop on a heavy cruiser? It was mortifying – and this was hardly the first time it had happened, either. The girl was a friggin’ ghost.

 

“Uh, yes,” coughed the wolf, dusting her blouse and trying her best to look nonchalant. “Pleasant.”

 

But Akitsushima didn’t even seem to be listening. Instead, her gaze was fixed on the western horizon, its dark line a sharp crease against the still-yellow haze of long-set sun. The wispy girl nodded to herself several times, then cupped a hand over one ear.

 

“Yes, I see,” she said. “I’ll tell her.”

 

With a whirl, the tender turned on a heel and began to walk determinedly inland. Startled again, it took Ashigara a moment to follow.

 

“H-hey! What’s happening?!” she called afterward.

 

“My Type 2 Boat reports that an Abyssal force composed of several battleships and destroyers is sailing south from Formosa, about a hundred sea miles to the northwest,” said Akitsushima dreamly, thrusting aside the outflung arms of several low-growing palms as she followed a rough path into the interior.

 

Startled, Ashigara couldn’t avoid one of the fronds as it ploughed roughly back into her face. She sputtered and gagged, spitting a mouthful of leaf into the bush, desperately trying to quell a rising fear.

 

“Here?! Were you – your plane – spotted?”

 

“Unknown,” answered the other girl. “I hope not.”

 

“Hope not?!” barked Ashigara, continuing to pluck thread-like fibers from her mouth. “We don’t have the firepower to stop that kind of fleet!”

 

“I am aware of that,” said Akitsushima. “That is why I am hastening to inform the flagship. Abyssal involvement at this juncture could endanger the entire operation.”

 

“Operation? It could endanger our lives!” roared Ashigara. She clutched her arms across her chest and fumed. “Oh, why can’t we ever catch a break? Even the beach was stinky.”

 

The tender cocked an eyebrow and glanced back in her direction, but said nothing. Rather, she quickened her pace. Ashigara gritted her teeth and followed. Were the Abyssals coming? Would the flagship flee? Would she fight? What about the mission?

 

She didn’t know – she didn’t want to know. She just wanted to go home. 


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Battlecruiser_Tiger #19 Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:15 PM

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The heat was unusual for early October - stranger still since it had been so damp and chilly over the past week. But for one final day, it seemed, summer had been resurrected from the grave to set Maizuru aglow. The empowered sun beat down on still-wet alleyways and streets, their fetid puddles almost steaming against its relentless aura. Children played in the back lots, scurrying to and fro, their lithe forms and carefree attitudes in stark contrast to the notable malaise that seemed to infect much of the city's adulthood. And the weather certainly wasn't helping, as many an idle and weary hand tugged and chaffed at a much-regretted high collar or long-sleeve blouse cuff.

 

Hyuga had to admit, she was lucky in that regard. Whatever the season, she and Ise always wore the same traditional, loose-fitting hitari; and thank goodness for that. Neither sister was much concerned with fashion - oh, sure, Ise had managed to cajole her sibling into breaking out a more traditional kimono from time to time, when the situation called for it. But first and foremost, they were battleships and sword maidens - and you didn't swing a katana while wearing a sailor suit. Well, Hyuga didn't, at least. She couldn't speak for everyone else, present, of course - some of the other kanmusu wore the strangest clothing, and there were a lot of them crowded into the small briefing room.

 

Like, just for example, there was Mutsu, shyly leaning against the wall - attired in same obnoxiously short skirt and strange, oddly-alluring pointed headband as always. She was radiantly beautiful, and no one present would have denied it. But that headgear... well... it made her look a bit like a super model slug. And who wanted that... really? Even if you were the prettiest invertebrate, it still left you a shell-less snail.

 

Abruptly, the taller battleship sneezed, and Hyuga quickly averted her gaze.

 

In addition to the familiar cast of residents of the naval district, there were a few figures present that the battleship had never seen before. Lined up against the far wall, their faces grim and expressionless, were a row of generously curvy looking girls all wearing fur hats and heavy snow boots. It was a really odd choice for this time of year, even if the weather wasn’t acting so strangely, though they didn’t seem uncomfortable.

 

Hyuga’s vision continued to scan the room. Her eyes last fell upon the girl seated to her own right. Good grief, here was another one. This poor thing sported white leggings, matching heels, a black tie, and what looked to be a bright blue high school blazer. Not only did her attire seem distinctly out of place for war fighting, but Hyuga had to admit it looked really, really hot - a fact borne out by its owner's sweat-covered brow, and fidgety disposition. Oh well, at least she didn’t seem to be the overly chatty typ—

 

The cherubic face turned, and Hyuga’s eyes widened. Oh no! Small talk! And she couldn’t even remember this girl’s name! She was… a-a Myoko, right? But which Myoko? God damn it – there were so many freaking cruisers! Let’s see… she wasn’t Myoko… she wasn’t Ashigara (ha ha, of course not, there weren’t flames shooting out of her ears), but who did that leave?

 

“O-oh h-hello Hyuga,” said the girl. “I h-haven’t seen you in… in forever.”

 

GAAAHHHHH! WHAT WAS HER NAME?!

 

“It’s been a while Naaaa—Haguro. Haguro!” spluttered Hyuga. “How… how are your sisters?”

 

To say polite conversation wasn’t Hyuga’s forte would be an immense understatement. She was downright, demonstrably horrid at it. Mercifully, Haguro didn’t appear to notice.

 

“Uh—uh well Ashigara is s-south somewh-where,” stuttered the cruiser. “Myoko was ordered to the east c-coast.”

 

Haguro’s fingertips collided bashfully.

 

“We… we haven’t h-heard from Nachi in several months.”

 

“I’m… I’m sorry,” managed Hyuga, avoiding the other girl’s stare. “Ise is… well, she’s missing, too.”

 

“Oh! Oh, I h-had n-no idea!” squeaked Haguro, her cheeks reddening.

 

“How would you?” replied the battleship glumly. “It’s… it’s fine.”

 

A fit of different emotions cascaded over Haguro’s gentle features, though most were in some way pained. However, even though it looked like a response might be forthcoming, the cruiser apparently couldn’t find the right words. Nor would she get a chance, for at that moment a tall figure stepped to the dais at the far end of the room.

 

Fuso looked absolutely exhausted. Her once-gentle demeanor and soft, almost over-sweet features had been hardened by months of toil as flagship, a position Hyuga had initially believed the other battleship completely unsuited for. At the time, there were few other options – neither of the Ise sisters had been senior enough for the post, and Mutsu had refused command after her sibling had nearly died at Wake. With Nagato still out of commission, that left Fuso and Yamashiro, with the former accepting the role – Hyuga was convinced – simply to shield her imouto-san from its responsibilities.

 

But Hyuga had been wrong. Though nearly broken from the strain, Fuso had held up – even becoming a kind of reluctant mirror image of what Nagato had been for the fleet. Though she lacked the latter’s grim resolve, and openly suffered and mourned casualties alongside them all, in many ways, she was a more reflective, pensive leader, who – while generally risk averse compared to her predecessor – was better able to spot patterns and seize initiative.

 

“Less natural, but more skilled,” whispered Hyuga to herself.

 

The lights dimmed, and all conversation in the room ceased. As the older battleship began to speak, a projected image flared up in unison on a battered pull-down screen behind her.

 

 

“Hello, everyone, thank you all for coming,” said Fuso, coughing to clear a bit of hoarseness from her voice. “Operation Kurētogurīn has apparently proven unsuccessful—”

 

There were audible gasps in the room. Hyuga, however, didn’t move. She, of course, had already known Ise’s fate.

 

“—we don’t know if there are survivors,” continued the speaker ruefully, “but Mukou-jima remains firmly in the hands of the enemy.”

 

She exhaled, looking utterly spent. After some delay, Fuso pressed on.

 

“The Emperor has commanded that the latest failure compel us to reevaluate our grand strategy—”

 

Hyuga suddenly felt her chest constrict.

 

“—and high command has decided to adhere to His Majesty’s wishes by completely altering our approach to the war. As such, we are abandoning the southeastern theater, effective immediately.”

 

So overcome with fury was she, that the aviation battleship nearly stood and shouted obscenities towards the dais. Treachery! Perfidy! Had Ise died for nothing, then? And she was apparently not alone – several of the destroyers were on their feet, pointing and snarling with unmasked fury; Hyuga noted without a slight amount of bitter satisfaction that Kuroshio was actually having to be physically restrained by her surviving sisters. For 18 months, all of them had suffered terribly to hold the southern front – who was anyone; even the Emperor himself, to dishonor that sacrifice?

 

For her part, Fuso said nothing, her passive face absorbing the torrent of abuse in silence. Only her eyes, quivering within their sockets, betrayed her injury. And it was observance of this, more than anything, that seemed to quell the room.

 

“I… I understand that this change is sudden,” she said quietly, her voice cracking. “But we kanmusu do not make these choices ourselves – ours is to do as others command. I hope everyone understands that.”

 

Nobody spoke, but it seemed as if Fuso wasn’t looking for acknowledgment – just an understanding in her compatriots that anger over this duplicity was an emotion that she well knew. After a long moment, the battleship turned to the display behind her.

 

“Our new objective is Kamchatka and, ultimately, Siberia,” said the flagship. “According to our latest intelligence from Manchuria, the Abyssals cannot venture more than two hundred kilometers from water before they begin to weaken dramatically. Although they can continue landward assaults utilizing proxy forces like drone tanks and air strikes, this gives us a great advantage, even if we can’t wear our outfits. We are, after all, still human.”

 

Several hands leapt up immediately. Fuso wearily pointed towards the nearest. A very flustered Akizuki-class destroyer shot from her seat like a rocket, offering a stiff salute.

 

“Hanazuki reporting!” she belted. “Sir! What good are we without our outfits, sir?”

 

Fuso opened her mouth. But she didn’t get a chance to respond. Almost to her own surprise, Hyuga found she had risen to her feet.

 

“You can still heft a rifle, can you not?” she asked in exasperation. “And swing a sword? Some here, I know, can even pilot aircraft… and tanks. We may be the spirit of warships… but we have the will and tenacity of women.”

 

Hyuga immediately dropped back into her seat, crossing her arms. She hated participation in things like this… but it had to be said. And she was none-too-disappointed to see Hanazuki glaring at her from the front of the room. Several of the other kanmusu, however, were nodding in consent, including Fuso.

 

“Hyuga is right, Hanazuki,” she said sagely. “We do what the mission calls for, outfits or not.”

 

“Besides,” she continued, pointing again towards the map, “the first part of the mission is mostly naval. High command has broken our initial thrust into three associated objectives, one of which is a feint.”

 

Her finger – carving a black silhouette against the screen – traced a wave line from Maizuru to an island just south of the Korean Peninsula.

 

“Jeju Island fell to the enemy six months ago. However, our combined air attacks from Busan and Fukuoka have never allowed the Abyssals to properly dig in, and their airfield maiden is apparently very weak. In order to assure our northern push, we must secure its southern flank. Therefore, Jeju-Jima must be retaken to make Tsushima Straits impassable for the enemy.”

 

The fingernail moved down much lower on the map’s surface, stopping at last on a group of tiny islands halfway between Formosa and Luzon.

 

“This is Paipuyen, one of the Calayan Islands,” explained Fuso. “It’s also the only island in the chain with a suitable harbor, although it is small.”

 

She took a deep breath.

 

“We’ve had a small reconnaissance force positioned on Paipuyen, tracking the Abyssals in the area south of Formosa. According to our flagship on the scene, other than a few unexpected movements, the enemy sailings have fallen into a predictable pattern – one we hope to profit from. In the next 24 hours, a strike fleet will depart from Wakayama and Matsusaka under cover of darkness, to rendezvous with the kanmusu already on Paipuyen.”

 

“From there, they have been ordered to secure Formosa.”

 

Another multitude of hands flew into the air – one, Hyuga was surprised to see, belonging to Haguro. Fuso tilted her chin the direction of the heavy cruiser, who stood and lightly dusted off her blouse before speaking.

 

“B-but… I thought our g-goal was Siberia?” she asked. “And h-how can any force be expected to t-take Formosa? They… they say it’s a fortress!”

 

She immediately dropped back down into her chair, seemingly relieved to be out of the limelight. Fuso cocked her head to one side.

 

“Who’s they?”

 

“O-oh,” balked Haguro. “J-just people I’ve spoken with! Around… around here!”

 

The flagship pursed her lips.

 

“Formosa is well-defended, but we don’t believe it’s invincible,” she said. “Our carrier strike forces are extremely depleted, but what we have should be enough to overcome the enemy positions on-shore. We then hope to press into the interior, where the abyssals will be obliged to fight on the ground. This will help to negate their advantages.”

 

“Besides,” added Fuso, “it’s just a distraction.”

 

Several of the girls looked around confusedly.

 

“B-but Formosa is a major objective! How can we secure it without concentrating our efforts there?” cried one.

 

“Yes, yes and what about supplies?!” demanded another.

 

“The Formosa garrison’s duty is to draw the Abyssal attention away from our main goals. As such, they will take with them what provisions they require for a six-month siege,” said Fuso, raising her hands seeking calm. “And after that… we hope to relieve them thanks to progress made in the north.”

 

“But what if we can’t relieve them?” shouted Haguro, her voice suddenly free of its shuddering tempo.

 

The flagship looked mournfully back towards the heavy cruiser.

 

“War is not without risk,” she said simply.

 

There was more muttering, but the opening protests had gone silent. Haguro dropped heavily back into her seat. Seemingly satisfied, Fuso traced a line back up to a third, much larger arrow.

 

“Our primary objective will be to secure Vladivostok on Siberian coastline. With that port in hand, we can reactivate the Soviet naval district and – optimistically – some of their ship-building capacity.”

 

At this, the oddly-clothed girls lined against the wall all began to nod and, in one case, even flex. Hyuga absentmindedly stuck out her tongue. Oh, so they were Russian. Now it all made sense.

 

“We will then wage a northerly campaign towards Karafuto and Kamchatka, ultimately wresting the entire Sea of Okhotsk from the enemy before moving inland. Once we have the Siberian mines in our possession, our reconstituted force can rescue Formosa, and resume the southern war.”

 

Nobody spoke.

 

Hyuga folded her arms and scowled. There were so many things wrong with this plan. For one, it was too complex: there were far too many wide-ranging objectives, any one of which – if it failed – could risk the entire operation. For another, it relied upon many of the kanmusu to fight on land. While Hyuga was confident with her own skills with a blade, and had chided the other girls for their reluctance to battle as women, that didn’t mean that they were ready to mount this kind of warfare without any preparation. Proper training would take months.

 

But there was another nagging doubt that butted even these two pressing objections aside… and that was a simple question of manpower. The map seemed to indicate that the bulk of humanity’s remaining ship girls would be combining to assail Formosa and Vladivostok. That left a token force to seize the first prize: Jeju. Reports of a weakened airfield maiden or not, this would be an immensely difficult assault for whatever puny fleet Fuso had assigned.

 

“So,” she said, not bothering to stand, “who is going where? And who is taking Jeju, since that’s first?”

 

Fuso’s sad gaze fell upon her, and at once Hyuga felt her blood run cold.

 

Oh no...

 

"You, Hyuga," she said. "You, Haguro and Hanazuki will take Jeju Island from the enemy, as the first part of Operation Yuki no Ikari."


Edited by Dreadnought_Hyuga, 05 April 2017 - 07:25 PM.

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Iowa_Kai #20 Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:23 AM

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There is just not enough ship names left available. It will be hard to grow with such policy. Regardless best of luck. (An ex shipname user.)

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