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Author: MrCorsair

Pacific Quest: On Patrol

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-4 10:07:55
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A) Mahan, lets get the equipment unpacked and see if we can fix this.

"Okay, lets get our priorities straight." You tell Mahan. "We're here to get the station up and running. Take a look at the, uh..." Your words fumble as you motion at the wrecked machinery. "...things and see how bad the damage is. I'll get the parts." You walk out of the building and you begin the slow process of hauling the spare parts over and unpacking them. By the time you're finished the destroyer makes her report.

"I have bad news, Lieutenant." She informs you with a hint of frustration in her voice. "I can make repairs to the device, but the computer attached  has been demolished. Vital components have been stolen. Without the computer I cannot properly calibrate the device."

"Hold up." you wave your hand frantically to cut her off. "You said 'vital components?' How vital are we talking here?"

"It's memory storage and hard drive have been stolen. I could not find any pieces of them in the casing."

"That's just perfect. Okay, what would have been on them?" You ask, silently praying for it to be something unimportant, like pet photos or a swimsuit calendar. It is in vain, naturally as this has been the cruise that keeps on giving.

"It would have records of abyssal movements. It stores data here before sending it off to MERLIN. The system is heavily encrypted. There is minimal danger of intrusion." For a split second she looks like a deer in the headlights as she starts piecing things together.

"Sir?" her voice begin wavering from her normally ice-cold professionalism. "Could you and the chief please leave? I am afraid we are dealing with something highly classified."

"Mahan." you growl. Your 'angry officer' tone creeping into your voice. "Does this have something to do with that 'incident' from a few weeks back? I need to contact Avalon."

A) Like hell I'm leaving. I'll get a full explanation now.

B) I'll leave, but I'll demand an explanation later.

C) I'll leave, but I'll find a way to eavesdrop.

D) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-9 07:19:59
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A) Like hell I'm leaving. I'll get a full explanation now.

"Like hell I'm leaving." Your eyes lock with Mahan's. Your pissed officer glare against her clinical gaze. "I'll have a full explanation now."

"It is classified. I am afraid cannot share details with you. Please leave. I need to radio Avalon." You lean inr, looming over her . Although you are rail thin you are also easily the tallest person on the ship.

"Sounds like that's ever stopped you before, and it's never stopped me before. Out with it."  The girls semi-permanent frown deepens, but she blinks first. She takes a deep breath and holds it for a few seconds before continuing. You pull away from her, but keep your eyes fixed on hers.

"You were correct in your initial guess, Lieutenant. I believe this is connected to my previous indiscretion. At the time we had assumed that the intruder was another nation with a shipgirl program. After examining the damage to the room and the pectidae in the nearby waters it seems overwhelmingly likely that this-" she waves at the debris scattering the room. "-was caused by an abyssal. This is likely where the intruder accessed MERLIN's system."

You raise a palm for her to stop. "Wait. Stop. Please tell me you aren't suggesting the enormous clam hacked into the world's most sophisticated computer."

Your attempt a humor falls flat. "That is all that I can with certainty at this moment, sir. Can you please leave for a few minutes?"You nod slowly. You're confident that Mahan's either glossed over or left out some important details but you reason it's the best you'll be able to get out of her for now.

As you exit you grab what's left of the door and shut it. As you draw your hand back a jolt of burning agony traces across your palm. Fighting the urge to scream you examine the bleeding mess that was your hand. A thick gash starts from your wrist and ends with a strange black splinter in the middle of your hand.

"Jesus!" Bergmann shouts. "Hold still!" He grouses about letting officers out of his sight as he looks around for a medical kit. While he's distracted you take another look at what caused the wound. Examining it further it seems to be some kind of shed claw, almost half as long as your thumb and curved. The small cyan nubs running up it's side give it a distinctly alien appearance.

You slowly work it out of your palm before Bergmann comes running back with some bandages.

A) Show him the claw.

B) Don't show him.

C) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-13 02:00:44
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A) Show him the claw.

Waves of panic roll over your mind. For a split second you contemplated not showing the strange, possibly abyssal claw to the chief. You aren't even sure why. It probably has something to do with the sudden urge to flee and hide somewhere. With your good hand you hold up the bloody talon as sharp, stabbing agony spreads further into your arm with every heartbeat.

"Sweet Christmas!  Ooowww..."   You start shaking your hand as if the pain would somehow spill out. You try to focus on the chief, the spinning and tiny flashes buzzing around your view make that hard. "B-Bergman, were you out here, man?  When the heck did this doorknob get..."  

"Aw hell." A pair of rough hands guide you onto your back. You feel something strike the back of your hand repeatedly "Damned fool, leggo!" You drop the claw as your strength is sapped from your limbs.

"Wait, a second..." you say, words slurred. You try to scramble to your feet but your vision begins to fade at the edges as you fall back to the sand. "But I had a doorknob already from earlier?  ...MAHAN!" You shout in desperation. She might be an oddball but she was smart when it came to abyssals. She'd know what to do. "HEY, MAHAN, reverse your beautiful hull out of there.  I don't think we're alone out here!" you hear the sound of a door opening.

The waves of pain begin to subside as Mahan steps into view. It's still there, of course but it's changed from a stabbing pain to a dull throbbing ache. She slowly steps to your side, dips down, and plucks the claw from the ground with the precision of a practiced surgeon. She adjusts her glasses as she examines the claw.

"Chief, please restrain the Lieutenant and escort him back to the ship. It's likely that we will need to dissect him later." Mahan declared. You swear you could see a slight smirk.

"Roger that." You hear Bergmann reply as he hoists you to your feet. "C'mon, lets go put you out of your misery."
"Wha?" you mumble. It's getting harder for you to form words, much less sentences.

"I said we need to return you to the ship. Please do not resist." Mahan notes without a hint of emotion.

"Nuh. Affer tha. The dizzyshun." You struggle to break away from the short man's powerful grip. On instinct you manage to twist your wrist free from his grasp and kick him off balance just enough to get free. Sadly it seems he was the only thing keeping you upright as the ground travels up to meet you. The last thing you remember seeing is a large flat rock crashing against your temple.

***

You wake up to the sound of gentle snoring. You're on the Osage, you can tell that much. Feeling a strange weight you look at your leg you see Marblehead resting on it, a book covering her face. You contemplate waking her but are interrupted by a conversation from outside the room.

"...'s a threat. Should'a just..." her words were muffled, but you could recognize Chicago's voice.

"Not your...Brass will..." Dolphin, you recognize.

"Yeah, figure's you'd..." the taller girl replied as they continued down the hall.

Your right hand stings. The bleeding had stopped, and the bandages looked recently changed.  Seems that what happened on Jarvis wasn't a dream, well at least the claw wasn't a dream.

You gingerly withdraw you leg from under Marblehead's face. The're a slight murmur of protest, but she doesn't seem to wake up. You're going to need to find out what happened while you were out.

A) Dissections? That had to be a joke or something, right?  Screw getting answers, I need to hide.

B) Even if she does want to examine my innards Mahan is still the smartest person on the ship. I'll go to her.

C) Marblehead is already here, and she's fairly observant. I'll ask her.

D) Chicago and Dolphin already know what's going on and they're my best chance for straightforward answers.

E) Langley is the kindest, gentlest person on this ship and the least likely to turn me in if I AM supposed to be on the operating table.

F) I'm not sure how much I trust the fleetgirls right now. I'll ask someone from the crew.

G) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-16 11:16:30
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You slowly get up to try and nudge Marblehead awake. As you do a small figure tumbles down from your forehead and lands in your lap. Like an animal after a bath, the fairy shakes itself before saluting you. It takes half a minute before you realize it's waiting for you.

"As you were."  you return the tiny person's salute. Satisfied, it bounces over to Marble's face and begins patting her cheek.
"Not here, everyone can see!" the young woman giggles in her sleep as she tries to brush off the fairy. The little fella is spry though as it trundles back and resumes it's tiny slaps against her face. You decide to take pity on the little sailor. Sitting up you place a firm hand on Marble's shoulder and give a firm shake.

"C-commander!" she half-shrieks as she wakes up, wiping drool from her lips. The young woman erupts into a flurry of activity as she tries to straighten out her uniform and hair as her face burns a deep red from emberassment. She gives you furtive glances before she resumes fiddling with her hair. Not to put a fine point on it, but she looks adorable.

A) FLIRT

B) TEASE

C) PROFESSIONALISM

D) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-18 08:19:29
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A) Flirt

Listening closely you can hear a million reg go up in smoke. You can't resist. You flash a roguish grin as Marblehead does her best to avoid eye contact while she does a tomato impression.

"You finished pawing me? I'm not sure I'm safe here with you." Marblehead trembles a moment before she shoots out of her chair.

"I-I was not!" she protests. Her voice squeaks at the end. You steadily hold her gaze as she calms down.

"I wasn't!" she protests again, leaning in and placing her hands on her hips. You can tell it's more to convince herself than you.

Hold.

"...was I?" she slinks back into her seat, her hands covering her mouth.

"It's alright." You nudge her arm and wink. "Ask next time."

"Ask? But I-" Her eyes widen for a moment before she shakes her head to clear it."You aren't taking this seriously, are you? We were worried about you, Commander!" You just shrug in reply.

"I need to go tell everyone you're awake. Are you thirsty? You were out a long time." You grab her wrist before she can get away.

"Hold it, I'm being serious now. I need to ask you a few things before you go."

(What do you ask? Serious questions this time.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-20 09:42:02
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(Write-in)

"...Please, Marble. I want you to be honest with me." With a wary expression, you gaze up, into the ship girl's eyes. "You're hiding something from me, right?" You lightly hold her wrist, so as to not hurt her, but you couldn't help but to sweat a little. While it pains you to ask someone who seems to have slept by your side when you were confined to a bed, something just doesn't seem to add up. The initial report about Jarvis, the scallop, the damaged monitoring post. "Marble?"

"Commander!" she bites her lip as her free hand clutches her blouse. " I-I'm not sure if I should be doing something like telling you when I don't even know if the Captain has cleared you for that sort of information." She's begginning to babble, which could be a good sign. You push a little.

"Marblehead. I am your CO. I need to know what's going on." your voice hardens as you shed your former jovial tone. Now you're all business.

"That's not- I mean, if you woke up then whoever was watching you was supposed to go and inform everyone else. If you were...lucid we could decidet what we should do then. Which kinda reminds me that I should be going and telling everyone now."

"I'm plenty lucid. Please, tell me what happened." you beg. It's a pretty pathetic sight, but Marblehead caves. You let go of her and she takes a seat on the bed.

"You're right. It's a bad idea to just go and leave you all by yourself anyway. You might just decide to try and kill yourself. Again, I mean."

"What, really?" you ask incredoulously. "I don't belive that. I've never been suicidal."

"Dolphin had to fish you out of the water." Marble jokes, the tension in her body releasing as she continues. "That's why I- why we were in here. You would have made Alhazred look sane If one of us couldn't be in the room with you."

"Who?"

"Never mind. I guess this means the claw you found didn't drive you completely cuckoo.  Mahan thinks she can modify our scanners to track the Abyssal who flew the coop, but I think it's a wild goose chase." Marble continued.  "I'll walk you to the Captain. He can explain everything in more detail."


That's the end of part one, everybody. No votes this week.

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-23 07:35:03
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"Have a seat. Glad to see you awake and not gibbering nonsense." Lieutenant Commander Tams addresses you as you enter the room. All around you pens, picture frames and small objects scatter with Osage's swaying. Flat-bottomed ships always had trouble keeping steady in choppy seas. If the disorder bothers the post-captian at all he doesn't show it. Marblehead closes the door, with her on the far side. It seems this conversation was for your ears only.

"Before we get started I wanted to commend you for the action on Jarvis. Not everyone adjusts this well."

"The girls did the work there, sir. From what they tell me it wasn't the most terrifying foe anyways."

"Precisely. For them it was routine. Contrary to what my XO claims I am aware of what happens in the bridge. You were willing to push to get the job done and refrain from taking foolish risks while doing so. Those don't always go hand in hand."

"If you say so, sir." Something was itching at the back of your skull. All this undeserved praise while ignoring the elephant in the room made you feel like an animal being calmed in a slaughterhouse. "Captain, I'm not sure what happened on the Island. Something there just-"

"I'll get to that." He cuts you off. "The psychic damage you suffered should not be an issue at this time, and there are things we need to discuss right now." The old man shifts uncomfortably in his seat. "Your little escapade also turned into something of a windfall. Our resident genius believes she can adjust Merlin's scanners to locate the abyssal who left it." you nod. Marblehead had already told you this, but saying anything would only have gotten her in trouble. "There's a downside." the Captain sighed "The abyssals may well have a bead on our position while we still have the cursed thing."

"And I take it we can't just toss the thing and call it a day?"

"'Fraid not. Mahan said they took some important equipment from us. The higher ups are concerned about what they might do with it."

"It's really important enough for us to be dangled out like bait? What exactly do they have?"

"Classified." Tams mutters before reaching for his coffee. "And they think it's an opportunity for us. We aren't a hard target, and command thinks this will draw more abyssal infiltration units to us. It's not easy for them to sneak units like the scallop in, and if we take out even one it will be worth it." he takes a long sip from his cup. "Of course they might just drop in some real combat units, but since that still requires an enormous amount of effort on their part it would work out in our favor."
"Please tell me we have some idea of what's going to come after us."

"No such luck. The good news is Avalon will be sending us temporary reinforcements." He pulls out a manila folder and tosses it in front of you. "I'll need you to approve and sign off on these."

Battleships
[ ] Nevada
[ ] Pennsylvania

Heavy Cruisers
[ ] Northampton
[ ] Chester
[ ] Houston

Lght Cruisers
[ ] Helena
[ ] St Louis

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-25 09:09:31
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[x] Pennsylvania
[x] Northampton
[x] Helena

You sign off on the last bit of paperwork and push the folder back across the table, just in time to stop a picture frame from careening off the side.  

"Very good." The Captain remarks. He leans forward and folds his hands in front of his face. "Now that our time-sensitive business is mostly concluded, we need to talk about your new condition." You stay silent and wait for him to continue.

"I'll start with the bad news. Please tell me you've read the documents on abyssals and their psychic bullshit?" Tams asked. The buzzing in your head was getting louder.

"Yes, but I didn't pay it much attention at the time. I figured it was a joke." you lied. The Captain didn't need to know that this wasn't the first; perhaps not even the tenth time someone's scrambled your mind. "I'm beginning to suspect it wasn't."

"You would be correct. Right now your mind is terribly damaged. You've been comatose for the past few days and what's been inflicted on your psyche is mostly likely irreperable. The only reason you're standing right now is the fact that Marblehead is five feet away on the other side of the door. Probably listening in on us." A slight thud against the door confirmed his suspicions.

"I read that they had psychic wierdness of their own. Is that what we're talking about?" The captain nodded in response.
"Precisely. Their mental influence is benign, and is what's keeping you-heck most of the crew up and running. You aren't the first person to have survived a close with an abyssal. Your case is more extreme, having been in physical contact with one and your need for treatment is greater."

"I'm being relieved?" you arch an eyebrow.

"No. No, you're being assigned a nurse. From now on one of the shipgirls is to accompany you and stay within twenty feet. It's either that or have a troupe of fairies chasing after you all the time. Which reminds me, we've set up a fairy circle in your stateroom."

"Captain?"

"If you have questions, feel free to ask the fleetgirls. Dismissed."

"But sir I-"

"Dismissed." he said with a playful grin plastered on his face. The door opened to reveal a very guilty-looking Marblehead on the other side. Momentarily defeated, you step into the hallway.

"Commander?" Marble greets you. "I need to be getting ready for my next patrol shift. I'll be glad to walk you to one of the other girls so they can take over. Just not Mahan. The Captain was very clear when he said nobody was to disturb her."

A) Langley

B) Chicago

C) Dolphin

D) Other (I'm not sure what other there could be, but people find a way.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-2-27 09:37:53
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A) Langley

Marblehead stays by your side until you reach your stateroom. You see Langley kneeling on the floor, ruler in hand with a gaggle of fairees crowding around her. Like something out of a Disney movie you see the little tykes carrying various bits above their heads. One seems to be carrying a bronze star, another holds a scrap of ribbon, several carry mushrooms.

"Am I interrupting anything?" you ask. Langley raises a finger, asking you to wait.

"Just a smidgen to the left." one of the fairies carrying a rusty bolt dutifully shuffles a step.

"Good job. You can tape her down now." The fairy places it's burden on the ground as others start tearing off a small strip of tape. The carrier smiles and gives a nod in satisfaction before she turns to you.

Langley's on her feet in a flash. Before you blink she's wrapped her arms around you in a crushing bear hug and lifts you off the deck.  You feel one hand reach up to ruffle your hair.

"You stupid man." she mutters as she tightens her hold. "Do you know how worried I was? How the rest of the girls were worried?" You open your mouth to reply but Langley's squeezing is preventing you from drawing breath. "Is that some kind of game? To see how many gray hairs you can give us?" she finally lets go and you take in a deep breath of air.

A) It wasn't intentional!

B) I wasn't expecting anyone to care much.

C) What are you working on?

D) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-1 11:36:01
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A) It wasn't intentional!

You manage to sputter out your reply between coughs.  

"Of course it wasn't intentional. It's never intentional. Every time somebody on these cruises does something careless and gets killed it's not intentional." She places her hands on her hips as the fairies began to back away. Clearly her lecture is just getting started. "Don't you know that's half the reason we hate going on these patrols so much? Somebody always comes up with a new way to come back crippled or worse."

"You're exaggerating."  

"I am not." Langley doesn't raise her voice, but you can sense her irritation. "Even if it's not every mission it's still too much. We still have memories, you know, from back during the war. Men screaming, praying, begging for their mothers as things went to hell. When we see you get hurt it brings that all back." You're surprised the frontierswoman didn't need a trowel to slather you with this much guilt.

"I was trying to shut a door and give Mahan some privacy, not summon up everyone's personal demons.  What do you want from me?"

"I want you to be safe, you big oaf! I want you to stop tormenting some of these girls! Some of them are downright miserable enough without their CO making things worse!"

A) Wait, who?

B) I'll take that under consideration, but we have to get ready for the newcomers.

C) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-3 07:38:53
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A) Wait, who?

You raise a hand to cut off Langley's tirade. "Hold on. Who's miserable?" Langley's face pales as she slowly realizes what she just said.

"Nobody." she denies. "I didn't say-"

"Yes, you did. Langley, if someone is, as you put it 'miserable' then I think I ought to know." The carrier squirms as you refuse to let her backtrack. After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence you continue. "Is it Marblehead? She seemed upset."

"No. The poor dear has problems of her own, but she's not taking the worst of it. It isn't who you're thinking of. You aren't the real problem, but if you continue getting hurt it won't help."

"You still haven't told me who." Langley takes a long look into your eyes, weighing the need to keep her little sisterhood's secrets against the possibility of you helping.

You come up short.

"If she hasn't said anything then I won't. She'll tell you when she's ready." Before you can protest a flash of light shines through the porthole as a thunderous roar shakes the ship. You hear muffled shouting and curses from other rooms, possibly other decks. Glancing out the porthole you see no clouds, only three small dots on the horizon.

It seems your reinforcements have arrived, and you need to greet them soon. You exit your stateroom, with Langley following close behind. While she's currently withdrawn, you might be able to squeeze just a little bit more out of her.

(What do you ask? You can ask more than one thing. How you phrase it is also important.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-6 09:18:29
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"Why?" you toss up your hands in frustration. " I understand I'm in an organization shrouded in secrecy. But, but why am I kept in the dark by those whom I supposed to trust onboard the Osage?" Langley's pretty face twists into a worried frown. Judging by her expression it would have hurt her less if you had slapped her.  "Tell me Langley...is it because I'm too inexperienced? Or is it because I'm just another outsider?"

"That isn't what I meant." Langley protests "It isn't just here. It's all of STEC. The old guard, the ones who have been with us since the fifties? Most of them are gone now. Retired or...otherwise. Most of us have had to bury old friends. Some had to bury husbands." She puts a hand on your chest and gives it a slight push. "Then we have to look at you young'uns and ask if we have to do that all over again."

You nod as you slowly mull that over in your head. Her reluctance to say anything to you makes somewhat more sense. If she doesn't say anything she'll only have to deal with you for a few more years. If she rats out on someone she'll have to deal with that for eternity.

It doesn't make it less annoying for you in the present.

"Fine." you turn and continue onward. "Then what CAN I know?" Langley hesitates for a few seconds before she replies.
"A friend of mine. She's impressed with you. It wasn't exactly how she put it, but she said you were one of the first half-competent  officers she's seen in a while. She's won't admit it, but she's worried that she can't keep up and it's gnawing at her."

"I take it you're not naming names, then?"

"Oh, hush. Another friend. She's doesn't think people trust her. That she's cursed, or something similar. She's worried that people won't trust her. She's chomping at the bit, but is worried that she'll just be pushed aside for someone else."

"That's...enlightening. Any more 'friends' I should know about?" you ask as you step out into the sea air.

"I might, but those two will be enough of a handful for now." Langley isn't meeting your gaze, but she does look more calm. Thinly-veiled or not, telling you that probably did her a world of good. You gave her a warm, genuine smile.

"Lieutenant, I di-"

"WHO SAID THAT?" an angry voice rang out like a gunshot, striking the moment stone dead.

Looking around you see Bergmann and Diaz near the fore end of the ship, arguing about something. You and Langley quickly dash towards them. The stocky man's face is currently resting in his palm, while Diaz nervously glances to where the voice is originating from.

"I HAVE EXCELLENT HEARING, YOU KNOW! COME CLEAN RIGHT NOW!"

Looking over the side you see two women in blue skirts and one wearing...not much, really.

"YOU!" one of the women in blue shouts at you, beet red and shaking with rage. "WAS IT YOU?" the woman in the more revealing outfit let out a laugh.

"I told you, Pennsy! Less is more!" the woman continued her giggling fit. Off to the side the other blue one let out a heavy sigh before turning to scan the horizon. You pull away from the railing and look at the crewmen.

"Is someone going to tell me what's going on?"

"Well, Bergmann's worried that the loading ramp isn't cleared to carry battleships."

"Oh no! Don't try to pin that on me. You brought up how old the ramp is." Bergmann shoves a stubby finger into Diaz's face. The blonde sailor is barely able to contain his laughter.

"CALL ME FAT TO MY FACE! I DARE YOU!"

"Nobody called you fat." an exasperated voice replies. "They just said the ramp is old."

"I heard them!" Pennsy replied. At least she had stopped shouting. "I am NOT using the crane! Do you know how humiliating that is?"

The crew looks at you for an answer. Ah, the joys of command...

A) Time for crane games. We can't risk damage to something that important.

B) Let Pennsy use the ramp and keep her dignity. Osage is tougher than she looks.

C) Other (Write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-15 07:10:54
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A) Time for crane games. We can't risk damage to something that important.

You're tempted to just let the battleship have her way. Just let her have her way this once and you won't piss off someone with 14-inch guns and heavy armor to match. All it would take is for you to look the other way. It would not the first time you've done something similar.

Nah.

Bending the rules for someone helping a friend is one thing. Doing it because they just didn't feel like it is something else entirely. You weren't about to risk damage to the ship just to spare someone's feelings.

"Bergmann, fire up the crane. Diaz, see if you can find some earplugs and headache pills. I think I'm going to need them." you say to the two enlisted.

"DON'T YOU DARE!" the capital ship shouted, panic beginning to leak into her voice. It seems she did have good hearing, your voice was barely above a whisper.

"Pennsy, every capital ship has to do this. It's only a big deal if you make it one." Northampton placees a hand on the girl's back in an effort to console her. It probably would have worked if Helena hadn't been snickering non-stop.

It takes a few minutes for the trio to loop steel cabling around Pennsy's rigging. Satisfied that she was secure, you give Bergmann the thumbs up to start hoisting.

"Oh my, Pennsy! And you said I was too revealing!" the woman in white teased. She was enjoying this way too much.

Pennsylvania slowly crested over the side of the ship, holding her skirt down and glaring daggers at you. She's too rancourous to say anything coherant at the moment, but you can tell she's going to make trouble at the first opportunity. The crane slowly lowered her onto the deck. Helena her way up the ramp quicly enough to help her untie the cables.

"Where's Northampton?" you ask.

"She said she was going to keep Marblehead company on her patrol."



A) I didn't give permission for that. Call her back.

B) That's fine. I didn't have a duty plan for the newbies anyway.

C) Get to a radio. She can go, but she's getting an earful.  

D) Other (Write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-17 09:39:38
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B) That's fine. I didn't have a duty plan for the newbies anyway.

"Did she?" you shake your head. "You know what? That's fine." you mentally note that your unit's 'reinforced' numbers look suspiciously like 'full strength.' At least the girls won't have to make long patrols on their own anymore. "I didn't have a chance to draw up a duty roster for our guests, and I-"

"Excuse me?" Pennsy interjects. While her voice is furious her eyes give off a maniacal gleam, like a cat playing with a mouse. "Did I hear that right, Lieutenant? 'I didn't have a chance to draw up a roster?' Is this the sort of professionalism we can expect?"

"Actually, yes." you reply. It's been roughly an hour since you've woken up from an abyssal-induced coma and you're already getting tired of this. The rest just spills out before you have a chance to stop yourself. "This isn't exactly the land of milk and honey out here. You'll have to fly by the seat of your pants to get the job done. Get used to-" you're stopped by a hand on your shoulder.

"Lieutenant? Should we make our way to the bridge? I think the captain will want to meet our new arrivals." Langley says calmly, trying her best to soothe everyone's nerves. You had almost forgotten she was there.

"Fair enough. Lets go." You turn and start leading them to the commander. You can feel the battleship's glare all the way up. Judging by the slack-jawed stares of your fellow crew mates Helena is also accompanying you and enjoying the attention.

When you finally make it there Pennsy pushes you aside and walks straight up to the captain to give him an earful. The look of sudden recognition and then horror on Tams' face says that the two have met before. It's also the perfect chance to slink away.

A) Sneak off? Maybe to get popcorn. I want to see how these two know each other.

B) May as well prove Pennsy wrong about my 'professionalism.' I'll head back to my stateroom.

C) I haven't eaten in days. I'll head to the mess.

D) Other. (Write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-19 08:41:49
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C) I haven't eaten in days. I'll head to the mess.

You manage to slink off the bridge and leave the two to whatever bugs they had up their asses. Right now you didn't care. As your stomach growls It occurs to you that your sudden crankiness might be due to not eating much of anything for the past few days. You make your way down to the mess, both Langley and Helena in tow.

You arrive at the very tail end of breakfast. The mess was mostly empty, almost everyone has returned to their workstations. There isn't much chow left, but right now you don't care. Hell, even the normally disgusting mini-sausage links look appetizing.

You load up on what they have left and plop down on one of the many empty seats. Manners be damned, you start tearing into your breakfast. Langley sits down next to you and Helena sits across from you. You do your best to keep your eyes from wandering.

"So, do you have a girlfriend?" The brunette asks. You pause mid-chew.

"Helena, don't start." The carrier responds before you can.

"You're no fun. You should really move on and try to live a little! Come on, Lieutenant. Langley's pretty, isn't she?" You swallow the last bit of scrambled egg, but before you can reply you are cut off by a long deafening rattle. The only other human in the mess collapses on the floor as small pinpricks of light seep in through newly punched holes in the bulkhead. A siren starts screaming a few seconds later.

A) I need to get to the bridge!

B) I need to get the rest of the shipgirls!

C) I need to get that wounded to a corpsman!

D) Other (Write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-22 07:47:25
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D) Have Helena find out whats going on, Me and Langley will focus on the wounded corpsman.

You're on your feet in a flash and dashing over to the wounded crewman. He's on the ground, clutching his stomach as red start spreading across his uniform.

"Langley, help me get this guy to a Corpsman. Helena, get to the bridge and tell me what the hell's going on."  You motion for Langley to grab his legs while Helena exits the mess. You hoist the wounded man- Lewis, one of the snipes you met on your first day and shuffle him to someone who knows how to put a body back together, all the while trying to block out his sobs of agony.

You make it to the sick bay just in time to bump into Diaz helping Bergmann limp his way in. You lift the wounded onto one of the beds. The increasingly busy corpsman turns from his current non-critical patient to keep the now-pale Lewis alive.

"You wounded, Lieutenant?" the Corpsman asks with an erie calm as he tries to put preassure on Lewis' gut.

"No, I-"

"Then GET THE HELL OUT!"

You wisely follow the man's advice, as does Langley and Diaz. You see Helena in the Hall, frantically looking for you.
"Over here!" you call out. The brunette dashes to you side.

"I thought you were still going to be in the mess!" she grouses. "Never mind. They said there was some sort of air raid."

"Some kind of flying fish things." Diaz remarks. "They just popped up out of the water, strafed us then dove back in."

A) I need to know more, I'm headed to Mahan.

B) I need to take command,  I'm headed to the Bridge.

C) I need to get you girls into the fight. I need to get to the crane.

D) Other (write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-3-29 10:37:30
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B) I need to take command, I'm headed to the bridge.

Your heart pounds as you race up the ladders on your way to the wheelhouse-cum-bridge-cum-CIC. You hear another strafing run, this abyssal striking at Osage's aft. Entering the cramped space, you're greeted with glares wondering where the hell you were five minutes ago. Their eyes widen as they notice your hands and stomach.

"Walters, are you okay?" Bennings asks first.

"I'm fine. It's not mine." you wave a red-stained hand dismissively. Trying your best (and failing) to remember the feeling of Lewis squirming and spurting all over you take your place next to Bennings. He hands you a headset. You are greeted to a torrent of your shipgirls shouting, some waiting for orders, some just wanting to know what the hell's going on.



"Well a certain someone said I wasn't allowed to use the gangway!" Pennsy grouses over the radio.

"We've got smoke coming from the aft section of the ship!" Dolphin shouts.

"Lieutenant, Marblehead's not responding!" Northampton calls out. Looking at the tac screen you see she's still quite a ways away from where Marblehead should be.

"If you want ME out there someone has to operate the crane!" Pennsy half screams, fighting to make certain she's heard over the cacophony.

"I'm going to check on Marblehead!" Northamption calls. You see her little blip start a slow, purposeful turn.

"Damn it, Pennsy, standing on that deck is suicide!" another girl adds in. You can't even tell which one anymore.

"It'll be worse If I'm not out there!"

"Oh god, the screws have stopped!"

You're interrupted by a gentle hand on your shoulder. As you turn you see Langley recoil a bit, as if you had threatened to slap her. Taking a breath you let the anger, frustration and fear drain from your face before meeting her gaze again. Whatever calming words of wisdom she has will be more than wel-

"Should I head down to the deck and launch fighters, sir?"

-or she could just dump more on you. That works to. You grit your teeth hard enough that you taste blood. Looking around the room you see everyone else is way too damn busy to ask for anything. You take another deep breath, raise the mic to your mouth and begin outlaying your plan.


(In all these choices, write-ins are acceptable)

Pennsy
A) Goddammit, quit holding everyone else up and wait. We'll get some crew out there soon.
B) One of you girls operate that crane, get Pennsy in the water before you join the fray.
C) I rescind my previous order, just get out there!


Northamption
A) You're the only responding ship we have in the water, Northampton. Get into position to cover Osage.
B) Marblehead could be in serious trouble, we'll have ships covering the Osage soon enough.


Dolphin
A) Dolphin, get in the water. Let damage control teams take care of whatever's going on here.
B) Stay on the ship, do what you can to help damage control.


Langley
A) Absolutely. Get down there and put whatever birds you can into the sky.
B) Stay. The last thing we need is for me to go insane mid-fight.

(If you have more specific orders for certain shipgirls, feel free to add them.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-4-1 09:44:57
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Pennsylvania - I rescind my previous order, just make sure everyone gets off the boat though dammit!

Northampton - Marblehead could be in serious trouble, we'll have ships covering the Osage soon enough

Dolphin - Stay on the ship, do what you can to help damage control

Langley - Stay. The last thing we need is for me to go insane mid-fight.

You wordlessly shake your head at Langley. The memories of Jarvis are still fresh in your mind. You have no intention of repeating that. You raise you head from the screen and glance outside over the decks to see two cruisers and a battleship arguing.

"Goddamnit, all of you! Pennsy, just get your ass down the ramp and into the fight! Same goes for the rest of you on deck! Go!" Your spirits raise a bit as you see the tro move to the gangway, each of them determined to do their jobs. Your spirits take a nosedive as Pennsy takes the first steps down the ramp. Time dialates as you see aging steel warp and bolts burst. The ramp falls away from the ship into the depths as ocean spray jets up over the sides. Osage shudders as shockwaves force her hull to the side.

"Holy hell, we're being bombed!" someone mutters.

"Nope. Pennsy just took a spill over the side." angry murmurs whisper through the wheelhouse as you raise your mic up.

"Pennsylvania, you alive?" your headpiece errupts into a fit of coughing, splashing and spitting. It seemed she was still alive, if uncomfortable. Chicago looks over the side, shrugs and vaults into the water. Helena follows shortly.

"Dolphin, stay and assist the damage teams." You announce. Extreme breath holding was probably one of the better super powers to have when fighting fires, you reason. There's no reply over the radio, but you're fairly certain you hear her bellowing from belowdecks.

"North, I need-" a determined voice cuts you off.

"A flight of abyssals is changing direction." You glance back at the tac screen to confirm what she's saying. "They're turning towards Marble! I'm heading to assist!" You were going to order her to do that anyway, but it seems she's decided to go ahead anyway.

The deafening staccato of anti-aircraft fire pulls your view back out the portholes. You barely manage to pick out a group of fast-moving dots against the sky as tracers and flak slip by them.  Suddenly the lead abyssal starts belching  some kind of noxious smoke, and in unison the half-dozen fighters dive beneith the waves. Your surface ships haven't scored any kills, but at least they've driven them off of their attack run.

A) All three of you, get into a defensive formation around Osage!

B) I want one of you to break off and assist Northampton! (Specify who.)

C) Other (Write-in)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-4-6 10:15:15
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A) Everyone to defensive positions around the Osage. Dolphin what's the situation on the engine?



As you watch Northampton and Marblehead's blips move closer you do some quick, if ruthless mental calculations. So far, those flying fish-shings haven't shot off anything more than heavy machine gun fire. While that's more than enough to tear a lightly-skinned target like Osage and her crew to shreds it would probably do little more than tickle a shipgirl.

"Chicago, Pennsy, Helena, get into a defensive formation around Osage."  they each acknowledge your commands and you see them rearrange themselves.

"Dolphin, what's the situations on the engine?"  you are answered only with the sound of roaring flames, spraying fire hoses and endless profanity. "Dolphin?" you ask again, raising your voice.

"Little goddamned busy here, commander!"  is the only coherent reply you get from the engine room.

"Lieutenant, there's something wrong with Mar-" you tear off your headset as an unholy shriek fills the airwaves. Bennings flinches when he hears the noise, as do half the people in the wheelhouse. You place the headphones back on.

"Northampton?" you glance out the porthole again. If it weren't for two streams of tracers spilling out from a pair of specks on the horizon you would never have found them. Squinting, you can see their fire streaking everywhere but at the abyssals.  Six tiny blobs zoom in, unleash a return hail of gunfire then dive into the ocean as the first group had done.

The report of gunfire closer to Osage snaps your attention back. You watch as your girls send up well-aimed bursts of flak and machinegun fire.  One of the approaching abyssals bursts into flames and spins out of control. Undaunted, the abyssals press on into the angry maw of your crossfire.

You suppress the urge to cheer as a shell bursts directly in front of the lead flyer. The rest break off and scatter. It takes a split second to come to a dreadful realization. The still burning abyssal is on a suicide dive straight at the bridge!

(What do you do? Write-ins only.)

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 Author| Post time: 2016-4-10 07:33:31
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(Write-in) Yell at everyone else on the bridge to take cover, and do the same.

Gazing at the incoming smoke-spewing abomination barreling down towards the wheelhouse you shout out the only thing that comes to mind as you dive down and cover your head.

"Take cover!" Many on the bridge imitate you, while others stare slack-jawed. The split second makes all the difference. A mop of golden hair fills your vision as something jumps onto your back. There is a sudden violent surge and you try your hardest to keep your stomach's contents where they should be. Pens, mugs, clipboards and any other loose bits spill over on top of you and Langley.

It's stupid, but you look up to see what's going on. Everyone else on the bridge is picking themselves up and scrambling for the exit. You can't hear anything except a loud ringing in your ears. Then you see it.

Up close it looks less like a fish and more like a angry eyeless mosquito. Still on fire it writhes and cuts itself against the jagged bits of hull. You see clusters of small proboscis-like appendages start swiveling and spewing fire. It takes you a second to realize that it's firing off whatever ammo (or whatever they had that passed for it) left. Soon enough the body of the abyssal dissipates.

Langley forces your head down as she shifts her body to better shield you. You feel every impact through her thin frame. Bit by bit the gunfire slows in it's intensity as the creature expires. Langley picks herself up and offers you a hand. You accept it and as she hauls your carcass up you regret it. It feels like hours before what's left of the wheelhouse stops spinning. You manage not to collapse by grabbing a ruined console with a death grip.

"Are you okay?" you ask Langley. She recoils as if you had slapped her. It takes you a second to realize you're shouting at the top of your lungs.

"I'm fine." her reply is barely audible past the ringing in your ears and the sounds of gunfire outside. Her dress is in tatters, but she is remarkably free of blood, unlike the rest of the bridge. Everyone who couldn't make it out or had the luxury of a shipgirl human shield is bleeding out rapidly.

A)  Langley should still have a working radio. I can still command everyone from here.

B) We've got to get these wounded to the med bay.

C) Other (Write-in)
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